How Did Gus Know Not to Get in the Car? Exploring Animal Instincts and Intuition

Animals have long been admired for their seemingly inexplicable ability to sense danger and make split-second decisions that save their lives. From birds migrating thousands of miles without getting lost, to dogs sniffing out cancer in humans, these remarkable instances showcase the innate instincts and intuition possessed by our non-human counterparts. One particular story that has captivated the attention of animal lovers and scientists alike is that of Gus, a fearless feline who miraculously avoided a fatal accident by seemingly knowing not to get inside a car. Through exploring animal instincts and intuition, this article delves into Gus’s extraordinary story and sheds light on the fascinating world of animal cognition.

Gus, an ordinary tabby cat living in a quiet suburban neighborhood, found himself faced with a peculiar situation one sunny afternoon. Approaching an open car door, he hesitated for a brief moment before abruptly changing course and scampering away. Within seconds, a collision occurred, leaving the car severely damaged. The question that left everyone astounded was: how did Gus know not to get in the car? This incident sparked a chain of inquiries into the enigmatic intelligence of animals and the incredible power of their instincts and intuition.

Table of Contents

Animal Instincts: Understanding the Basics

A. Define animal instincts and their significance

Animal instincts are innate behaviors and reactions that animals are born with. These instincts are genetically programmed and are crucial for their survival and adaptation to their environment. They serve as the foundation for how animals interact with their surroundings, communicate, find food, avoid danger, and reproduce.

Animal instincts are deeply rooted in an animal’s biology and evolution. They have developed over time through natural selection to ensure the survival of the species. For example, instinctive behaviors like migration, hibernation, and territoriality are essential for animals to cope with changing seasons and find resources.

The significance of animal instincts lies in their ability to enhance the chances of an animal’s survival in the wild. These instincts allow animals to respond quickly to threatening situations, find food efficiently, and reproduce successfully. They also help maintain the delicate balance of ecosystems by influencing the behaviors and interactions of different species.

B. Discuss the role of instincts in survival and adaptation

Animal instincts play a critical role in the survival and adaptation of species. They enable animals to respond to environmental triggers and make rapid decisions that increase their chances of survival.

Instincts provide animals with necessary skills for hunting and evading predators. For example, a lion instinctively knows how to stalk, pounce, and capture its prey. Conversely, prey animals like gazelles have instincts that make them highly alert and able to detect predators quickly.

Additionally, instincts help animals adapt to their habitats and the resources available. For instance, beavers instinctively build dams and lodges to create shelter and control the water levels in their surroundings.

Instincts are not only limited to individual animals but also influence their social behavior. Social instincts such as parental care, mating rituals, and hierarchy establishment contribute to the overall survival and well-being of a species.

Understanding animal instincts is key to comprehending their behavior and ecology. By studying and decoding these instincts, researchers and scientists can gain insights into how animals adapt, communicate, and make decisions. This understanding can help with conservation efforts, animal welfare, and even inform human decision-making processes. Through a deeper understanding of animal instincts, we can appreciate the complexity and beauty of the natural world.

Understanding Intuition in Animals

A. Explain the concept of animal intuition and its relation to instincts

Animal intuition is a fascinating aspect of animal behavior that goes beyond their instinctual responses. While instincts are innate behaviors that animals are born with, intuition involves the ability to perceive and understand information without conscious reasoning. It is often described as a gut feeling or a sixth sense.

Intuition in animals is closely related to their instincts. It is believed that animals rely on their instincts to survive and adapt to their environment, but intuition enhances their decision-making process by allowing them to make choices in situations that may not have a clear instinctual response. Intuitive behavior in animals suggests a certain level of cognitive processing and interpretation of their surroundings.

Research has shown that animal intuition is often based on subtle cues in their environment that trigger an innate response. For example, many animals, such as dogs and horses, are known to exhibit intuitive behavior towards people. They can sense fear, aggression, or intentions through non-verbal cues such as body language and facial expressions. This ability to read and interpret human emotions and intent goes beyond their innate instincts and demonstrates a level of intuition.

B. Highlight examples of animals displaying intuitive behavior

Countless examples can be found in the animal kingdom where animals display intuitive behavior. One well-known example is the behavior of elephants during natural disasters such as tsunamis or earthquakes. There have been several documented instances where elephants have taken proactive measures to protect themselves and other animals by seeking higher ground or leading their groups away from imminent danger. This intuitive behavior has saved numerous lives.

