Regina, Canada, is taking action to protect squirrels from electrocution, installing “squirrel savers” to transformers, and consequently preventing future power outages. Turns out in West Liberty, IA, costs of power outage due to squirrel are running up towards half a million dollars, and with an insurance company refusing to pay, the city has to fork out another $5K for a consultant to research the claim.
And last year in Bryan and College Station, TX, squirrels caused over 300 power outages, leaving rodents responsible for around 30% of all power outages in the area.
To add to the mix, a squirrel started a brush fire in Camas, WA.
We've all heard that cats are mysterious and don't communicate, but those of us who work with cats are trying to bust those myths. This article interviews a few cat experts (including Sharon Crowell-Davis, John Bradshaw, and moi! How'd I end up in that mix???) about how cats communicate and how to better understand what they are trying to tell us.
What your cat is trying to tell you: Stop playing with the tin foil!
A fascinating new study was just published that suggests that certain high-pitched sounds (including crumpling tin foil) can trigger seizures in older cats. I have a lot of thoughts about this that will likely merit a blog post next week. In the meantime: read away!
What's up in canine science?
A lot as usual! @DogSpies talks with Dr. Monique Udell, about the state of dog science, and points the way to some current open access dog studies (meaning: you can read them even if you aren't affiliated with a university!!!) in her latest blog.
That big, bumbling sunfish isn't so lazy after all
I love seeing the sunfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (which is apparently the only place to have captive sunfish on display). They look so ancient and blobby, but turns out their quite good at hunting. Scientists attached accelerometers and cameras to some sunfish to see what they get up to. Turns out: eating lots of jellyfish!
Ever wondered what happens in a squirrel nest? I think about it a lot! I'd like to know if there are beer cans and chocolate bars in there, and I'd love to take a peek and squee at some baby squirrels. But I also think about squirrels in their dreys at the top of barren trees, whenever the wind gets crazy here. Are squirrels getting blown out of trees? Turns out NO - those nests are built to last! Malcolm Campbell digs deep and tells us all about it here!