Friday Faves…on Monday? April 6, 2015

Getting ready for all these conferences has made it hard to keep up with all the latest in animal behavior research! But there’s been plenty to talk about.

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Could kissing your dog solve your digestive problems?

Researchers at the University of Arizona are launching a study to examine whether dogs may transfer healthy gut bacteria to the humans they live with. Read more about the study here, and see the university website here.

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Dogs use different nostrils for different things

(Pretty sure we do too!) My fave in dog-blogs, @DogSpies covers research looking at how dogs use each nostril differently – among other things, dogs seem to use the right nostril for novelty, and the left to check out familiar things. Super cool, read all about it!

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Does the paleo diet reduce cognitive functioning?

A recent study of Finns suggests that those who ate a balanced diet of grains, vegetables, and minimizing the consumption of animal-based fats and protein sources performed better on cognitive tasks than those who ate a diet high in animal protein. Just sayin.

 

A tiny bird, a long trip

A warbler weighing just 12-grams was tracked with a tiny geolocator flying across the Atlantic Ocean. These birds fly from Canada to South America once a year, and this was the longest such migration recorded (almost 2800 km) – impressive! The why and the how they make such a long, dangerous journey over open water is up for further inquiry.

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Cruelty toward animals: It’s complicated

People are very quick to assume that cruelty toward animals predicts future criminality. It’s a nice, clean story that “makes sense” – but it’s not what the research supports (Emily Patterson-Kane and Heather Piper have done some fascinating work on this subject). Turns out many “normal” adults report some level of cruelty to animals over their lifetime. Hal Herzog delves into a very dark, and interesting topic, including some recent research.

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