From where does a tabby cat get its stripes? The same place cheetahs get their spots. A new study finds the same gene that is responsible for the cheetah's color patterns causes a tabby's stripes. Mutations in this newly identified gene transform a tabby's typical striped pattern into a less familiar "blotched" look. In cheetahs, similar mutations smear spots into thick stripes.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
This is the long elusive poodle moth. Dr. Arthur Anker, snapped this photo in Venezuela. He's a specialist interested in "taxonomy, diversity and phylogeny" of shrimp and insects and shared the discovery with the world on his Flickr page. When a new species is discovered, science has to find where it fits with other species. As they've never seen the poodle moth before, scientists will use apparent evolutionary steps to create theories as to it's evolution. This simple photo sparked a wide scientific debate in the entomological community.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Bob Barrett gives Florida kids pool parties they’ll never forget — because they get to swim with real live alligators. Jump houses? Pizza parties? Boring, says Barrett. “You jump for a while and that’s it, we’ve had that party before,” he told the Daily News. “Clown party, Chuck E. Cheese party, they’ve all been done.” Barrett, who runs Alligator Attractions in Madeira Beach — where visitors get to hold gators — was already bringing his reptiles around to birthday parties when he was inspired to take the next step.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Here's a new take on an old game! Photographer Seth Casteel has dogs go fetch ... head first into water. The end result of this deceptive game is a hilarious snapshot of adorable pooches underwater. The images have been compiled into a 2013 calendar that will be released on Oct. 23, 2012.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Sharks are color blind, new research suggests, with the toothy predators likely forever seeing the world in black and white. The study, published in the latest Royal Society Biology Letters, is the first to investigate the genetic basis and spectral tuning of the shark visual system. The ramifications could be huge, helping to save both sharks and people.
Monday, September 17, 2012
A giant panda lent to the United States by China and living at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. l has given birth to a cub, zoo officials said Monday. The birth occurred at about 10:46 pm local time Sunday, according to the zoo's chief veterinarian, Suzan Murray. During a press conference at the National Zoo on Monday, Dennis Kelly, Director of the Smithsonian National Zoo said, "We have pandas for research opportunities" and now that we have a cub, they will have even more to study. Mei Xiang, as the mom panda is called, "is cradling her cub closely, and she looks so tired," Murray said in a statement.
Remember our slideshow of animal-human hugs? We're back with a second installation -- a collection of slobbery animal kisses. From two otters getting it on to a British MP kissing his Bull Terrier, this slideshow is a celebration of the no-holds-barred affection that only animals are capable of.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
There's still time to see one of the greatest shows on Earth. And it's not far, particularly if you live near Long Beach, CA (or another ocean-front city). The largest animal on the planet, the Blue Whale, is frolicking, literally, in the waters off Southern California right now and Captain Dan Salas, owner of Harbor Breeze Cruises, couldn't be more excited. But it's not just the increased business the whales bring. It's the excitement.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Is there a movie cliché in the annals of cinema that is more enjoyable than “animal covers eyes”? No, there is not. The true measure of the trope's success is its versatility. An animal is embarrassed for someone else…covers its eyes. An animal is afraid for its life…covers its eyes. An animal is ashamed…covers its eyes. You get the idea. Also, unlike “befuddled dog cocks head” this cliché is great because it can be applied to a large cross section of beasts, though it is a particular mainstay among dogs and monkeys.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A pain medication so old that "Mad Men" might have concocted its first advertising campaign might be the cure for more than 500,000 people worldwide whose tuberculosis has grown resistant to front-line antibiotics, a new study says. Oxyphenbutazone, an anti-inflammatory medication marketed in the 1950s as Tandearil and still used in veterinary medicine, put on a spectacular test-tube display of attacking both forms of the TB bacterium -- those that replicate and those that do not.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Rare footage of Sumatran tiger cubs playing in an Indonesian rainforest was released yesterday by WWF. Camera traps captured images and footage of 12 Sumatran tigers, including two females with cubs, in the Bukit Tigapuluh forests. This is a great boost for tiger conservationists as there are thought to be only 400 of the Critically Endangered Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
This Sunday, America's best canine surfers will compete at Helen Woodward Animal Center's 7th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, the largest competition of its kind in the United States. As you can see from the photo, the surfers are a pretty motley crew representing full breeds, half breeds and mutts of unknown family origin.
Friday, September 7, 2012
A new center that is the first in the nation intended to study the spread of deadly diseases from animals to humans will be dedicated Saturday at Washington State University. The facility is a centerpiece of WSU's expansion into a new field of research by creating the School of Global Animal Health. "Somewhere between 60 and 75 percent of the diseases that infect humans over time have their origin in animals," said Guy Palmer, a professor of pathology and infectious diseases at the university's College of Veterinary Medicine. "You want to control the disease before it comes into humans."
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
American Airlines provided a free flight to a 123-pound endangered female hawksbill sea turtle blown ashore by Tropical Storm Isaac. She was found on the beach in St. Croix in poor condition, and was flown to a turtle hospital in the Florida Keys. Read below for more on this sea turtle rescue.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
A rare white Indian tiger cub plays with its mother Surya Bara at a zoo in the city of Liberec, Czech Republic, Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
A formerly blind Sumatran orangutan can see her baby twins for the first time after undergoing cataract surgery in the first such operation in Indonesia. The orangutan, named Gober, was captured for her own safety in late 2008 in North Sumatra province after she went blind in both eyes due to cataracts. She gave birth to the twins in early 2011 as part of a breeding program.