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Today’s News: we’re killing Tasmanian devils, New Zealand’s most famous penguin, and more

June 29, 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. Anger a crow and it will remember for 5 years. Crows are able to hold grudges better than your ex-bff from 6th grade. Researchers are only now discovering how well crows remember “dangerous humans.” Piss one off and it might hold it against you for the rest of your life. It can also warn other crows in its crew about your bad behavior. And you don’t want to get on the bad side of a bunch of birds. (Discovery News)

2. Famous lost penguin perking up. The most famous penguin in New Zealand, who was the first emperor penguin found on the island in 44 years, is recovering from surgery. He’s now dining on fish and is reportedly feeling much better after endoscopic surgery to remove wood and sand the penguin ate by mistake thinking it was snow. The penguin, dubbed Happy Feet, is recovering in the Wellington Zoo but it could take months before it’s determined if he’ll be able to be released back into the wild. (MSNBC)

Tasmanian devil

Devilishly adorable.

3. Tasmanian devil epidemic linked to human interference. Humans just can’t seem to do anything right can they? A recent cancer epidemic that is wiping out large numbers of Tasmanian devils is being blamed on low genetic diversity which is a result of human disturbance. A larger portion of devils were wiped out by dingoes which were introduced by humans. While that totally sucks, we never thought we’d get the opportunity to write “devils were wiped out by dingoes.” (Yale 360)

4. Songbirds use grammar in tweets. No not Twitter tweets – although it would be awesome if birds could use Twitter. A new study suggests that birds aren’t just randomly singing all day, they use specific grammar rules. Scientists recorded finch songs and played them correctly and jumbled back to birds. The birds didn’t respond to the jumbled up songs, suggesting that the tweets need to be in some sort of order for birds to understand. (Discovery News)

5. Dog guards baby abandoned by drunk mother. It’s little consolation but at least this story doesn’t come from America. Also, baby and pup are both okay. The 22-year-old mother from Moscow went for a walk with her 3-month-old and dog, went drinking and forgot about her baby. The dog stayed by the baby’s side all night watching over it. When they found the baby the next day it was cold, wet and crying but thankfully not seriously injured or worse. Maybe not all dogs go to heaven, but we’re betting this one does. (MSNBC)

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