Maths Formula Proves Giraffes Can Swim

Mathematics has proven that giraffes can swim – even though they wouldn’t be very good at it and nobody has ever seen them do it. Whereas most large animal are extremely good swimmers, it has often been said that giraffes are unable to swim or wade.The authors of the new study hoped to test this oft-quoted theory by using a digital giraffe rather than a real one.

Dr Donald Henderson, of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Canada, and Dr Darren Naish, of the University of Portsmouth, decided to investigate whether or not giraffes could swim after Dr Naish took part in an online debate on the subject.In previous work, Dr Henderson had created a digital model of a giraffe, and had also tested the buoyancy of various computer generated models of animals.The new study, published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, examines what happened when scientists placed a ‘digital giraffe’ in ‘digital water’.

Dr Naish said: “Many previous studies have claimed that giraffes cannot swim and that they avoid water like the plague, even in an emergency, but we wanted to put the theory to the test in proper controlled experiments.”Creating a digital giraffe involved numerous calculations on weight, mass, size, shape, lung capacity and centre of gravity.Calculations were made to discover rotation dynamics, flotation dynamics and the external surface area of both a giraffe and – for control purposes – a horse.
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Good Dogs Live Longer, Study Finds

Personality might play a big role in how long dogs live. Live fast die young might also apply to dogs, a study in the June issue of The American Naturalist suggests.Vincent Careau, of the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, and his colleagues came to that conclusion by comparing numerous dog breeds based on their personalities. For example, poodles are ranked as 29 percent more docile than boxers, and Careau’s team found that poodles are four times more likely than boxers to live past age 10.

Beyond simply looking at aggressiveness, the researchers also found that the most obedient breeds, such as German Shepherds, Poodles, and Bichon Frises, live considerably longer than hard-to-train dogs such as Beagles and Pomeranians. Careau used personality data based on a 1995 psychology study that ranked dog personalities and also compared dogs of similar size.
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'Babe' Piglet Lowrie Spared The Chop And Becomes A Facebook Hit

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A piglet called Lowrie has become a real life “Babe” and a Facebook hit after being spared the chop and adopted as a family pet in the Shetland Isles .The two week old piglet was the runt of his litter and had to be hand-reared indoors by his owner Heather Davidson, from Wester Quarff .

Lowrie has charmed his way away from the butchers as Mrs Davidson admitted she “could never eat him now”The diminutive piglet left his brothers and sisters in the pigsty and now enjoys the luxuries of Mrs Davidson’s sitting room in her croft.

The animal has now become an internet hit, garnering almost 3,000 fans on Facebook, the social networking site.
Mrs Davidson said she originally set up the Facebook fanpage for the piglet “for a laugh” so her friends could see him.
But as word of the piglet spread people signed up to the group from all over the world including Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
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'Angel' Who Took On A Mountain Lion And Saved His 11-Year-Old Owner

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A British Columbia family’s golden retriever is being hailed as a hero after he saved an 11-year-old boy’s life when a cougar attacked him Saturday night, reports CTV News in Canada.

The dog – named Angel – intervened when the cougar charged at the boy as he went outside to get some firewood.Police later shot the cougar dead, and credited the dog with saving the boy’s life.According to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesperson, the boy had gone outside to get some firewood at his family’s home in Boston Bar, about 160 miles northeast of Vancouver.Suddenly a cougar began to charge across the yard at the boy. That’s when Angel stepped in and engaged the cougar, which was much larger than the dog, allowing the boy to get away.

Family members called the police, and an RCMP officer was on the scene within a minute.The cougar dragged the dog under the home’s back porch, and the dog could be heard crying out in pain as the cougar chewed on its neck.The officer fired two rounds into the cougar’s rear end, but the cougar continued its attack.The officer then moved in closer and shot the cougar again, killing it.The dog survived with only minor injuries. The boy was not hurt.

(source)

'Angel' Who Took On A Mountain Lion And Saved His 11-Year-Old Owner

article-0-07C116E1000005DC-713_634x588

A British Columbia family’s golden retriever is being hailed as a hero after he saved an 11-year-old boy’s life when a cougar attacked him Saturday night, reports CTV News in Canada.

The dog – named Angel – intervened when the cougar charged at the boy as he went outside to get some firewood.Police later shot the cougar dead, and credited the dog with saving the boy’s life.According to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesperson, the boy had gone outside to get some firewood at his family’s home in Boston Bar, about 160 miles northeast of Vancouver.Suddenly a cougar began to charge across the yard at the boy. That’s when Angel stepped in and engaged the cougar, which was much larger than the dog, allowing the boy to get away.

Family members called the police, and an RCMP officer was on the scene within a minute.The cougar dragged the dog under the home’s back porch, and the dog could be heard crying out in pain as the cougar chewed on its neck.The officer fired two rounds into the cougar’s rear end, but the cougar continued its attack.The officer then moved in closer and shot the cougar again, killing it.The dog survived with only minor injuries. The boy was not hurt.

(source)

Two Legged Dog Faith Learns To Walk

A dog born with two legs has learned how to walk and is bringing hope to disabled soldiers in America. The 7-year-old labrador-chow mix was born without front legs.

The puppy and her siblings, also deformed, were rejected by their mother. But Reuben Stringfellow, then 17, came across the tiny animal and brought it home. He and his mother Jude, an English professor, had to carry the puppy, which they named Faith, for the first few months of her life. But eventually, with patience, and lots of peanut butter as a lure, Faith learned to walk on her two hind legs.Seven years after her birth, the little yellow dog zips around crowded shops, bustling along with confidence.Since her first steps in March, 2003, Faith has been a regular guest on US talk shows. She has also become a symbol of hope for injured soldiers.


Ms Stringfellow, who has become a motivational speaker and runs a website devoted to her tiny dog, gets more than 200 letters and emails a day.

Fans of the little dog say she provides inspiration.”Faith has shown me that different is beautiful, that it is not the body you are in but the soul that you have,” Jill Salomon of Montreal, Canada, wrote on the website.
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