Does Where You Live Impact Your Pet’s Longevity?
Research done by Banfield Pet Hospital suggests that among several other factors, the state you live in can play a role in your pet’s overall health and longevity. Colorado and Montana are among the best states for both dogs and cats, whereas Louisiana and Mississippi are among the worst (I was surprised to see Massachusetts on the worst list as well – time to move!)
Strutting, Wriggling Honeybees Are Doing More Than Just Getting Down
It has long been known that when honeybees return to the hive after a food run, their shell has a positive electrical charge, and they do a dance which gives off these electric fields (they can produce up to 450 volts!) and lets their hive-mates know the direction of the food source. But recent research by Uwe Greggers at the Free University of Berlin suggests that the dance may convey even more information than previously thought
Are Horses Lazy (or Just Not Interested in Pointless Research)?
Researchers from the University of Guelph, Canada, and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria, conducted an experiment involving a maze with the goal of finding out just how industrious horses are. The horses’ responses included annoyed tail swishing, flat out refusal to enter the maze, and heading for the nearest exit. Dr. Uta König von Borstel, one of the researchers, said: “We asked ‘are horses lazy’ and the answer would definitely be yes. They will actually go to extra effort and work hard in order to avoid work. That is the impression we were left with after the study.”
Animal self-medication (“zoopharmacognosy”) is a lot more widespread than previously thought, according to Mark Hunter, professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. And the animals are using whatever works: honeybees are known to incorporate antimicrobial resins into their nests, and one recent study has suggested that house sparrows and finches add high-nicotine cigarette butts to their nests to reduce mite infestations. But less attention has been given to the many cases in which animals medicate their offspring or other kin, according to Hunter and his colleagues. “Perhaps the biggest surprise for us was that animals like fruit flies and butterflies can choose food for their offspring that minimizes the impacts of disease in the next generation,” Hunter said
University of Michigan
Cute story of the week: Sheep Thinks He Is A Dog
After being hit by a car as a tiny lamb, Lamo the sheep was brought back to health by (UK) Rockfield Animal Rescue’s Jennifer Jones and raised with her three dogs. The now year-old Lamo still lives with his adopted family and acts just like one of the family dogs: he fetches, walks on a leash, rides in the car, and even tries to bark
The Daily Express