Thursday, December 17, 2015

Animals Think, Therefore

In 1992, at Tangalooma, off the coast of Queensland, people began to throw fish into the water for the local wild dolphins to eat. In 1998, the dolphins began to feed the humans, throwing fish up onto the jetty for them. The humans thought they were having a bit of fun feeding the animals. What, if anything, did the dolphins think?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Animals Find Forever Homes This Holiday

There are millions of loving and healthy cats and dogs sitting in shelters that are in need of a “forever home” or simply just a family to belong to. The Tri-County Animal Shelter recently announced its holiday promotions, which began Dec. 1 with a “Home 4 The Holidays” event and will finish off the month with a big holiday party Dec. 19.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wild Animals Endure Illness, Injury, and Starvation

Cecil the lion captured the world’s attention earlier this year when an American dentist hunted and killed him. People were justifiably outraged at this tragedy — so much so, in fact, that they turned against the entire practice of trophy hunting.Numerous airlines responded by banning the transport of a range of hunting trophies on their flights. In October, people were again infuriated when a German hunter shot a 40- to 60-year-old elephant in Zimbabwe. Although this hunt was legal, unlike Cecil’s, the unnecessary killing of wild animals continues to draw public outcry.

Monday, December 14, 2015

‘Blessing Of The Animals’ Brings Creatures Of All Kinds

Some lucky animals were serenaded inside the Christ Church of Manhattan, as the Upper East Side parish celebrated their 7th annual “Blessing of the Animals” ceremony.  The event offers individual blessings to all kinds of pets, including dogs, bunnies, guinea pigs, farm animals and even NYPD horses.  “They need to feel that God loves them,” Cindy Adams, an organizer of the event, said.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Dogs And Other Animals May Also Have Conscience

If you're a pet owner, it would not be surprising for you to know that your pet dog and other animals actually possess the aptitude of self-awareness.  Animals such as magpies, an Asian elephant, great apes, some ants and some dolphins have all previously passed the "mirror test" in which they recognize themselves apart from another object reflected in a mirror.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

China Outcry Shows Changing Attitudes To Animals

Public outrage in China over photographs of laboratory dogs lying muzzled and abandoned on the roof of a medical school building spotlights changing attitudes to animal rights, animal welfare groups say. The pictures and video, taken by animal rights activists in the central city of Xi'an, went viral on social media platforms this week, sparking widespread revulsion at the treatment of the animals.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Airports Staffed By Animals

Your next trip through airport security could be manned by mice.  Why not  Airports already employ dogs as therapists and llamas as bodyguards (yes, really).  In fact, animals hold a range of jobs in the travel industry.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tech Breakthroughs Are Giving Animals the Power to Speak

Imagine you're a diabetic and you use a service dog trained to alert you if it senses your blood sugar is falling. These dogs are incredibly useful, because diabetics can lapse into “hypoglycemia unawareness,” where they don’t notice their own oncoming symptoms. The canines do, and they intervene. But sometimes a diabetic shock can emerge so suddenly the human passes out. Then the dog’s in a quandary: How does it go for help? Because dogs can’t talk.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Was Early Animal Evolution Co-Operative?

The fossil group called the Ediacaran biota have been troubling researchers for a long time. How do these peculiar organisms relate to modern organisms? In a new study, published in Biological Reviews, researchers from Sweden and Spain suggest the Ediacarans reveal previously unexplored pathways taken by animal evolution. They also propose a new way of looking at the effect the Ediacarans might have had on the evolution of other animals.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Humans and Animals: A Complicated Bond

Jayanti Seiler is not shy about expressing her feelings for animals. But when she meets the subjects of her project “Of One and the Other,” she keeps those feelings to herself.  She has explored the contradictions of the human-animal relationship, photographing them at circuses, shelters and even taxidermists. She started with birds of prey but soon expanded to include other animals. Ms. Seiler, 38, has always been an animal lover, so after she volunteered at a Florida wildlife rehabilitation center, she was inspired to chronicle the complex relationships she witnessed.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Animal Shelter Shares ‘Beautiful Images’ After All Are Adopted

