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Animal Behavior

November 8, 2005 | Scott Doggett
WILDLIFE officials are reminding Californians not to feed deer in the wake of three recent buck attacks, including a fatal assault on a San Diego man. According to Ryan Broddrick, director of the California Department of Fish and Game, this is the time of year bucks exhibit breeding behavior and become more aggressive. In San Diego County, a 73-year-old Rancho Santa Fe man died several weeks after he was gored in the mouth by a buck he surprised while working in his backyard.
October 1, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Two female gorillas have been photographed using sticks as tools to get through swampy areas, the first time the apes have been seen doing so in the wild, researchers reported this week in the online journal Public Library of Science Biology. The findings can help shed light on how humans came to use tools, and also broaden the understanding of how animals use them, the researchers said.
September 24, 2005 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
A species of Amazonian ant has adopted a unique method of providing Lebensraum for its expanding colonies: It kills off all other species of vegetation in an area of forest to give its host trees the "living space" to expand. The ant's housing tracts, called "devil's gardens" by the region's human inhabitants, are curiosities amid the normal diversity of trees, vines, shrubs and wildflowers in the jungle. Biologist Deborah M.
August 13, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Satellite tracking has shown a polar bear swimming at least 46 miles in just one day, the first conclusive proof that the bears can cover such distances in the water. The collared bear entered the water from the east side of the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen early July 20, swam northeast and reemerged on Edgeoya island July 21, the Norwegian Polar Institute reported Friday.
August 9, 2005 | Lomi Kriel, Times Staff Writer
A 195-pound sea lion was recovering Monday after swimming nearly five miles up the San Diego Creek channel, reaching the unlikely destination of the Irvine Civic Center before calling it a day. The mammal, a 3- or 4-year-old female dubbed Irvine, was expected to be released back into the ocean Wednesday after resting at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.
July 5, 2005 | Hugo Martin
University of California scientists have wired a forest in the San Jacinto Mountains with high-tech gadgets for a close-up study of nature. About two dozen remotely operated cameras -- including one slung from cables and operable via Internet connection -- zoom in on feeding sparrows, nesting bluebirds, grazing deer and other wildlife at the James Reserve near Idyllwild. The equipment enables scientists to study previously unobserved phenomena, such as animal behavior during weather changes.
June 22, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
A 12-year-old girl who was abducted and beaten by seven men trying to force her into a marriage was found being guarded by three lions who apparently chased off her captors, a policeman said. She was beaten repeatedly before she was found June 9 by police and relatives on the outskirts of Bita Genet, about 350 miles southwest of Addis Ababa, the capital. She had been guarded by the lions for about half a day, Sgt. Wondimu Wedajo said.
May 14, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
British researchers have shown that honeybees are able to read the directional signals conveyed by foragers in the famous figure-eight "waggle dance." Zoologist Karl von Frisch won the 1973 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for showing that the dance contained directions to food sources. Researchers at Rothamsted Research in Britain exposed bees to a forager's dance, then moved them to a different location before releasing them.
April 23, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Mice forced to breathe hydrogen sulfide -- best known for its rotten egg smell -- go into a kind of suspended animation, U.S. researchers said Thursday. The finding may help save human lives. Although hydrogen sulfide gas is toxic in high doses, it may activate some of the mechanisms that cause some animals to go into hibernation, the researchers wrote in this week's issue of the journal Science.
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