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Today’s news: chimpanzees shouldn’t be entertainers, we can feed the world, and piranhas bark

October 17, 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. The world can feed itself without ruining the planet. Global population estimates have some analysts worried that the planet won’t be able to feed all of the new people that are going to be here on Earth soon. A new study shows that there are five steps we can take to make sure everyone will be fed. If we stop farming in tropical rainforests, improve crop yields in Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, change farming practices to better manage water and chemicals, eat less meat, and stop wasting food. Hmm well that seems a lot easier said than done. (Christian Science Monitor)

Leave me in the jungle!

2. Chimps shouldn’t be entertainers. Sure it’s adorable when a chimp gives a dog a bath, but could having chimps on TV too much be bad for them? A new study shows that when we see chimps used for entertainment purposes  we stop caring about them as a species. People who saw chimps on TV were more likely to think they’re suitable as pets and less likely to donate to conservation groups. (Smithsonian Magazine)

3. Piranhas’ bark as bad as they bite. Piranhas bark to scare off other piranhas. Which sounds weird. Red-bellied piranhas bark when humans pick them up as well. Which makes them seem even scarier. (Livescience)

4. Mysterious disease kills seals in Alaska. Ever since July, a virus has been wiping out seals along the Alaska coast. Villagers said the ringed seals are washing up on shore by the hundreds. Identifying the disease has been a challenge for scientists. (MSNBC)

5. 10-year-old may understand dogs best. Our ability to understand dog barking may cap out at 10-years-old. Some researchers think this might prove that there is an “universal animal language.” Why we lose this ability as we grow older is so far, unknown. (Discovery News)

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