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News of the Weird
 

Mad Dogs, Horseplay, Monkey Business, Having a Cow


March 25th, 2010

Pigs Livin' Large: Among the items that celebrity farmer Cathy Gieseker bought with proceeds from the $12 million Ponzi scheme she, in February, was sentenced for perpetrating (prosecutors called her ...

Pigs Livin' Large: Among the items that celebrity farmer Cathy Gieseker bought with proceeds from the $12 million Ponzi scheme she, in February, was sentenced for perpetrating (prosecutors called her the "Midwest Madoff") was a $900 tanning bed for her "show" pigs.

Farmer Chang Chung-tou, of Yunlin County, Taiwan, drew praise from environmentalists in December for having "toilet"-trained almost all of his 20,000 pigs to use his 600 specially rigged plots that collect and separate urine and feces. Chang's farm conserves water and facilitates recycling.

Animals With Issues: Ashley Saks' 2-year-old basset hound Roxy was resting comfortably in Jacksonville, Fla., in November following a vet's removal, one by one, of the 130 nails she had compulsively swallowed.

The polar bear Aisaqvaq produced two cubs in December at Quebec's Zoo Sauvage de Saint-Felicien. Aisaqvaq had given birth to another the previous December, but had eaten it.
In November, maritime rescuers were called to ocean waters off the coast of Darwin, Australia, to rescue an adult cow that was dog-paddling around and, according to a seaman, "not in a good mood."

Natural Selection: Female cane toads are choosy at mating, according to a recent article in Biology Letters. A desirable male is permitted to hop onto the female's back and start the process, but the female is also able to inflate sacs in her body to bloat herself so large that males slide off before completing insemination. (Also, to test the strength of the male's grip, the researchers encouraged necrophilia: The scientists doused dead female toads with pheromones to measure males' horniness.)

Female short-nosed fruit bats in China's Guangdong Province show their preference for certain males by fellating them, according to an October journal article. Researchers observed that licked males were able to copulate longer, thus improving the likelihood of insemination. (The scientists also confirmed that bats mate while upside down.)
 
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