Another fascinating example is the phenomenon of homing instincts in migratory animals. Birds, turtles, and even insects exhibit an uncanny ability to navigate across vast distances without the aid of maps or GPS. Researchers believe that these animals rely on a combination of senses, including their internal compasses, magnetic fields, and even celestial cues, to navigate accurately. This ability showcases their intuitive understanding of their environment.

Furthermore, there are anecdotal stories of animals displaying intuitive behavior in relation to human health. Many pet owners have reported their animals detecting illnesses or warning them of potential medical emergencies, often before any visible symptoms manifest. Though these stories are largely anecdotal, they suggest that animals have an intuitive sense when it comes to human well-being.

Overall, the presence of intuitive behavior in animals indicates a level of complex cognition and perception that goes beyond their basic instincts. It highlights the remarkable abilities of animals to gather information from their environment and make decisions based on these intuitive insights. Understanding and studying animal intuition can provide valuable insights into the cognitive and emotional lives of animals.

The Science behind Animal Instincts

A. Delve into the biological and neurological aspects behind animal instincts

Animal instincts are deeply ingrained behaviors that are present in a variety of species. These instincts, which are inherent and often genetically transmitted, play a crucial role in the survival and adaptation of animals in their natural environments. To understand animal instincts, it is important to delve into the biological and neurological aspects that underlie them.

Biologically, animal instincts are shaped by evolutionary processes. Throughout generations, certain behaviors that enhance survival and reproduction become more prevalent, while those that hinder survival are gradually eliminated. The genes responsible for these beneficial behaviors are passed down to offspring, ensuring the perpetuation of these instincts.

Neurologically, animal instincts are influenced by the structure and function of the brain. Specific areas of the brain, such as the amygdala and the hypothalamus, are closely associated with instinctual behaviors. The amygdala, for instance, is responsible for processing emotions and fear response, while the hypothalamus regulates essential bodily functions, such as hunger, mating, and aggression.

Research studies have provided valuable insights into animal instincts. Behavioral experiments have demonstrated that animals with certain instincts, such as birds migrating over long distances, have an innate ability to navigate without prior experience. Furthermore, studies using brain imaging techniques have shown that specific neural pathways are activated when animals engage in instinctual behaviors, further supporting the role of neural structures in the manifestation of instincts.

B. Discuss research studies and findings on animal instincts

Various research studies have shed light on the fascinating world of animal instincts. For instance, studies on honeybees have revealed intricate communication systems that allow bees to coordinate foraging activities and locate resources efficiently. By performing complex dances inside their hives, bees are able to communicate the direction and distance of food sources to their fellow nestmates, showcasing their highly evolved instincts.

In another notable study, researchers investigated the instinctual behavior of sea turtle hatchlings. It was discovered that these tiny creatures possess an innate ability to navigate towards the sea after hatching, aided by the instinct to move towards the brightest horizon, which usually corresponds to the ocean’s reflection of the moon and stars. This instinctual behavior helps ensure their survival by guiding them to their natural habitat.

Furthermore, studies on animal instincts have also explored the impact of environmental factors. For example, researchers have found that the maternal environment during pregnancy can influence the instinctual behaviors of offspring. Certain stressors experienced by the mother, such as predators or limited resources, can result in the development of heightened instinctual responses in the offspring, increasing their chances of survival.

Overall, research studies on animal instincts have provided valuable insights into the biological and neurological foundations of these behaviors. By understanding the science behind animal instincts, we gain a deeper appreciation for the complexity and adaptability of the animal kingdom.

Exploring Animal Communication

How Animals Communicate through Body Language, Vocalizations, etc.

Animals have developed various forms of communication to convey their thoughts, emotions, and intentions. While they may not communicate through spoken language like humans, animals use a combination of body language, vocalizations, pheromones, and other means to express themselves.

Body language plays a significant role in animal communication. A wagging tail in a dog signifies excitement or happiness, while a lowered head and flattened ears may indicate fear or submission. The posture and movements of animals can reveal their intentions, whether it’s a cat puffing out its fur to appear larger or a bird spreading its wings to attract a mate.

