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Today’s news from the animal kingdom: Fish are gross, scientists are sort of jerks, and a happy ending for a whale

November 19, 2010

Here are five fascinating articles that the humans (and animals) at Current Instincts are reading today. Did we miss something major? Let us know below or send us an email.

1. Fish are gross. To keep parasites from biting while they sleep, fish build up a mucus cocoon around themselves. Scientists compared the cocoon to a human using a mosquito netting. Scuba divers had long noticed the mucus (how many times can I type “mucus” in 3 sentences?) but scientists are only now starting to study the mucus. (4 times is the answer) (MSNBC)

2. Jet-lagged hamsters are dumb. In yet another experiment that proves scientists are assholes, hamsters had their sleeping habits shifted by 6 hours every 3 months to simulate the effects of jet-lag. Co-author of the study, Erin Gibson, said the study helped them figure out that “individuals that frequently change their sleeping habits exhibit higher rates of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer.” Did anyone mention that to the poor hamsters? (Discovery News)

3. Fight over tuna. Environmentalists meeting in Paris on Wednesday say that Atlantic bluefin tuna are being overfished due to it’s popularity throughout the world. Representatives from 48 countries would like to set a fishing quota. The World Wildlife Fund says the tuna are on the brink of extinction. (MSNBC)

4. Young boys are assholes (right up there with scientists). Two boys, ages 11 and 14, were arrested in Baltimore for the theft of exotic animals. They took turtles, geckos, and an iguana from a nature center. You guys suck. (MSNBC)

Photo: Hugo Gallo/Aquário de Ubatuba) Way to beat the odds awesome whale.

5. Whale saved 10 years ago reunites with rescuers. Don’t worry, we’re ending on a happy story. In November 2000 a humpback whale was found stranded on a beach in Brazil. Hundreds of people answered the call to save the giant beast and were eventually successful in getting him back into the water. The biologists worried about him, knowing beached whales have slim chances of survival. But low and behold researchers ran into him again in 2008. They took skin samples and have now discovered it was in fact the same whale! Yay whales! Yay biologists! (Treehugger)

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