We spend a lot of time worrying about whether our pets love us. How would you even prove it? @DogSpies' Julie Hecht contemplates the question, and encourages just living with the answer "probably."
Fat cats won't stop loving YOU if you put them on a diet
If your cat is obese, that is a problem! Pet owners who worry that putting their feline on a diet might turn them into grumpy cat should worry no more. A study found that reducing an overweight cat's calories made them MORE affectionate toward owners. Remember: putting your cat on a diet should be done in concert with your veterinarian.
Cats are part of the family
A new survey of cat welfare in Australia found that most owners consider their cat part of the family, and feel confident in their ability to provide for their cat. However, most cats have not been to the vet for a yearly check-up and other findings suggested that owners are not meeting all of their cat's welfare needs. Nice summary from Zazie Todd on her blog Companion Animal Psychology here!
How parrots' social lives prep them to mimic humans
Have you ever wondered why parrots tend to copy what their humans say? It has to do with their backgrounds as social birds, where they even have their own "names." Learn about Disco, an amazing parakeet, who knows over 100 phrases, and can even beat-box.
Can a cat teach a squirrel to purr? Don't get too excited.
This video shows a very cute mama cat who is nursing an orphaned squirrel:
The story received over six million hits on Youtube, and there are lots of reasons we may find it irresistible: the cuteness of the animals involved; the “surprise” of a cat taking care of what would normally be potential prey – a baby squirrel; and the exotic-ness of raising a wild animal.
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.
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.