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Today’s news from the animal kingdom: the real nutcracker king and protection for sharks and polar bears

December 1, 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. Monkeys are the true nutcracker kings. It’s the first day of December so we thought we’d start off with a holiday related story. We all know the Nutcracker Ballet features a mouse king, but scientists have discovered that Capuchin monkeys really rule when it comes to nuts. The monkeys have perfected the art of opening nuts using tools. They’re also good at directing movies. (Discovery News)

2. Dogs have bigger brains than cats. A new study has found that dogs have bigger brains than cats because they’re more social creatures. Apparently, more social animals need more brain power, which led to dog brains growing faster. Richter and Paul are going to be pissed. (Teddy Hilton)

Badass.

3. Hammerheads and other sharks protected at Paris meeting. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas has decided that half a dozen species of sharks cannot be targeted or kept if accidentally caught by fisheries. The group is in charge of setting quotas to make sure that commercial fisheries are sustainable. This is good news for sharks since an estimated 1.3 million were killed in the Atlantic in 2008, which is most likely a very low estimate due to under-reporting. (Discovery News)

4. Boston aquarium rescues dozens of rare turtles. More than 2 dozen rare turtles had a lot to be thankful for last week when they were found on the shore of Cape Cod and taken to the New England aquarium. They are currently being treated for hypothermia, dehydration, and malnourishment. (MSNBC)

5. Polar bears get critical habitat off Alaska. The Obama administration is setting aside 187,000 square miles off Alaska for polar bears, which could add restrictions to future offshore drilling for oil and gas. The area includes sea ice off the Alaska coast. We bet they’ll be really happy to have more space to watch hockey in. (MSNBC)

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