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Rare Beaked Whale Washes Up in Australia

SYDNEY - A rare beaked whale washed up in Australia Tuesday, exciting researchers who know little about an animal that spends much of its time diving at depth far from shore. Baird's Beaked Whale. Credit: Fred Hochstaedter/Flickr The three-to-four metre (10-13 feet) long whale was found dead at Redhead Beach, some 150 kilometres (93 miles) north of Sydney, with experts examining it and taking specimens before sending its head to the Australian Museum in Sydney. "It is sad but also exciting as we can learn so much more about the animal," Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia president Ronny Ling told AFP. "We don't know much about them, we rarely get to see...

Does your dog ever behave in what appears to be a jealous manner when you interact with a friend's canine companion? How about his behaviors around toys or food? Does your dog suddenly become more interested in his playthings or meals in the presence of another pooch? Credit: Getty Creative I have certainly seen my own dog, Cardiff, exhibit such above behaviors. When another dog comes over to our home, he becomes more interested in interacting with me in a manner that limits the guest pooch's access to my attention. Cardiff also strives to prevent that dog's access to his toys and may growl or posture in an intimidating manner toward our canine guest. I've actually welcomed the presence of...

PARIS - Chimpanzees can be lethally violent to each other but this stems from an inherent streak and not, as some have suggested, from human interference, a study said on Wednesday. Credit: Getty Creative Zoologists, led by the famed Jane Goodall, have speculated for years on the causes of "chimpanzee wars" among Man's genetically-closest relatives. One theory is that the apes are made more aggressive as a result of human influence: loss of habitat or food creates ever-greater competition for resources. But new research, published in the journal Nature, said coordinated violence by Pan troglodytes is an evolutionary strategy. Chimps kill to wipe out rivals, thus gaining territory,...

PARIS - There is the riddle of the Bermuda Triangle. The unresolved identity of Jack the Ripper. The enigma of how the Universe developed beyond a quark-gluon soup following the Big Bang. And then there is the Sheepdog Mystery. Credit: Getty Creative A puzzle that has niggled mathematical minds for years, the Mystery is this: how does a single dog get so many selfish sheep to move so efficiently in the same direction? The answer, revealed on Tuesday in a journal published by Britain's prestigious Royal Society, is that sheepdogs cleverly follow a simple rulebook. Researchers fitted highly accurate GPS tracking devices into backpacks that were then placed on a trained Australian Kelpie...

Spritzing dogs with a "pig perfume" helps prevent them from barking incessantly, jumping frantically on house guests and from engaging in other unwanted behaviors, according to new research. Credit: Thinkstock The eau de oink, aka "Boar Mate" or "Stop That," was formulated by Texas Tech scientist John McGlone, who was looking for a way to curb his Cairn terrier Toto's non-stop barking. One spritz of the pig perfume seemed to do the trick in an instant without harming his dog. RELATED: 10 Best Sniffers in the Animal Kingdom "It was completely serendipitous," McGlone, who works in the university's Animal and Food Sciences department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, said...

Science Exonerates Theft-Accused Magpies

PARIS - Magpies, black-and-white birds which for generations have been known as jewelry thieves, are in fact wary of shiny objects, a myth-busting study has claimed. Credit: Getty Creative In a series of experiments, British animal behaviorists found that, far from being kleptomaniacs, the birds were in fact fearful of unknown objects. The team had arranged a selection of objects, shiny and dull, at different sites on the University of Exeter campus and observed the reaction of wild and captive magpies. Items included metal screws and foil rings -- half of them painted blue with matt paint and the rest left shiny -- and a piece of aluminum foil, with piles of nuts in between. "Magpies...