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Today’s news from the animal kingdom: a road for animals, virgin snails, and angry birds

December 13, 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. Walmart partnership saves more than 600,000 acres of wildlife. Finally a good story about Walmart. In 2005 the retail company launched a program to conserve one acre of wildlife habitat for every acre it developed for commercial use. Their goal was to save 138,000 acres by 2015. The met and surpassed that goal, saving 625,000 acres in only 5 years. (GreenBiz.com)

2. Wildlife underpasses reduce animal-vehicle collisions. A new road — part of U.S. Highway 64 in North Carolina — was created with animals in mind. It features fencing alongside the road that is meant to funnel animals into one of three underpasses. We’re in favor of anything that reduces the amount of roadkill in the world — and not just because we’re afraid of squirrels. (US News)

Coming soon to a roof near you.

3. A hotel with a rooftop … barnyard. Hotel developers in downtown Petaluma, Calif. are considering putting farm animals on top of the city’s new eco-friendly boutique hotel, To: Hotel Petaluma. “Why couldn’t we introduce farm animals, a duck or gaggle of ducks or geese?,” said the project’s architect, Ross Jones. “They bring in an element of delight.” Oh, California! (The Press Democrat)

4. Left-handed snails confuse snakes but remain virgins. Snakes’ teeth are arranged in such a way that makes it difficult for them to kill left-coiling snails. But it’s not all peachy for the survivors: snails mate face-to-face and a snail with a reverse-coiled shell has its whole body reversed — including the position of its genitals. This means he/she can’t mate. Which would you choose: A short life with sex or a long life without sex? (BBC News)

5. Angry birds are taking over the world. We’re not talking about live angry birds, we’re talking about the hit smartphone game where birds seek revenge on egg-stealing pigs.  What does this have to do with the animal kingdom? Absolutely nothing. We just think it’s awesome. (The New York Times)

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