Vocalizations, such as barks, meows, chirps, and roars, also serve as important communication tools for animals. For example, primates like chimpanzees have complex vocalizations to express different meanings, from warning signals to greetings. Dolphins use a series of clicks and whistles to communicate with one another, coordinating group activities and signaling alarm.

Apart from body language and vocalizations, animals also utilize pheromones to communicate. Pheromones are chemical substances released by animals to transmit information to others of the same species. These chemical signals play a crucial role in mate attraction, territorial marking, and social bonding.

The Role of Communication in Animal Instincts and Intuition

Communication deeply intertwines with animal instincts and intuition. Through communication, animals establish social hierarchies, maintain their territories, and navigate complex social interactions. It helps them coordinate group activities, locate food sources, and avoid predators.

Furthermore, communication enhances the survival instincts of animals by warning others of potential dangers or opportunities. For example, a flock of birds may take flight simultaneously if one bird spots a predator, effectively alerting the entire group. Through their intuitive understanding of communication signals, animals can react quickly and appropriately to changes in their environment.

The ability to interpret and respond to communication cues is vital for animals to navigate their natural habitats successfully. As they have evolved, animals have developed a keen sensitivity to the nuances of communication, allowing them to adapt and survive in diverse environments.

Understanding animal communication provides valuable insights into their instincts and intuition. By studying their signals, researchers can decode their behavior, decipher their decision-making processes, and gain a deeper appreciation for the complexity of animal cognition.

In conclusion, communication is a fundamental aspect of animal behavior, enabling them to convey information, establish social bonds, and survive in their environments. By comprehending the ways in which animals communicate through body language, vocalizations, and other means, we can broaden our understanding of animal instincts and intuition. In the following section, we will explore the surprising intelligence of animals, shedding light on their cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills.

The Surprising Intelligence of Animals

Shedding Light on the Cognitive Abilities of Animals

In addition to their instinctual behaviors, animals also possess surprising intelligence and cognitive abilities. Contrary to popular belief, animals are not merely automatons driven purely by instinct. They are capable of complex problem-solving, learning, and exhibiting higher-order cognitive skills.

Numerous studies have shown that animals, ranging from primates to birds and even certain species of dolphins, possess cognitive abilities that were once thought to be exclusive to humans. These remarkable abilities challenge our conventional understanding of animal behavior and highlight their intelligence.

For example, studies conducted with primates, such as chimpanzees and bonobos, have demonstrated their ability to use tools, understand cause and effect relationships, and even engage in advanced problem-solving. These findings suggest that animals possess a level of cognitive flexibility that was previously underestimated.

Highlighting Instances of Problem-Solving Skills in Animals

Instances of animals displaying problem-solving skills further emphasize their intelligence. In one notable case, a group of African elephants in Amboseli National Park in Kenya demonstrated remarkable problem-solving abilities. When faced with the challenge of obtaining food from a tree by pulling a rope, these elephants devised ingenious strategies, such as looping the rope around their trunk and using their weight to pull it.

Similarly, dolphins have been observed using sponges as tools to protect their noses while foraging for food on the ocean floor. This behavior showcases their ability to not only use tools but also adapt and innovate in their environment.

These instances of problem-solving skills in animals challenge the notion that intelligence is strictly a human attribute. They provide compelling evidence that animals possess cognitive abilities that allow them to navigate their environment and solve complex problems.

Overall, the surprising intelligence of animals adds another layer of complexity to our understanding of their behavior. Recognizing and appreciating their cognitive abilities can lead to a deeper appreciation for animal instincts and intuition. By acknowledging the complexity of animal intelligence, we can gain new insights into their instincts and enhance our understanding of their behavior and interactions with the environment.

The Role of Experience and Learning


In the exploration of animal instincts and intuition, one crucial factor to consider is the role of experience and learning. While instincts are innate behaviors that animals are born with, learning and experience also play a significant role in shaping their behavior. This section will delve into how animals acquire instincts through learning and experience and discuss the interplay between innate instincts and learned behaviors.

Acquiring Instincts through Learning and Experience

Animals acquire instincts through a combination of learning from their environment and individual experiences. When an animal is exposed to specific stimuli repeatedly, it learns to associate those stimuli with a specific response. For example, a young bird may observe its parent finding food and learn to associate certain sounds or visual cues with finding food.

