This week was filled with a number of fascinating stories focusing on the animal kingdom. In Borneo, a new primate was recently discovered. The species of slow loris, called Nycticebus kayan, has distinctive facial markings and a toxic bite.
In the first trapping season since gray wolves were taken off the endangered species list, at least seven of the animals were shot near Yellowstone National Park. Five of those wolves were fitted with tracking collars for scientific research. Yellowstone's chief scientist noted that the killings have impacted the research, and wildlife commissioners are now considering shooting restrictions near the park.
A mysterious occurrence has been taking place on central California beaches for years, where thousands of jumbo squid commit “suicide” by flinging themselves onto land. Although scientists were befuddled for decades by the phenomenon, recent clues suggest that a poisonous algae disorients the squid, causing them to swim towards the shore. "It's not exactly a smoking gun, but it's pretty circumstantial evidence that there is some link," William Gilly, a marine biologist at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station, told LiveScience.
On Monday, Costa Rica became the first Latin American country to ban hunting as a sport. Hunters could face up to four months in prison or a fine of up to $3,000 if caught engaging in the now-illegal activity. The ban is the first Costa Rican proposal brought to Congress by popular initiative.
The Mother Nature Network reported this week on the One More Generation campaign, a movement spearheaded by brother and sister Carter and Olivia Ries. At only 11 and 10 years old, the youngsters are collaborating with Strategic Protection of Threatened Species (SPOTS) in South Africa to stop rhino poaching. They hope to collect 1,000 letters speaking out against the practice by 2013, at which time they plan to personally deliver them to President Zuma of South Africa. "I have seen pictures of President Zuma and he looks like a nice man," Olivia said. "I am sure he will listen to us and that he will help before it is too late."
For an extra dose of cute to start out your week, check out these adorable leopard cubs playing and pouncing in the San Diego zoo!
Find some of the past week's best animal photos below: