Social versus stinky?
In the animal kingdom, if you are vulnerable, you have a few options. Two of them: hang out with others (safety in numbers) OR BE STINKY! Being smelly was favored by nocturnal animals that need protection from predators. What's my excuse? Read about the study here.
Side note: One of the authors is named "Stank"owich.
The "Love Hormone" and your pooch
The oxytocin hormone contributes to our feelings of love and care, and scientists have been exploring what it means for how dogs feel about us (they have oxytocin too). The results suggest it is not just oxytocin in general that directs those loving doggie feelings, but which SPECIFIC variant of the oxytocin receptor gene a dog has, that predicts how friendly they are toward people. DogSpies summarizes it all for us very nicely here:
New Dish? Moles in Couscous
I'm not talking about spicy Mexican cuisine. Scientists at the University of Massachusetts investigated how moles burrow, by x-raying them in tunnels of couscous (apparently it has a nice texture). Apparently moles are burly little creatures, able to dig with a force of forty times their body weight! Read and see more here (there's video!)
Raising the Roof - with bovine flatulence
If you bring a lot of cows together in a small building, you are going to have serious gas (cows emit around 500 liters of methane a day - is there a cow fart suit like there is for dogs???). Add a bit of static electricity and you have an exploding barn. This happened in Germany this week. One cow was slightly injured, luckily no fatalities, and I once again can tag a blog post with the word "farting." There's not much more to the story really (cows, farts, explosions, what more do you need to know?) but you can read more about the science of cow flatulence here.