Friday Faves April 25, 2014

Czech deer taking no chances

There used to be an electric fence at the Czech-German boundary. While the Iron Curtain may have come down 25 years ago, red deer prefer to maintain that previous line in the sand, and are not crossing into "foreign territory." Read more here.

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We all want to know...do our pets love us?

This article highlights some fascinating research on oxytocin, also known as the "love hormone." It is released into our bloodstreams when we interact with pets, but the effects are complicated (it depends in part on the type of pet and how long you've been a pet-owner). Other animals release oxytocin too, and one goat showed his love for a companion dog he played with via a 210% increase in oxy levels. Just speculating, we want to know if our pets REALLY love us...are at-home oxy-tests in the future?

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Dogs get misinterpreted too

goofyI'm always complaining about how cat studies get portrayed in the media...turns out dogs are victims of the same game...perhaps because they are our pets, it seems all too easy to misinterpret or exaggerate the results of studies on them. DogSpies, as usual, does an excellent job of examining the issue in regards to a recent study of dog attachment behavior (and also made me really think about Goofy in a way I hadn't in many years...).

 

Dolphins use tools, get more fatty acids

A more detailed write up of this new study would have been nice - did you know that some dolphins use tools -  namely sponges - to collect food and protect their rostrum? This allows them to get food that other dolphins can't - and increases the levels of fatty acids in their system. This tool use is believed to be socially transmitted, and may even be indicating dolphin "culture." Cool stuff. Read the brief summary here.

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