Photographer Teaches 1,500 Puppies How To Swim

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New York Times best-selling author Seth Casteel is back with a second photography book full of our doggy paddling pals, but this time the stars are miniature.  Underwater Puppies, a successor to his 2012 book Underwater Dogs, is the product of swimming lessons Casteel says he gave to more than 1,500 pups. Although dogs are instinctive swimmers, he writes on his website that since swimming pools are not natural bodies of water, it’s important that the dogs are taught taught how to get safely out of pools.  Many of the little ones had never swum before, and the pictures showing their excitement are making a serious splash.

World’s Rarest Bat Found in Miami

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If you were one of the world’s rarest and most endangered bats, where would you choose to live? Perhaps in a remote forest or woodland?  Nah, if you’re a Florida bonneted bat, you’re going to Miami. And just like thousands of snowbirds that flock to the city on Biscayne Bay, you like to hang out at the golf course.  Only an estimated 500 of the bonneted bats are left—no one knows for sure how many—and they are scattered around six South Florida counties. The small and high-flying bats have long eluded biologists’ attempts to capture them or even discover where they roost.

12 Selfie Tips You Can Learn From Animals

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Taking a perfect selfie is difficult.  Between the angle, filters, lighting and endless facial expressions you can make, it can be tough to hone each variable for the ideal photograph. Before throwing your phone in frustration, take a tip from the animal kingdom. You don’t need opposable thumbs to take a selfie, and these creatures are here to prove it.

Largest Predatory Dinosaur Was ‘Half-duck, Half-crocodile’

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The largest predatory dinosaur to walk this earth wasn’t the T. rex. It was Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, a 50-foot long creature with powerful jaws and a solid, spiny sail on its back that dwelled in Northern Africa 95 million years ago. But even though paleontologists have known about this particular dinosaur for almost a century, its true form has only just been revealed.

What Birds Can Teach Us About Aging Gracefully

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Most animals don’t live long enough to experience the debilitating effects of old age. But some critters survive for decades, and one in particular, the thick-billed murre, manages to grow old without losing its physical prowess, scientists have found.  The research could shed new light on the aging process in other wildlife—and perhaps in primates such as humans.  The murre inhabits the far northern reaches of the globe and spends as much time in Arctic waters as it does in the air, diving to depths of 300 feet or more and swim through the sea to hunt fish and other prey. Murres can live 25 years or more, and while scientists from Canada and France discovered that the birds do slow down with age, they don’t lose their diving ability.

Poachers Killed 100,000 Elephants in Just Three Years

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For years we’ve been hearing reports of elephant poaching in Africa, but a new study has put a number on the problem. Between 2010 and 2012, poachers slaughtered 100,000 pachyderms across the continent.The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to scientifically measure the number of elephants killed across Africa. Researchers counted killings in a Kenyan park and used other data to estimate deaths in other regions. They found that the percentage of elephants killed illegally has increased from 25 percent of all pachyderm deaths 10 years ago to about 65 percent today.

Five Ways to Save the World’s Rarest Species

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Can you imagine a world without butterflies and pandas?  Soon, we might not have to. The number of monarch butterflies has dropped 97 percent since the mid-1990s. Only 1,600 pandas are left in the wild. Several other species are on the brink of extinction because of habitat loss, climate change, and other events caused by human activities.  But there’s hope. Thanks to the work of conservationists, species such as the lion-tailed macaque and the California condor have recovered. Sept. 4 is National Wildlife Day, so we celebrate five of the most innovative efforts to rescue the world’s imperiled animals.

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