A US animal shelter has celebrated the adoption of all of its resident animals by sharing images of their empty pens.  Photos from the Indiana centre show a vacant cat and kitten playpen and empty dog and puppy kennels.  The record 100 percent adoption rate was a first for Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control, according to its Facebook page.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Animal Behavior Expert Says Understanding Animals' Emotions Is Key

You can tell when an animal is stressed: The whites of its eyes show, the tail swishes, the head is up and ears pinned back, and it defecates more. It may balk, bolt or lash out.  People who work with animals, whether as veterinarians, trainers, facility or livestock managers, need to understand animals’ emotional response if they want the best outcomes, Temple Grandin told students and faculty at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at a lunchtime lecture Tuesday. She is an internationally known designer of livestock facilities, professor of animal science at Colorado State University and autism activist.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Animals Are Showing Up In Really Strange Places

In the spring of 2010, a lone grey whale was spotted off the Mediterranean coast of Israel, an event that sparked international interest for an important reason: It was the first North Atlantic sighting of a grey whale, a species nowadays restricted to the Pacific Ocean, in about 200 years.  The case is just one example in a recent spate of animals turning up in places they don't belong - generally, either Pacific species showing up in the Atlantic, or vice versa. Northern gannets, a North Atlantic species, have been spotted off the coast of California several times in recent years, for instance, while several Pacific species of auks, a type of diving bird, have recently been observed in the Atlantic.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Many Smaller Animals Clean Themselves to Survive

Going without a shower for a few days might make you feel gross, but for small animals like bees and houseflies, keeping clean is a matter of life or death.A mosquito flying through the fog of the early morning may find its wings so weighed down by water droplets that it can no longer search for food. A honeybee can easily pick up five times its body weight in pollen over the course of a day.  "It's all relative," said Guillermo Amador, a doctoral student at Georgia Institute of Technology. "To us, a particle of dust doesn't mean anything, but if a mosquito accumulates too many of them it gets too heavy to fly."

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Animal That Survives in Space Has Weird DNA

The only animal known to survive the extreme environment of outer space without the help of special equipment turns out to have the most foreign DNA of any species.Water bears, also known as tardigrades, have genomes that are nearly one-sixth foreign, meaning that the DNA comes from creatures other than the animal itself, new research finds.  The discovery, published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, adds to the evidence that tiny water bears are incredibly unique and seemingly indestructible animals. In 2007, some were even rocketed into space on the outside of a satellite.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Want to Work With Animals?

So you want to work with animals? Having a real passion for the area is an excellent start, says Tom Laws, a careers adviser working with the National Careers Service.  “If you’re just starting out or planning a career change, begin by volunteering at a local kennel or animal charity,” he says. “After getting more of an idea about the day-to-day tasks of the work, and speaking directly with people working there, it could help make your mind up about re-training.”

Friday, November 20, 2015

Profile: A Human Touch For Animals

Temple Grandin, 68, is one of the world’s top experts on nurturing farm animals. She trains farmers and ranchers to raise livestock without causing them pain or fear. Those methods and insights make their care — called animal husbandry — faster and easier because the animals do not become anxious.  Grandin also has designed slaughterhouses, facilities where animals are killed for food. Animals move through these facilities without stress. Death comes instantly and painlessly. About 30 million cattle are killed for meat every year in the United States. Today more than half of those cattle are processed in systems that Grandin designed.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Truth About Animal Charities, Cats and Dogs

As we approach December - the month when almost a third of all charitable giving for the year takes place - many of us might be wondering where we should be sending our charitable donations. Some of us will choose to give to charities such as Against Malaria Foundation, which helps to protect people in the developing world from a disease that kills almost 3,000 children every day. And yet, despite the great needs of humans around the world, many people will choose to donate to charities that help animals. In fact, it has recently been reported by the Mirror that “bequests to animal charities beat donations to human causes”, and that donations bequeathed to animals “dwarfed” those going to vulnerable and abused children.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Top 10 Most Virile Male Animals