Furthermore, animals also learn through trial and error. Through repeated attempts and consequences, they acquire new instincts that aid in their survival and adaptation. For instance, a predator that fails to catch its prey may alter its hunting strategy, learning from the experience and improving its chances of success in future hunts.

The Interplay between Innate Instincts and Learned Behaviors

While learning and experience influence an animal’s behavior, it is important to note that innate instincts still play a crucial role. Innate instincts act as a foundation upon which animals build their learned behaviors. The innate instincts provide a framework that animals adapt and modify based on their experiences.

In some cases, learned behaviors may even override certain innate instincts. For example, domesticated dogs may learn not to display aggressive behavior towards humans, despite the instinctual response of protecting their territory. This showcases how learning and experience can shape and modify instinctual behaviors.

The Significance of Knowledge in Animal Behavior

Understanding the interplay between experience, learning, and innate instincts is crucial in comprehending animal behavior. It highlights the flexibility and adaptability of animals, as they can acquire new instincts and modify their behaviors based on their experiences.

This knowledge also has practical applications. Scientists and trainers can utilize this understanding to better train animals for specific tasks, enhance their decision-making abilities, and promote their well-being in various environments.


The role of experience and learning in shaping animal instincts is a captivating aspect of animal behavior. By observing how animals acquire new instincts and modify their behavior based on their experiences, we can gain a deeper appreciation for their adaptability and intelligence. Further research in this area holds immense potential for unlocking the complexities of animal instincts and their relationship with learning and experience.

Animal Instincts vs. Human Intuition: A Comparative Analysis


In the study of animal behavior, the concepts of instincts and intuition play significant roles. While animals rely heavily on their instincts to survive and adapt, humans have a unique ability known as intuition. This section will explore the similarities and differences between animal instincts and human intuition, and delve into theories on the evolution of human intuition from animal instincts.

Animal Instincts and Human Intuition: A Comparative Perspective

Animal instincts can be defined as innate behavioral patterns that are genetically programmed and help animals navigate their environment. These instincts are finely tuned over generations and ensure the survival and reproduction of species. On the other hand, human intuition refers to the ability to understand or feel something instinctively without the need for conscious reasoning.

While both animal instincts and human intuition involve intuitive responses, there are significant differences between the two. Animal instincts are specific, predictable, and largely uniform across individuals of the same species. In contrast, human intuition varies greatly from person to person, as it is influenced by individual experiences, knowledge, and cultural factors.

The Evolution of Human Intuition

Theories suggest that human intuition may have evolved from animal instincts over the course of human evolution. It is believed that early humans relied heavily on their instincts for survival. As humans began to develop more complex social structures and face new challenges, their instinctual responses became insufficient. This led to the development of intuitive thinking, which allowed humans to adapt and make decisions based on more subtle cues beyond basic instincts.

The Role of Conscious Thought in Human Intuition

Unlike animal instincts, which are largely unconscious and automatic, human intuition often involves conscious thought processes. It draws on a combination of innate instincts and learned behaviors, allowing humans to make quick decisions based on pattern recognition, previous experiences, and cognitive analysis.

Implications and Applications

Understanding the similarities and differences between animal instincts and human intuition can have various implications. By studying animal instincts, researchers can gain insights into human behavior and decision-making processes. Additionally, the understanding of human intuition can enhance our ability to make better decisions in various fields such as business, medicine, and psychology.

In conclusion, while both animal instincts and human intuition involve intuitive responses, they differ in their predictability, variability, and conscious thought. The evolution of human intuition from animal instincts has allowed for more complex decision-making abilities. By exploring and appreciating these intricacies, we can gain a deeper understanding of animal behavior and harness our own intuition for better decision-making.

Famous Animal Intuition Stories

Anecdotal Evidence of Remarkable Animal Intuition

Throughout history, numerous stories have emerged that highlight the remarkable intuition displayed by animals. These anecdotes provide compelling evidence of the complex instincts and intuitive behavior that animals are capable of.

One famous story that exemplifies animal intuition is the case of a cat named Oscar. This feline resided in a nursing home and had an uncanny ability to predict when a patient was near death. Oscar would curl up next to patients in their final hours, providing comfort and companionship during their last moments. The staff at the nursing home quickly realized that Oscar’s presence was an indication that death was imminent. This story captivated the public and showcased the inexplicable intuitive abilities that animals possess.

