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Animal Behavior

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?
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.
June 24, 2006 | Roy Rivenburg, Times Staff Writer
Four pelicans were being detained in an animal drunk tank Friday on suspicion of public intoxication, authorities said. One of the birds was in guarded condition after allegedly flying under the influence Thursday and crashing through the windshield of a car on Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. The driver was rattled but uninjured. The other California brown pelicans were nabbed in backyards or wandering local streets in a daze.
June 17, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea may be turning to cannibalism because longer ice-free seasons are making it more difficult to hunt the ringed seals that are its principal food source. A study published in the online version of the journal Polar Biology reviewed three examples of predation from January to April 2004 by polar bears, including the first-ever reported killing of a female in a den shortly after giving birth. Polar bears do kill each other for dominance and breeding rights.
June 6, 2006 | Roy Rivenburg, Times Staff Writer
They're baaaack. In a sequel to last summer's aquatic uprising, a rowdy gang of sea lions has floated into Newport Harbor for "Attack of the Blubbered Beasts, Part 2." This time, however, city officials hope to fight back with an offbeat weapon: an automated water gun that resembles "a demented toucan." Invented by a former radio announcer from Canada, the gadget has been used elsewhere to successfully ward off kangaroos, bears, vultures and moose. But sea lions don't give up easily.
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