Animal tidbits in the news

Okay, so they weren't in the news (but they should be), but no blog update would be complete without a picture of some critters. Susie and Hazel are two pigs who love their straw beds. Susie is on the left and, at 8, is the older of the two. Hazel is on the right. You cannot tell from this photo, but this straw pile was actually quite tall. Hazel is small for a "production pig" and had to fling herself dramatically into the straw bed for a comfy spot. It was quite the amusing display of porcine acrobatics.

In other news...

Researchers at the University of Exeter have discovered that harassment from male guppies has a negative effect on the behavior and social structure of female guppies. Yet another mark against the notion that fish do not formulate social bonds or have emotions.

Lyle, the potbellied pig, joins a dog training class and learns some new tricks!

20-yr-old cow takes over mothering duties for abandoned lamb. These stories are always so heartening, but the sad truth is that all of the lamb's sisters and brothers have been sold...most likely not as companions. Though it is wonderful that the cow has remained a permanent member of the farm, allowed to live out her days in peace.

Female crickets choose mates based on their memories of male songs. The study showed that female crickets used social learning, a behavior few thought insects could perform.