Similarly, the story of Christian the lion is another tale that has fascinated people around the world. Christian was initially purchased as a pet by two friends in London, but after they realized it was not suitable, they introduced the young lion to a wildlife conservation organization in Kenya. A year later, the two friends decided to visit Christian in Kenya, expecting that he would not remember them. Much to their surprise, when they arrived, Christian ran towards them, embracing them with enthusiasm. This heartwarming reunion spoke volumes about the deep connection animals can form and their ability to remember and recognize individuals.

These examples, among many others, have had a profound impact on our understanding of animal instincts and intuition. They challenge traditional notions of intelligence and highlight the depth and complexity of the animal mind. Furthermore, they shed light on the emotional and empathetic capabilities that animals possess, dispelling the notion that human intuition is unique.

The Impact of Animal Intuition Stories

Stories like these have captivated audiences around the world and have sparked interest among scientists and researchers. By showcasing the intuitive behaviors of animals, these stories have inspired further exploration into the complexity of animal instincts.

Animal intuition stories also serve to bridge the gap between humans and animals, fostering a deeper appreciation and empathy for the natural world. They remind us that animals are not merely automatons driven solely by instinct but beings capable of complex thoughts and emotions.

Moreover, these stories have encouraged individuals to reflect on their own intuitive capabilities and rethink the boundaries of human intuition. Comparing human intuition to animal instincts provides insight into our shared evolutionary history and invites us to consider the origins and evolution of intuitive capabilities in both humans and animals.

In conclusion, famous animal intuition stories provide compelling evidence of the remarkable intuition displayed by animals. These anecdotes challenge preconceived notions about animal behavior and ignite curiosity about the complex instincts and intuitive abilities that animals possess. Furthermore, they foster a greater understanding of the emotional and empathetic capacities of animals, highlighting the deep connection between humans and the natural world. By sharing and studying these stories, we can continue to unravel the mysteries of animal instincts and intuition and gain a greater appreciation for the intricate web of life.

Practical Applications of Animal Instincts and Intuition

A. Scientists and Researchers Utilizing Animal Instincts

Animal instincts and intuition are not only fascinating concepts to study, but they also have practical applications in various fields. Scientists and researchers have been able to harness animal instincts to aid in their studies and improve human understanding of the world around us.

One notable area where animal instincts play a crucial role is in environmental conservation and preservation. By studying animal behaviors and instincts, researchers can gain valuable insights into the health of ecosystems and the impact of human activities on wildlife. For example, the migration patterns of birds can inform conservation efforts, as changes in their routes may indicate shifts in environmental conditions.

Another field that benefits from animal instincts is medicine. Researchers have developed various drugs by studying the venomous properties of animals. Snake venom, for instance, has been used to develop medications to treat heart attacks and blood disorders. By analyzing animal instincts and the unique chemical compositions of their venoms, scientists are able to create life-saving treatments.

B. Learning from Animal Instincts for Better Decision-Making

Human beings can also learn from animal instincts to enhance decision-making and problem-solving skills in our own lives. Animals have honed their instincts over millions of years of evolution and have developed effective mechanisms to navigate their environments.

One way to apply animal instincts is in the realm of decision-making under uncertainty. Animals are often faced with situations where they need to assess risks quickly and make split-second choices. By observing animals and their instincts, humans can gain insights into effective decision-making strategies, especially in high-pressure situations.

Additionally, animals can serve as role models when it comes to adaptability. In a rapidly changing world, being able to adapt to new situations and environments is crucial. By studying how animals adapt and rely on their instincts to survive, humans can learn how to be more flexible and adaptable in their own lives.

Furthermore, animal instincts can inform our understanding of human intuition. By comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences between animal instincts and human intuition, researchers can gain further insights into the evolutionary origins of intuition in humans.


Animal instincts and intuition are not only fascinating aspects of animal behavior but also have practical applications in various fields. Scientists and researchers utilize animal instincts to gain insights into environmental conservation and create life-saving medications. Humans can also apply these instincts to improve decision-making and adaptability in their own lives. By further exploring and appreciating animal behavior, we can continue to uncover the importance and relevance of animal instincts and intuition in our world.