Sperm and male sex organ extremes are revealed in a new study of more than 100 mammal species. The study also answers a question that has baffled scientists for years: Which is favored more during evolution, sperm size or sperm count? Quantity is key for mammals such as this roaring male lion, which can mate up to 60 times per day. The findings are published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Why Some Animals Are More Tolerant to Human Interaction

When most wild animals first encounter humans, they respond as they would to any predator—by running, swimming or flying away.Over time, some species become more tolerant of humans' presence, but the extent to which they do is largely driven by the type of environment in which the animals live and by the animal's body size, according to a comprehensive new analysis.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Companies Like Kikkoman Are Still Testing on Animals

Kikkoman, the Japanese soy-product manufacturing company known for their ubiquitous bottles of soy sauce, is on blast this month for conducting violent experiments on animals while testing their products. PETA, the animal rights organization, published an investigation of the company's history of animal testing and found multiple examples of experiments where animals are mutilated and killed for the testing of soy products.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Person Who Taught Me To Love Animals

Every evening after dark she'd begin to make the sandwiches.  She'd spread out peanut butter on the bread, then the sliced bananas. She'd use a whole loaf each night. We'd put the sandwiches out on the wooden platform she'd affixed to the sill of the window that looked into the towering trees behind her house in suburbia. We'd turn out the kitchen lights.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hairy Animals Teach Us How to Keep Robots Clean

If you own a cat or a dog, you’re familiar with their grooming habits. All of that licking might seem excessive — especially if the dog is doing it under the dinner table or the cat is doing it on the pillow next to your head.  But staying clean is essential to their health and their grooming habits could actually teach hairless creatures such as ourselves how to improve the cleanliness of a range of technologies.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Remembering The Animals That Served Alongside Our Soldiers

Whether attending a Remembrance Day service or simply paying respects to those who gave their lives in conflicts, how many people actually study the sculpture of the men and horses at the core of the National War Memorial in Ottawa?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Humans and Animals Lead Social Groups In Similar Ways

In social groups of both humans and animals members look to their leaders for guidance and support. Researchers have long studied the roles of animals within groups as they work together to hunt, forage or fight; but the ability a leader has to encourage members to work collaboratively has remained slightly more ambiguous.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Photo Perfectly Captures How Animals Actually Rescue Us

Sometimes an image surfaces that perfectly captures a feeling we thought could never be totally conveyed.  This particular image shows a woman tearfully embracing a dog in an emotional moment that appears to be a reunion or a first-meeting. It was posted on October 19 on Facebook by a user who compiles "funny, inspirational animal photo quotes" and shared over 54,000 times.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Animals Experiencing the Joy of Going Outside for the First Time

From cows to cats, an animal's first time outdoors is magical. Take a look at a few of our favorite videos showcasing animals' first times experiencing the great outdoors below.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

How Animal Poop Makes the World Go Round

Tens of thousands of years ago, giant land animals roamed the Earth. And these animals—woolly mammoths, giant deer, sloths the size of elephants—would often take breaks from their roaming to deposit vast piles of nutrients on the ground.  In other words, they pooped.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Do Animals Really Cry?

Humans are pretty fond of giving voices to animals. Squeaky voices. Excited voices. Princess voices.  But do we give them our emotions, too? More specifically, do animals actually cry tears of sorrow?  It's a question as old as our relationship with animals themselves.  But first, we need to understand the difference between shedding tears and crying. From a strictly scientific perspective, a tear is simply liquid emanating from an eye.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Unusual Ocean Animals Spotted Across California

Warmer waters across the California coast have brought unprecedented sightings of marine animals along the shore and in the water. Larger fish and bigger schools of fish are staying around later in the year, and in some cases, species that have never before been documented in California have found their way to California shores. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween's 5 Favorite Animals

Like many holidays, there are a series of beliefs and superstitions that surround Halloween. While it is often celebrated by kids dressing up in costumes and shoveling in way too much candy, the holiday has roots in ancient folklore and Celtic rituals. For this, Halloween is seen as an eerie holiday filled with fear--as well as mystery and magic. Halloween is also often associated with some seemingly spooky iconic animals --spiders, black cats, ravens, wolves and bats. But are they really all that spooky? Decide for yourself.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Are Prey Animals Scared All The Time?

