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Today’s news: Sharks have friends, penguins make a comeback, and a brave dog

February 24, 2012

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. Pollution from Tar Sands sites comparable to mid-sized city. Complaining about tar sands is all the rage right now – and for good reason. A new study out of Canada shows that the amount of pollution produced by tar sands is comparable to a medium-sized city or power plant. Increased levels of nitrogen and sulfur dioxide were observed in 19 – 31 mile areas around tar sands. (Yale 360)

2. The Earth might have a “pulse” that causes extinction. The Earth may have a boom and bust cycle that causes mass extinctions every 60 million years. The extinctions in the oceans might seem random, but it seems that rising continents make oceans to shallow to live in. There’s a lot of other really sciency stuff we don’t understand, but we’re glad this has been figured out? (io9)

Not lonely anymore.

3. Near-extinct penguin rookery recovers with great success. 3 million king penguins in New Zealand was nearly wiped out. Now, 5,000 birds have grown to 500,000 in one of the first international wildlife campaigns. Even better? The genetic diversity is at pre-slaughter levels. (Yale 360)

4. Even sharks make friends. We often picture sharks swimming along hunting prey all by themselves. But even these seemingly solitary creatures can have BFFs. A new study shows how blacktip sharks have complex communities consisting of long-term social bonds. (Discovery News)

5. Pet dog chases mountain lion up a tree. Would your dog chase down a mountain lion? One dog in California did. A pet dog chased a mountain lion up a tree. For some reason, mountain lions seem to be afraid of pet dogs, even though they usually chow down on animals way larger and scarier. (MSNBC)

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