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Science Daily: Dog News

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Frozen bird turns out to be 46,000-year-old horned lark

Scientists have recovered DNA from a well-preserved horned lark found in Siberian permafrost. The results can contribute to explaining the evolution of sub species, as well as how the mammoth steppe transformed into tundra, forest and steppe biomes at the end of the last Ice Age. View the source article

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New test identifies poisonous mushrooms

A simple, portable test can detect the deadliest of the mushroom poisons in minutes, researchers say. Eating toxic mushrooms causes more than 100 deaths a year, globally, and leaves thousands of people in need of urgent medical assistance. Amanitin is the class of mushroom toxins that cause the most serious issues. View the source article

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Dog domestication during ice age

Analysis of Paleolithic-era teeth from a 28,500-year-old fossil site in the Czech Republic provides supporting evidence for two groups of canids -- one dog-like and the other wolf-like - with differing diets, which is consistent with the early domestication of dogs. View the source article

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Fecal excretion of PFAS by pets

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are used in a wide range of consumer products, from pizza boxes to carpets to non-stick cookware. Therefore, it's not surprising that these water- and stain-repelling substances are ubiquitous in the environment. Now, researchers report that cats and dogs excrete some PFAS in their feces at levels that suggest exposures above the minimum risk level, which could also have implications for the pets' owners. View the source article

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A roadblock for disease-causing parasites

Thread-like parasitic worms cause millions of cases of canine heartworm each year, and more than 100 million cases of lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, in humans. New research shows that ramping up the immune response of mosquitoes blocked their ability to transmit these harmful parasites. View the source article

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New dog, old tricks? Stray dogs can understand human cues

Pet dogs are highly receptive to commands from their owners. But is this due to their training or do dogs have an innate ability to understand human signals? A new study finds that 80% of untrained stray dogs successfully followed pointing directions from people to a specific location. The results suggest that dogs can understand and respond to complex gestures without any training, meaning that dogs may have an innate connection to human behaviors. View the source article

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Scientists unexpectedly witness wolf puppies play fetch

When it comes to playing a game of fetch, many dogs are naturals. But now, researchers report that the remarkable ability to interpret human social communicative cues that enables a dog to go for a ball and then bring it back also exists in wolves. View the source article

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Jaguars could prevent a not-so-great American biotic exchange

In eastern Panama, canid species from North and South America are occurring together for the first time. Urban and agricultural development and deforestation along the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor might be generating a new passageway for these invasive species adapted to human disturbance. View the source article

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Dogs and wolves are both good at cooperating

A team of researchers have found that dogs and wolves are equally good at cooperating with partners to obtain a reward. When tested in same-species pairs, dogs and wolves proved equally successful and efficient at solving a given problem. This finding suggests that basic cooperation abilities were present in a common ancestor of dogs and wolves, and have not been lost in the domestication process. View the source article

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Early-life exposure to dogs may lessen risk of developing schizophrenia

Ever since humans domesticated the dog, the faithful, obedient and protective animal has provided its owner with companionship and emotional well-being. Now, a study suggests that being around 'man's best friend' from an early age may have a health benefit as well -- lessening the chance of developing schizophrenia as an adult. View the source article

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Dogs promote page turning for young readers

Reading in the presence of a pooch may be the page-turning motivation young children need, suggests a researcher. A new study examines the behavior of 17 children from Grades 1 to 3 while reading with and without a dog. View the source article

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Dinosaur skull turns paleontology assumptions on their head

A team of researchers has unearthed a well-preserved Styracosaurus skull -- and its facial imperfections have implications for how paleontologists identify new species of dinosaurs. Nicknamed Hannah, the dinosaur was a Styracosaurus -- a horned dinosaur over five meters in length with a fan of long horns. Paleontologists have learned much from those horns -- because they aren't symmetrical. View the source article

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Dog and sheep bones help injured pigeons fly again

Sheep and dog bones can be whittled into orthopedic pins that stabilize pigeons' fractured wings, helping the fractures to heal properly without follow-up surgery. Researchers describe the treatment, which is cheaper and more efficient than using metal pins for pigeon rehabilitative surgeries. View the source article

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