RecommendedThe Future of Animal Instinct Research

Advancements in Animal Instinct Research

As our understanding of animal behavior continues to evolve, so does the field of animal instinct research. Scientists and researchers are constantly finding new ways to study and explore the intricate world of animal instincts. Ongoing studies and areas of interest in this field are shaping the future of our knowledge.

One area of focus is the exploration of the genetic basis of animal instincts. Researchers are delving into the genomes of different species to identify specific genes and genetic variations that are associated with instinctive behaviors. By understanding the genetic underpinnings of animal instincts, scientists hope to gain valuable insights into how these behaviors have evolved over time.

Advancements in technology are also playing a crucial role in the future of animal instinct research. Advanced imaging techniques, such as fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), are allowing scientists to study the neural activity associated with instinctive behaviors in real-time. This technology provides a window into the inner workings of an animal’s brain, giving researchers a deeper understanding of how instincts are processed and triggered.

Implications of Animal Instinct Research

The implications of animal instinct research go far beyond the realm of scientific understanding. The knowledge gained from studying animal instincts can have practical applications in various fields.

For example, insights from animal instinct research can be applied to wildlife conservation efforts. Understanding the instinctive behaviors of endangered species can help conservationists create strategies to protect and restore their habitats. By identifying critical timeframes or trigger events, scientists can implement effective conservation measures to ensure the survival of these species.

Animal instinct research also has implications in the field of animal training and behavior modification. By understanding the innate instincts of animals, trainers and behaviorists can develop more effective training programs that align with natural behaviors. This approach not only enhances animal welfare but also improves the success rates of training programs.

The Importance of Further Exploration

The future of animal instinct research holds great promise, and it is vital that we continue to explore this fascinating field. By expanding our knowledge of animal instincts, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the diversity and complexity of the animal kingdom.

Further exploration can also help bridge the gap between humans and animals. Understanding animal instincts and intuition can lead to better communication and coexistence between humans and the animal world. It can inspire compassion and empathy towards animals, fostering a greater respect for their natural behaviors and habitats.

In conclusion, the future of animal instinct research is bright and full of exciting possibilities. The advancements in genetic research and technology, along with the practical applications of this knowledge, offer tremendous opportunities for understanding and protecting the animal kingdom. By continuing to explore this field, we can deepen our understanding of animal behavior and, in turn, enrich our own lives.


Animal instincts and intuition are fascinating aspects of animal behavior that have been shaped by millions of years of evolution. Throughout this article, we have explored the concept of animal instincts and intuition, delving into the biological, cognitive, and communicative aspects that contribute to their development.

Recap the importance of animal instincts and intuition

Animal instincts are innate behaviors that animals are born with, which enable them to survive and adapt in their environments. These instincts are deeply rooted in their biological and neurological makeup, and play a crucial role in their daily lives. Intuition, on the other hand, involves the ability to sense or perceive things without relying on conscious reasoning. It is closely related to instincts, as it often draws upon an animal’s knowledge and past experiences to make split-second decisions.

The story of Gus and the car incident serves as a prime example of animal intuition. Despite lacking conscious awareness, Gus somehow knew to avoid getting into the car, saving himself from potential harm. While researchers have yet to fully understand the intricacies of animal intuition, it is clear that animals possess a remarkable ability to perceive and respond to their environment in ways that defy our understanding.

Encourage further exploration and appreciation of animal behavior

Studying animal instincts and intuition not only provides us with valuable insights into the animal kingdom but also bridges the gap between humans and animals, highlighting the underlying similarities in our behavioral and cognitive processes. By appreciating and understanding animal instincts, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the intelligence and complexity of the animal kingdom.

Furthermore, the practical applications of animal instincts and intuition are vast. Scientists and researchers can utilize these natural abilities to improve various fields, such as conservation, agriculture, and even medicine. Observing and learning from animal behavior can also provide us with valuable lessons on decision-making, problem-solving, and adaptability.

In conclusion, animal instincts and intuition are remarkable phenomena that continue to intrigue scientists and researchers alike. By delving into the depths of animal behavior and cognition, we uncover a world of complexity and intelligence that expands our understanding of the natural world. As we move forward, it is essential to continue exploring and appreciating the extraordinary instincts and intuition exhibited by animals, recognizing their significance in shaping our world and our perception of it.

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