In September 1865, a young Charles Darwin first set foot on the Galapagos Islands and started taking notes. These writings, later published as The Voyage of the Beagle, featured long accounts of the island's geology and wildlife. They contained the kernels of what would become his "Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection," and brought him great acclaim as a keenly observant naturalist.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

When Animals Shrink to Miniature Form

A tiny dwarf chameleon just 29mm long (1.1 inches) and a record-breaking miniscule frog measuring in at 7.7mm (0.3 inches) are among the headline-grabbing species of diminutive proportions that have only been discovered in the past few years.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

As Large Animals Disappear

It only takes a glance at a history book and a look out the window to know that our planet has lost many of its biggest creatures: The world that was once home to mammoths and towering dinosaurs can now barely maintain stable populations of rhinos and whales. But according to a new study, we've got more to mourn than just the animals themselves. We've lost their feces, too — and that's a bigger problem than you might think.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Can We Justify Killing Animals For Food?

Is it right to kill animals for food? And if it's wrong, how wrong is it? Could and should Western society ever change its views?  Four philosophers share their views with BBC Radio 4's Analysis programme.  Peter Singer: Our future selves will consider meat eating to be barbaric  Peter Singer is professor of bioethics at Princeton University and the author of Animal Liberation.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Outrage at Millions of Experiments Carried Out on Animals

Animal welfare charities reacted angrily today as the Government released details of the 3.87 million experiments carried out on mammals, birds and fish last year.The experiments were described as causing “'unacceptable levels of suffering” and the Government came under attack for failing to reduce the numbers of animals used in laboratories.  Critics say 184,00 procedures deemed to be at the severest level were carried out – a figure twice the seating capacity of Twickenham.  Announcing the figures, the Home Office said the statistics showed the number of scientific procedures carried out on animals had fallen by six per cent from 4.12m procedures during 2013 to 3.87m in 2014.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Visitors Can’t Tell If a Tourist Attraction Is Bad for Animals

In the first major study of wildlife tourism around the world, researchers at the University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit—the same group that had been studying Cecil the Lion before he was shot in July—found that the millions of people who visit wildlife attractions each year don’t seem to realize that places they’re visiting have ill effects on animals.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Animals Spy a New Enemy: Drones

On a sunny morning in October 2014, Christopher Schmidt strolled onto the grassy fields of Magazine Beach, a public park along the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass. To get a better view of the fall scenery, he launched his drone, a DJI Phantom quadcopter equipped with a camera.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Animals That Pretend to Go Belly-Up

Anyone planning a fright for Halloween might learn a trick from a South American frog that dramatically fakes its own death, according to scientists.  Leaf litter frogs (Ischnocnema aff. henselii) of southern Brazil were recently observed playing dead by turning belly-up, shutting their eyes, and throwing back their arms and legs. The frogs stayed in their exaggerated death pose for about two minutes, according to a team lead by biologist Vinicius Batista of the State University of Maringá in Brazil and reported in the fall issue of the Herpetological Bulletin.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Support Animals Help UNC Students

Senior Jared Scruggs is the proud owner of a small 10-month-old pointer fox terrier mix named Willow. But Willow isn’t any regular puppy — she is a support animal. Three years ago, UNC allowed its first support animal in a residence hall. Today, there are three students living with support animals on campus, said Rick Bradley, associate director of housing and residential education. According to UNC’s Animals On Campus policy, a service animal is defined by law as a dog or miniature horse, but support animals include more species. A support animal is “an animal that provides emotional or other support to an individual with a disability.”

