Sunday, October 25, 2020


Science stories about animal research, including wildlife conservation and endangered animals studies.

Captivity Crazy: The Importance Of Natural Stimuli For Captive Animals

(ANIMALS IN CAPTIVITY) Researchers often use animal experiments to try to solve human issues, but in this case, they are using human data to improve the lives of captive animals. While humans demonstrate a beneficial reaction to natural stimuli, it's become clear that animals in farms, laboratories, and zoos share the same preference for natural over constructed or artificial environments. For instance, farmed animals consistently choose to spend time outdoors when given the choice, even in bad weather. Some of the physical and mental health benefits of natural stimuli (i.e. proximity to water and green space) include less destructive behavior and lower feelings of stress. Read on to learn more about researchers' findings and how it applies to non-human animals. -- Global Animal

Curry For Sheep Can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

(ENVIRONMENT) One study suggests that the spices in curry such as coriander and tumeric can reduce the amount of methane produced by bacteria in sheep's stomach. Researchers hope that the spices can work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cows and sheep in the future. — Global Animal

Fossil Discovery Proves Unicorns Were Once Real

(ANIMAL DISCOVERY/RHINOS) Believe it or not, unicorns were once real! Researchers identified a new fossil site containing the remains of massive mammals, including these previously thought mythical creatures. However, this unicorn species is actually a type of giant rhinoceros called Elasmotherium sibiricum. What's more, their findings determined the now-extinct giant ‘Siberian unicorn’ existed much more recently than you'd think, and may have roamed the Earth at the same time as humans. Read on to learn more about this rhino-sized discovery. -- Global Animal

Diva Horse Fly Named After Beyoncé

(ANIMAL SCIENCE) AUSTRALIA — Australian scientists have crowned a previously unnamed species of horse fly as the "Diva" of the flies, naming her after singer Beyoncé. Many celebrities have insects named after them, including Stephen Colbert, Mick Jagger, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and some people can take it as a dig. We think Beyoncé should be proud of her namesake: a horse fly with enough bling to rival any Beyoncé outfit. Read more about scaptia (plinthina) beyoncea. — Global Animal

Modern-Day Dr. Dolittle: Scientist Claims He Can ‘Talk’ To Animals?

(ANIMAL WELFARE/ANIMAL SCIENCE) Scottish scientist Dr. Ian Duncan claims he is actually able to talk to animals by using a "strictly scientific method" which he plans to reveal in a Washington conference on animal welfare and sentience in the coming week. Dr. Duncan, whose work led to changes in in the regulations of battery farms for pigs and hens, believes by being able to communicate with animals about their care, we may be able to improve their lives. Read on to learn more about this modern-day Dr. Dolittle. — Global Animal

Male Antelopes Trick Females For Sex

(WILDLIFE) Whoever said "all men are dogs," clearly hasn't encountered a male topi antelope before. Read below to learn how male topi antelopes trick females with false alarms of nearby danger to boost their chances for sex. Imagine that! – Global Animal

12 Reasons You Don’t Want To Clone Your Pet

(PETS/ANIMAL SCIENCE) So maybe your animal, who was of course the best animal in the whole world, died, and you’d do anything to bring them back. You heard about cloning--it was so long ago that Dolly was cloned (1996, but announced 1997) that by now they should be able to clone your best friend with ease. In fact, plenty of dogs and cats and other animals have been cloned around the world. But let’s look at some facts about the pet cloning industry... -- Global Animal

Look Who’s Talking: Four Animals Who Could

(ANIMAL COMMUNICATION) Here are the true stories of a seal, parrot, cat, and chimp who communicated with humans in words and other wondrous ways. Anyone who's ever wondered what a pet was thinking will appreciate these four fabulous communicators. —Global Animal

Survival Of The Nuttiest: Squirrel Smarts

(WILDLIFE) Squirrels are pretty much everywhere, but how'd they get to be so ubiquitous? They actually aren't as nutty as they seem. It's a case of being clever. Read how squirrels use deceptive 'caching' techniques to bury and rebury their nuts, which is a tactical decision-making process previously thought to be only used by primates. – Global Animal

University Mutilates Cats In Name Of Science (VIDEO)

(ANIMAL CRUELTY)—A disturbing PETA investigation revealed that the University of Wisconsin-Madison is conducting cruel experiments on cats. The experiments are taxpayer-funded "sound localization" studies, where cats have holes drilled into their skulls, electrodes implanted in their brains, and steel coils inserted in their eyes. In certain cases the cats have their ears cut off or have toxic chemicals put in their ear canals to purposely deafen them. They are also starved for a number of days. Read on to find out how you can put an end to this senseless cruelty.—Global Animal

Scientists Answer Burning Question: Which Animals Fart?

(ANIMAL SCIENCE/ANIMAL FACTS) It may seem juvenile, but scientists across the world are working to answer the burning question: Does it fart? We all know that humans fart, but what about other animal species? If you're curious to find out, there's now a Twitter hashtag, #DoesItFart, circulating, along with a Google Spreadsheet listing all of the animal species that do, and don't, cut the cheese every now and then. Believe it or not, most animals, in fact, do fart. But not all. For instance, birds and marine invertebrates like crabs, oysters, and mussels don't seem to have the biological need to pass gas. Read on to learn more about the science of farts, and find out which animal species do or don't experience flatulence. -- Global Animal

Only Seven Genetic Differences Among All Dog Breeds

(DOG GENETICS) While the physical difference between a great dane and a chihuahua is apparent, the genetic makeup of all dog breeds is pretty much the same. In fact, there are only seven genetic variations that differentiate the thousands of dog breeds living today. — Global Animal

The Evolution Of Love

(ANIMAL SCIENCE/ANIMAL BEHAVIOR) Love is not usually thought of as an evolutionary development, yet this human trait may stem from pair bonding in other monogamous animals. Owl monkeys are known to have one mate for life. They do not cheat or "divorce" and are completely committed to their significant other. This behavioral trait may be the evolutionary precursor to human love. Read more about this exciting research and the progression of love, just in time for Valentine's Day! — Global Animal

Too Cute To Toot? Flatulence In The Animal Kingdom

(ANIMAL SCIENCE) Did you ever think the term "silent but deadly" could actually be true? The authors of Does It Fart?, a comprehensive guide to animal flatulence, say this type of weaponry is used by the larvae of the beaded lacewing. When this winged insect is on the attack, it actually farts on a termite's head to suffocate and ultimately eat them. Read on to learn more from Dani Rabaiotti and Nick Caruso, and how other species find use for their flatulence. -- Global Animal