To start off with, three animal stories from Friday's (22/10/10) Daily Telegraph.
Penguins are not homosexual, just lonely, scientists have suggested. The birds are just 'same sex flirting' until they find a mate, according to a study.
The homosexual behaviour of male king penguins has been noted in zoos. In a new study, scientists found similar behaviour by male pairs in the wild. more than a quarter of one colony in Antarctica were in same sex partnerships, mostly males.
In the past, it was believed that penguins could not discern between the sexes because they looked alike. - Loise Gray. (READ MORE.)
A favourite childhood past-time of mine? Feeding stale bread to the ducks at our local pond.
The hungry ducks did not appear to mind as they flapped and quacked around Lisa Taplin and her two children as they fed them in the park.
But the bread Mrs Taplin was throwing to them did not meet the approval of a council warden.
The park ranger advised Mrs Taplin that white bread was 'unhealthy' and that she should give the ducks granary or wholemeal bread in future.*- Richard Savill. (READ FULL STORY)
It would seem that we are not the only ones to become forgetful as we get older.
Old bees have trouble finding their way to new hives as their memories fade and their learning behaviour becomes inflexible with age, scientists have found.
While bees are typically impressive navigators, able to wend their way home through complex landscapes after visits to flowers far removed from their nests, the study reveals that ageing impairs the bees' ability to extinguish the memory of an unsuitable nest site even after the colony has settled in a new home.
And from Saturday's (23/10/10) newspapers:-
We all know that cats have nine lives, it would seem that Belle, the border collie has at least two.
Firemen are adept at rescuing cats from trees but they recently had to use their skills to save a dog.
Belle, an eight-year-old border collie, got stuck 30ft up a horse chestnut tree while walking.
She had run up a low branch. The limb she was stuck on was less than eight inches wide. She spent six hours up there. - Daily Telegraph.
How does a marriage without any in-laws appeal?
A Taiwanese woman has decided to marry ...... herself due to a lack of potential suitors.
Chen Wei-yih has posed for a set of photos in a flowing white dress, enlisted a wedding planner and rented a banquet hall hall for a celebration with 30 friends. The 30-year-old will hold the reception next month, then take a solo honeymoon to Austria. - Daily Telegraph.
An important question for any perspective grooms - do you have many sisters?
Men who grow up with lots of sistersare less sexy, a study suggests.
Researchers found the ratio of male and females in a family can influence the sexual behaviour, but not sexuality, of a boy who is outnumbered. - Daily Telegraph.
Coming almost full circle, my penultimate (how I love that word) article is also about a bird.
(Sadly it's not uncommon to hear about divorcing couples fighting for custody of their children but ......) A man is battling a council for custody of a .... parrot that can sing.
Angelo Ferlazzo, 50, left Coco with his ex-wife when they split (shouldn't that be 'flew the nest'?) and went back home to Italy - but she gave it away.
He returned and was stunned to find the African gray at a petting zoo.
But the council refuse to hand him over as they say Angelo can't prove it's his and it would distress the bird to move after nine years in Pet's Corner. - the Sun.
Following in the footsteps of Prince Charles, I have also been known to talk to Yak, Mickey and Spike. Yak, Mickey, Spike? Just a few of my plants to whom I talk, mainly encouraging them to grow/not to die BUT alas it seems as if it all may have been a waste of time as .......
Talking to plants in a Scouse accent (I have a Geordie accent) makes them grow quicker than any other regional dialect, a study has found.
Researchers across the UK spoke to their plants every day for four weeks to find out which accent had the biggest impact.
A lily grew 10.2 inches when addressed by a Scouser, 6.7 inches by a Cockney, 5.5 inches by a geordie, 3.5 inches in Wales, 2 inches in Birmingham - but died after just a week when exposed to Irish tones. - the Sun
Hmm, I'm not exactly green-fingered but I'm sure there must be another explanation for this.
* The Royal Society For The Protection Of Birds (RSPB) says there is no harm in giving birds bread IF you break it up into small pieces and it is preferably granary or wholemeal BUT it is better to give them cake crumbs, crushed biscuits or even grated cheese THOUGH the best thing of all is wild seed mixes obtainable from pet stores.