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Animal Breeding

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2004 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
Hua Mei, the giant panda born five years ago at the San Diego Zoo and one of its most popular animals ever, has given birth to twins in her ancestral China. Both mother and cubs were reportedly in good shape at the Wolong Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center in Sichuan province in the hours after the birth. The cubs, roughly the size of sticks of butter, weigh about 4 ounces each. One is male; the gender of the other hasn't been determined.
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WORLD
August 3, 2004 | Kim Murphy, Times Staff Writer
The gray whales that glide down the California coast each year on their annual migrations are remarkable in their abundance: Nearly extinct a century ago, they now number about 17,500. Not so their almost identical twins on this side of the Pacific. About 100 gray whales remain in the group that idles its summers away in the Sea of Okhotsk near this remote Russian island.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 2004 | Jean-Paul Renaud, Times Staff Writer
Emma Regina Harter, an animal breeder convicted of keeping more than 230 Chihuahuas in squalid conditions at her Acton home, was sentenced Thursday to five years' probation and barred from owning any animals during that time. Harter, 73, was also ordered to receive psychological treatment. Harter seemed unmoved by the sentence, a far cry from her reaction during her trial four months ago.
SPORTS
June 5, 2004 | Robyn Norwood
Until Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby, his pedigree was considered modest by many. Now experts are dusting off ancestors deep in the lineage of the undersized Pennsylvania-bred colt to justify why he is a Triple Crown contender who can break the record for winnings by topping the $10-million mark with a victory in today's Belmont Stakes. He is a great-grandson of Foolish Pleasure, the 1975 Kentucky Derby winner, and a great-great-grandson of Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner.
NATIONAL
May 3, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Officials do not think there will be a pregnant panda this year at the National Zoo. "It looks as though Tian Tian and Mei Xiang did not breed this year," said assistant curator Lisa Stevens. According to zoo officials, the pair had tried to mate several times since Friday. By late Sunday, zoo officials believed Mei Xiang was no longer in heat. Pandas come into heat only once a year, and the female is receptive to her male companion's advances for only two or three days.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 2004 | From a Times Staff Writer
Three California condor chicks have hatched in Ventura County's backcountry in the past month, officials announced Monday. The first hatched April 9 in Los Padres National Forest north of Fillmore, the second on April 11 and the third on Thursday, all in the same general area, said Denise Stockton, spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The three chicks came from separate parents.
SCIENCE
April 17, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
In the search for sex, young female bowerbirds prefer blue, while their older sisters go for flamboyant strutting and loud squawks, scientists reported Wednesday. This indicates male bowerbirds have to know how to decorate with blue in addition to doing the courtship dance, so they have a chance to mate as much as possible, the researchers wrote in the journal Nature. "We show experimentally that females in a population may choose males for different reasons.
WORLD
February 15, 2004 | Jeffrey Fleishman
Helmut Raiser wants the German shepherd to be plebeian and muscular, not a lithe, curvy creature preening and prancing for blue ribbons at dog shows. This aesthetic desire sparked a dog war when Raiser -- the beleaguered breed warden for the national German Shepherd Assn. -- criticized some kennels for turning out generations of shepherds that looked less like working dogs and more like weak-backed wimps with no calluses on their paws and no grit to their personalities.
SPORTS
October 24, 2003 | Bill Christine, Times Staff Writer
To run or to breed, that has been the question for many of the thoroughbred owners who had horses eligible for the Breeders' Cup, U.S. racing's richest day, on Saturday at Santa Anita. Millions of dollars' worth of horseflesh will be competing for millions of dollars in purse money at the Arcadia track, but an overriding theme for this year's races concerns the horses that aren't showing up.
SCIENCE
October 18, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Despite the views of some societies, female promiscuity is not all bad and helps to create healthier offspring -- at least in birds, scientists said. Like humans, birds are monogamous creatures that usually choose and stay with one mate to raise their young. But scientists at the Max Planck Research Center for Ornithology in Starnberg, Germany, said some female birds prefer more than one mate, to improve their chances of producing fitter young.
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