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Video: Paralyzed Dog Makes a Fully Recovery

In April of 2013, Two Hands Four Paws founder Leslie Gallagher received a call from Doberman Rescue regarding a paralyzed Doberman named Kenny.  Kenny had suffered a traumatic event to his neck, possibly due to a kennel gate being dropped on him. He was rendered paralyzed in all four legs, completely unable to move.  Due to the potential costs of a proper diagnosis and restorative surgery, euthanasia was proposed.  Lisa contacted Leslie for advice.  Leslie subsequently offered to take Ken in and try to work her magic one more time.  The odds were not in her favor.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Why Do European Zoos Kill Healthy Animals?

On Thursday, the Odense Zoo in Denmark is scheduled to dissect a lion for the educational benefit of children on school holidays.  The 9-month-old female lion was considered "surplus." Officials at Odense said they had too many female lions. And they also were concerned about inbreeding, according to reports. The lion was offered to other zoos, but when no takers were found she was killed and stored in a freezer earlier this year.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Too Many People Are Still Not Adopting Animals

For most people concerned about animal welfare, adopting pets from an animal shelter or rescue organization is unquestionably the right thing to do, both for the pets brought into loving homes as well as to create more room and resources for animals left behind. And as we observe "Adopt a Shelter Dog Month," it's easy to assume the general public understands this imperative.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ecotourism Could Bring New Dangers to Animals

Ecotourism seems like it should be a win-win. Visitors get to experience exciting, often exotic locales and see creatures in their natural habitats. The money raised through these visits goes to local communities and to preserving ecosystems.  But what if nature tourism is hurting the very animals we want to protect?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Animals Deserve To Be Treated Humanely

Thank you for publishing columnist Kirsten Powers’ piece “It’s time for evangelicals to speak up for animals.”  The animal rights movement is the logical successor to the other major social justice movements of the second half of the 20th century: the civil rights movement, the women’s rights movement and the gay rights movement.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Humans Harder on Animals Than Radiation

The site of the worst nuclear disaster in history might be turning into an accidental wildlife sanctuary.  More than 100,000 people had to leave the 1,600 square miles surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear plant, after an explosion in one of the nuclear reactors spewed tons of radioactive material into the air in 1986.  The number of deaths, particularly those from radiation exposure and cancers, has been disputed over the years, with some figures being as low as 43 and others closer to 4,000, or higher.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

We Don't Own the Animals

I was recently honored to receive a humanitarian award from Peta. During the evening, I was reminded of Pope Francis' historical new encyclical on the environment. He praises animals, and calls on all of us to embrace a more humane path: "We read in the Gospel that Jesus says of the birds of the air that 'not one of them is forgotten before God' ( Lk 12:6)." How then can we possibly mistreat them or cause them harm?"

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Secret Lives of Dogs

A dog’s tail wagging could be worth a thousand words, and with the help of a new gadget, we’re a little closer to translating its message.  Believing a dog’s tail is a window to the canine soul, founders of New York-based tech company DogStar Life created a smart device to help owners decode the messages transmitted when pups wag their tails and better understand the emotional lives of their furry friends.  TailTalk is a lightweight sensor that sits on a dog’s tail and documents the peaks and valleys of the pup’s feelings throughout the day, according to the creators.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Campuses Debate Rising Demands for ‘Comfort Animals’

Rachel Brill and Mary McCarthy are seniors and longtime roommates at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. This year, they share their four-bedroom campus apartment with two other female students. Also, Theo and Carl.  Theo, easygoing and unflappable, is a tawny, 103-pound, longhaired German shepherd. Carl, an energetic charm magnet, is a jet-black, 1.5-pound Netherland Dwarf rabbit.  House rules: Carl must reside in a pen under Ms. McCarthy’s raised bed; Theo snoozes in a crate in Ms. Brill’s bedroom. Carl cannot be let loose in the living room, where Theo likes to hang out. “We’re still very careful because we don’t want there to be an issue with Theo and Carl,” Ms. McCarthy said. “We’re both very anxious people.”