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Today’s news: Spiky mammals like group sex, more bird deaths in Cali, and pets can predict weather

January 12, 2011

Here are some 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. Mysterious bird deaths hit California Oh boy, here we go again. According to a local state newspaper, The Press-Democrat, about 100 birds were found dead in the wine country area of California. As we reported, this unexplained event follows similar massive bird deaths in Arkansas and Louisiana during the past few weeks. Scientists have said they are not connected. (Discovery News)

2. Contraception not popular with spiky mammals Researchers in Tasmania have discovered that echidnas, which are one of the few mammals who reproduce by laying eggs, don’t practice safe sex. Apparently, they are quite partial to group sex and often times males will jump females while they’re still hibernating. Given that this blogger can’t remember the last time he had regular ole’ one-on-one human sex, there’s no judgment here. (Discovery News)

3. Turtle smugglers arrested Two men from Osaka, Japan have been charged with trying to smuggle more than 50 turtles and tortoises into the United States. If convicted, they could get up to 21 years behind bars. (MSNBC.com)

4. So, a Finnish dog was trained to give the Nazi salute In an actually quite humorous way to mock Hitler, a businessman in 1941 had trained his pooch to raise his paw at the mention of the leader’s name. “The dog affair tells us the Nazis were not only criminals and mass murderers, they were silly as hell,” said Klaus Hillenbrand, a historian and author quoted in the story.

5. Pets would make fantastic meteorologists, say some owners According to a recent study, about two-thirds of Americans say their pets can predict bad weather. As pet owners ourselves, we can totally relate to the many anecdotes offered in this story about pets conveying their sixth sense in a number of ways, from hiding under tables to whining. Also, there’s Mickey, a blind, 15-year-old mixed breed terrier who comforts children when they are sick. “He warms them up, he’s a little heating pad. He’s always done that,” said his owner. Awww!

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