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Animal Behavior

October 26, 2006 | Karen Kaplan, Times Staff Writer
Scientists have decoded the DNA of the Western honeybee, a feat that researchers say could help illuminate the genetic underpinnings of social behavior. An international team of nearly 200 scientists reported today that they had identified 10,157 genes. That's fewer than those in the genomes of the fruit fly, mosquito or silkworm, but sufficient to produce the only non-primate species that communicates through a symbolic language.
October 10, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
A bear shown stumbling on a national television news segment and described as drunk was actually sick and has been euthanized. A necropsy on the bear found no trace of alcohol, the Denver Post reported. "People want to associate wild animals with human behavior," said Colorado Division of Wildlife veterinarian Laurie Baeten, who was with the young bear when it was euthanized. "And so they said she was drunk. It made a good clip.
September 29, 2006 | PETE THOMAS
Today, Monterey Bay Aquarium; tomorrow, the world. Or, at least, the White Shark Cafe. To be sure, the young great white that is luring visitors by the thousands to this waterfront city's popular tourist attraction has a far more exciting future in store, if he can survive into adulthood. After outgrowing the Outer Bay exhibit in a few months, he'll swim to Southern California and spend a year or more preying upon rays, halibut and other fish.
September 22, 2006 | Lynn Smith, Times Staff Writer
Is Shakespeare -- dead? Shakespeare, a loyal member of the "Meerkat Manor" clan, became a favorite of viewers in Season 1 after he survived a snake bite, rescued a stray pup and defended newborns from a rival gang before disappearing. It is the disappearance that has caused a brewing controversy on the Internet. Season 2 of Animal Planet's "Meerkat Manor" series won't start until Sept. 29, but anguished fans want answers now. Did he die in the burrow protecting the pups?
September 20, 2006 | Pete Thomas, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles-area whale watchers might want to mark the following dates on their 2007 calendars: January 15 and 18, then March 13 and 20. Those dates were when sightings of southbound and northbound gray whales peaked during the 2005-06 migration period, according to the L.A. Chapter of the American Cetacean Society. Also noted this week in the ACS/L.A.'
August 31, 2006 | Roy Rivenburg, Times Staff Writer
Just when you thought it was safe to sit in a Jacuzzi, fetch the morning newspaper or simply carry a purse, along comes a new breed of animal outlaw. Coyotes have long been notorious for chomping on small pets and children, but in recent years they've detoured into more esoteric realms, such as foot fetishes, purse snatchings and nouvelle cuisine. Saturday night, as 27-year-old Kyle Stone soaked in a hot tub at Irvine's Quail Meadows apartment complex, he felt a stinging pain on his head.
August 26, 2006 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
The noise came from the trees: crack, crack, crack. As the researchers and their village guides crept closer, they saw something that was not supposed to be happening in the Ebo forest in the central African nation of Cameroon: chimpanzees using rocks as hammers to break open tough-shelled nuts. Previous research had found that kind of tool use only in chimps 1,000 miles away, across the wide N'Zo-Sassandra River in Ivory Coast.
August 12, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Sooty shearwaters may not look like much, but when it comes to miles logged, the gray birds put marathoners, cyclists and pretty much everyone else to shame. Shearwaters cover 40,000 miles annually in search of food, the longest migration recorded electronically, according to a report in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers, led by Scott A.
July 15, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Meerkats actively teach their young how to catch and eat their prey, British researchers reported Friday in the journal Science. Animals are known to learn from one another by watching, but the team at the University of Cambridge said they had demonstrated for the first time that the meerkats actually teach. Older meerkats, for instance, will bite the stinger off a live scorpion and give the prey to a youngster to kill and eat.
July 2, 2006 | Elizabeth Mehren, Times Staff Writer
Atop a great white pine, Big is venturing out on limbs now, spreading his or her wings in preparation for flight. Little, four days younger, also is branching out and should take to the sky soon. The two bald eagles and their parents are the surprise superstars of a round-the-clock Internet reality show featuring love and adventure, flight and feeding -- and fatal sibling rivalry.
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