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Fun News Friday: New study finds dogs have average intelligence; ancient mask discovered

The first week back from Thanksgiving break might have felt long, but you made it. Relax and dream of winter break as you read these fun news stories.

Man’s not-so-smart best friend

Dogs may not be as smart as we believed them to be. A new study from the journal Learning and Behavior said that a dog’s intelligence is only average when compared to other carnivores, house pets and hunting animals.

This false perception of dog’s high intelligence can be attributed to examples of dogs with amazing capabilities. When people see dogs who can retrieve toys by name or can seemingly read their owner’s mind, it leaves them with a false perception that the entire species of dogs is highly intelligent.

One of the most surprising details of the study was that dog’s ability to pick up on human cues isn’t exceptional. Animals such as the Bottlenose dolphin and Grey seal are equally as capable of picking up on communication cues.

Foldable Living

A prototype for a foldable house has been created by a company in the UK.

The transportable home is called uBox. It offers owners about 700 square feet of living space, including 200 square feet of storage. The house expands to be about three times its size once it’s unfolded, and it only requires an electric drill to do so.

The company, Ten Fold Engineering, wants to replicate this idea. Foldable hotels and office spaces could be future products. The house design only has one prototype, but once they hit the market, each will cost around $130,000.

An Awful Otter

A very hungry otter keeps avoiding capture after eating koi fish in a Chinese garden.

In Vancouver, Canada, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden has lost seven of their koi fish. This has been due to a sneaky otter who has been hanging around the garden for over a week. The garden said in a statement that they are upset by this loss, as koi fish are an important piece of the garden family’s culture.

The garden has used traps to try and catch the otter. This has proved futile, with the otter managing the steal the bait and avoid entrapment. 

To protect the koi fish, and hopefully improve the otter’s life, the garden plans to have the otter relocated to the Fraser Valley in hopes that the otter will have better chances at finding food that aren’t koi.

Ancient History

A 9,000 year-old mask was recently discovered by Israeli architects.

The mask is one of 15 to be discovered throughout history. It is made of a combination of pink and yellow sandstone with clearly defined features: a nose, a mouth with teeth, eyes and cheekbones. Due to its features, the mask is thought to be a part of the Neolithic era.

Scholars say that these types of masks would have been used in rituals for honoring ancestors. Archeologists and scholars are excited to find a mask of such high quality. Since the site of the mask is well-known, the mask will be able to tell a lot about the culture’s past and serve as a symbol for Neolithic culture.


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