Friday Faves April 18, 2014

Is that pet cat a hybrid or a bobcat?

A "pet" cat, Rocky, escaped and ran loose for two weeks before he was caught. This was the second time he had escaped, and violated the owner's agreement with the city that he would remained contained in her home.

Animal control officer's suspect Rocky is a bobcat, not a hybrid, and have confiscated the kitty while he gets genetic testing to determine his species. Officials have determined he will only go home if he's truly a hybrid. I hope this highlights a few things: the downside of the glorification of hybrid species as pets, the fact that many of these cats who are kept captive are declawed, and whether or not this is a good quality of life for the animal. An interesting case; I'm anxious to see what the blood test shows!

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Give chimps a firm bed

Chimps in  Uganda make their beds from a less common, but more sturdy type of tree: the ironwood. These nests may be sturdier, more insulated, and maybe even more comfortable since they have plenty of leaves. Chimps likely learn this preference from mom. Read more here.

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Lemurs know how their friends smell

Lemurs spent more time investigating the scent of a conspecific when it matched the sound of that lemur's voice being simultaneously broadcast than when there was a mismatch between smell and sound. Researchers interpreted this as the lemurs as knowing both the sound and smell of fellow lemurs. Read a summary here.

Interestingly, much "mismatch" research suggests that animals (including humans) look/investigate longer when results are unexpected (although that paradigm is also not without controversy).

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