Many tame domesticated animals have a different appearance compared to their relatives in the wild, for example white patches in their fur or shorter snouts. Researchers have now for the first time shown that wild house mice develop the same visible changes -- without selection, as a result of exposure to humans alone.
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Therapy dog sessions for stressed-out students are an increasingly popular offering at North American universities. Now, new research confirms that some doggy one-on-one time really can do the trick of boosting student wellness.
It is well known that dogs have a better sense of smell than humans. For years, researchers have been trying to develop an artificial detector that is just as good as a canine's nose. Now, one group reports that they were able to mimic a dog's sniffer with graphene-based nanoscrolls.
Many households can claim at least one four-legged friend as part of the family. But pets that primarily stay indoors can have increased rates of diseases, such as diabetes, kidney diseases and hypothyroidism compared with those that stay exclusively outside. Some scientists propose that chemical substances in the home could contribute to these illnesses.
Scientists have shown that the way we speak to our canine friends is important in relationship-building between pet and owner, similar to the way that 'baby-talk' is to bonding between a baby and an adult.
Dogs' excellent sense of smell is well-known, whether it is in the context of searching for people or for contraband substances. However, the question of how dogs understand what they perceive with their sense of smell has largely been unexplored. Scientists have now found evidence that dogs create a 'mental representation' of the target when they track a scent trail.
Researchers have released 'GeneSeqToFamily', an open-source Galaxy workflow that helps scientists to find gene families based on the powerful 'EnsemblCompara GeneTrees' pipeline.
Bites, kicks, and stings from farm animals, bees, wasps, hornets, and dogs continue to represent the most danger to humans, according to a new study.
Through extensive listening and analysis of whale calls -- which were recorded by a large collaboration of scientists over the past two decades -- researchers were able to pick up the slow gradual changes in sound production in the marine giants as they age. Looking at spectrograms of the calls, which provide visual representations of the sound, the research team could see the progression of vocal characteristics of the animals from calf throughout adulthood.
Scientists have carried out a mass dog vaccination in Chad and determined its effect on human rabies exposure. The study employed a bio-mathematical method for estimating the transmission dynamics of rabies. The researchers conclude that with political will and the necessary funding, elimination of rabies is possible in Africa.
The global 1000 Bull Genomes Consortium identified the genetic basis for accurately predicting the complex trait of height across cattle and dairy breeds by pooling large genomic datasets and phenotypes collected from 58,000 cattle. The team validated their findings using the DNA of a wild auroch, the ancient ancestor to all cattle and dairy breeds, and, in a world first, demonstrated the genes influencing height in cattle also influence the trait in humans and dogs.
Spoiling old dogs in their twilight years by retiring them to the sofa and forgiving them their stubbornness or disobedience, doesn’t do our four-legged friends any good. Regular brain training and lifelong learning create positive emotions and can slow down mental deterioration in old age. Physical limitations, however, often do not allow the same sort of training as used in young dogs. In a new study, a team of researchers led by cognitive biologists propose computer interaction as a practical alternative. In the training lab, old dogs responded positively to cognitive training using educational touchscreen games.
Nearly one in three pugs has an abnormal gait, which in turn is linked to other health issues, finds a Swedish study of owners of the breed.
Does your cat lay around all day, only getting up to eat and visit the litter box? Chances are, he's overweight. Maybe you've switched to the 'diet' cat food or tried feeding him less, but you might have noticed it's not easy to get that weight off. A new study explains what it takes to get kitty to slim down.
Researchers have found that female cats are much more likely to use their right paw than males.
Tularaemia is an infectious bacterial disease that is life-threatening for rodents, rabbits and hares, but which can also infect humans and dogs. While contact with contaminated blood or meat makes hunters a high-risk group, the frequency of infections among hunting dogs has not been much studied. Researchers have now confirmed a relevant prevalence of infections in Austrian hunting dogs following a serological study in which seven percent of the animals tested positive. This could lead to more intense debate as to whether the often asymptomatic animals represent an additional risk of infection for people.
The Far Eastern or Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is already among the rarest of the world's big cats, but new research reveals that it faces yet another threat: infection with canine distemper virus (CDV).
Amoebae, single-celled organisms common in soil, water and grade-school science classrooms, may play a key role in the survival and spread of deadly plague bacteria. New research shows that plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis, not only survive, but thrive and replicate once ingested by an amoeba. The discovery could help scientists understand why plague outbreaks can smolder, stay dormant for years, and re-emerge with a vengeance.
Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets, instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.
Researchers are warning of a 'significant peak' in the risk of chocolate poisoning in dogs over the Christmas period as households stock up on festive treats. In a new, researchers have used electronic health records from UK veterinary practices to analyze cases of chocolate ingestion in dogs.
Most commercially available dog treats contain a range of undefined ingredients, including sugars, and often exceed the recommended daily energy allowance for treats ('complementary feed'), warn researchers.
Grey wolves, as all wild animals, are hosts to a variety of parasites. The presence of grey wolves in German forests has little influence on the parasite burden of hunting dogs, according to a new study.
The first study to actually count the number of cortical neurons in the brains of a number of carnivores, including cats and dogs, has found that dogs possess significantly more of them than cats.
Researchers are creating a library of movement data from different dog breeds, to make animal animations in films and video games more realistic.
New research has found that dogs lick their mouths as a response to looking at angry human faces, suggesting that domestic canines may have a functional understanding of emotional information.