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Today’s news: A snake on a train, ugly animals, and an iPad-using dolphin

February 7, 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. Snake on a train. Penelope the snake slithered away from her owner on a Boston subway train a month ago — and she was only rediscovered last week. Her owner said she’s not surprised her precious baby survived for so long. “I don’t know if they have mice or rats but she is completely capable of eating them.” (

At least he's got a great personality.

2. Monogamous animals have ugly mates. Much to their dismay, many monogamous female animals end up with unattractive males of below-average quality because — just like with humans — all the good ones are taken. Or as one scientist put it,  “Lots of men would like to be married to, say, Angelina Jolie, and lots of women would love to be married to Brad Pitt. But the reality is that they can’t and only someone like Brad Pitt is able to marry someone like Angelina Jolie.” (Discovery News)

3. Whole Foods introduces animal cruelty meat rating system. If you buy your meat from Whole Foods, you’ll know exactly where it’s coming from. The grocery store’s new color-coded meat ratings inform shoppers if a cow was raised on the same farm its entire life, if a chicken lived in an enriched environment, and more (Tiny Green Bubble)

4.  A dolphin uses the iPad to communicate with his trainer. OK so this story is relatively old, however, we weren’t around when it first broke so we’re going to feature it now.  Merlin the dolphin is learning how to use the iPad. For now, all he can do is recognize basic objects — like a ball or food — but his trainers are optimistic that in the future they’ll be able to use the iPad to “talk” to Merlin. (Good eReader)

5. Chicken vanishes — and reappears — in NYC. A chicken named Gertrude went missing from a couple’s New York coop in July, and one of her owners recently recounted the emotional story. Warning: You may want to adopt some chickens after reading this. (NY Times)

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