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Today’s news: bear attacks, genius rats and vampire bats

August 8, 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. Vampire bats locate blood by finding the heat. After a terrifying encounter with a bat this weekend, we know Bianca won’t be happy to read about this. Vampire bats have “heat sensing organs” on their faces that help them find blood. Bats are only one of three vertebrates who use infrared to detect their prey. Sleep well B. (Discovery News)

2. Two young campers attacked by bear in NJ. An 11 and 12-year-old boy were attacked by a young bear in their tent in a New Jersey state forest. The two boys were not seriously injured. Troopers assume the bear smelled food and wandered into the tent. Bears and humans have had increasingly dangerous interactions since we have to share their land more and more often. (MSNBC)

Way smarter than he looks.

3. Spiky rat uses plant poison to turn its hair deadly. An East African rat is the first known animal to use plant toxins to make itself poisonous. The rat, which has quills similar to a porcupine, rubs the toxin from the plant onto the ends of it’s quills. African hunters have been known to use the same plant on their tips of their arrows when hunting. Pretty smart for a rat. (National Geographic)

4. Polar bear kills camper and mauls 4. Sorry to bring you two bear attack stories, especially one with an unhappy ending like this one. A 17-year-old British camper was killed in Norway and 4 others were seriously injured during the attack. (MSNBC)

5. Organized crime is wiping out wildlife. Criminals working in the illegal trade have become more sophisticated and could be driving many species to extinction. Tigers, rhinos, antelopes, and many other animals are in serious danger due to the illegal trade of animal body parts. (Discovery News)

6. Mariachi band serenades beluga whale. We brought you some downer stories today so we’re giving you an extra bonus story that’s so cute it will warm you heart. In case you haven’t seen it yet, check out a Mariachi band at an aquarium in Connecticut serenade a beluga whale.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2011 12:38 am

    Who knew rats were so smart? I wonder if you can buy that stuff in a hair gel?

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