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 These are myths and facts about animals, mammals and reptiles. The bottom pages have all kinds of information and trivia on cats, dogs, and other pets. Plus there are freaky facts too.

25 Canine Facts That Even The Biggest Dog Lovers Don’t Know

When there’s someone in your life that you consider your “best friend,” you’d like to think that you know all there is to know about this special person. From their favorite music to where they grew up, it’s hard to be a good pal without a solid amount of knowledge about them.

With that in mind, dogs are often considered “man’s best friend,” and as such, we like to think that we understand them perfectly. They’re just dogs, after all, so they can’t have any deep, dark secrets—right? Wrong. There are several facts about our furry friends that most people don’t know about, even if they’ve had them for years. Here are some of the most fascinating things that you may not know about your dog!

1. Dalmatians may be famous for their spots, but the puppies are not actually born that way. Their signature black patches of fur don’t develop until they’re roughly two-to-three weeks old.


To see the rest: http://hermoments.com/facts-about-dogs-hc-2-hm/?as=2100019790672&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=facts-about-dogs-hc-2-hm_hm_us_english_desktop_c2_t3_v20181031_l_1_rj_0_b89-92_her_moments_-_tuesday&utm_term=34503345044&utm_content=NEWS_US&bdk=a2100019790672

23 Smallest Animals on the Planet

As popular culture reminds us time and again, the smaller the animal, the more likely we are to obsess over it on the internet, and subsequently attempt to scale its size by inserting it in small objects—like a teacup. It’s almost as if we are programmed to protect and adore these small creatures—and perhaps create entire communities online to revel in said cuteness.

So, for your pleasure (and for our own, of course), we’ve scoured the globe to find the tiniest animals in the world. From the brightly colored Bee Hummingbird to the highly intelligent Royal Antelope, these are the smallest (though not necessarily the most cuddly) animals in the world. We dare you not to stick ’em into their very own teacups. And for more of the strangest animals just outside your backyard, check out The 20 Strangest National Animals.

Dwarf Three-Toed Jerboa Smallest Animals

Dwarf Three-Toed Jerboa

The adorable Baluchistan Pygmy Jerboa, or, as it’s more commonly referred to, the Dwarf Three-Toed Jerboa, is one of the smallest rodents in the world. The little critters, who only grow to an average of 4.4 centimeters long, reside mostly in the harsh desert climate of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Dwarf Three-Toed Jerboa survives by burrowing under small bushes and feeds on wind-blown seeds and succulent leaves. And for more incredible facts from the animal kingdom, check out these 50 Amazing Animal Facts.

Long-Tailed Planigale Smallest Animals

Long-Tailed Planigale

The Long-Tailed Planigale is the world’s smallest marsupial, and one of the smallest mammals to ever exist, measuring only 3 to 4 millimeters from the top of its body to the bottom. In order to make the marsupial better adapted to life as a predator (and ultimately, as prey itself), its entire body appears to be flat, including its skull, which is one-fifth as deep as it is wide. These features allow the Long-Tailed Planigale to sneak into the tiniest of soil cracks to find their prey. With that said, the tiny mammal thrives in northern Australia, where the cracked soil is plentiful (and so are its prey—insects, larvae, and even young mammals rivaling their own size). 

Bee Hummingbird Smallest Animals

Bee Hummingbird

This bird, endemic to Cuba and the Isle of Youth, is the smallest (and without a doubt, cutest) species. Bee Hummingbird only weigh around 2.6 grams and are about 6.1 inches in length, with females actually growing to be larger than their male counterparts. What makes this bird so incredibly adorable and recognizable (and photogenic) are the shocks of bright blue, red, and orange across its body. And if you prefer laughs rather than facts of your furry friends, check out these 40 Funniest Jokes About Animals.

Paedocypris Fish Smallest Animals

Paedocypris Fish

This genus of tiny cyprinid fish is the smallest of its kind, with an average adult able to fit squarely on the end of a fingertip. Paedocypris can be found in swamps and streams on the Southeast Asian islands of Borneo, Sumatra, and Bintan, and are unique in that they can only survive in acidic water. Though, unfortunately for these small fish, these acidic swamps and streams in Southeast Asia are quickly evaporating, leaving them without a home. Scientists estimate that this genus of cyprinid fish may be extinct by 2040 if nothing is done about the evaporation of their natural habitat.

vaquita Smallest Animals


The vaquita is a species of dolphin nearly on the brink of extinction, with only 12 reported to be living in the Gulf of California, as of March 2018, according to the World Wildlife Fund. It’s another instance where females, with an average length of 55.4 inches, are the larger of the sexes. Scientists believe that one of the contributing factors to their near-extinction is the fact that these dolphins are the least social of their species, meaning that their calls for help are ignored when they (quite often) find themselves in life or death situations, like getting caught in gillnets set by fishermen meant for catching other fish. Currently, if no measures are made to protect this critically endangered species, they will most likely be extinct by the end of 2018. And for more creatures on the Endangered Species List, check out these 20 Animals That Are Tragically Near Extinction.

Samoan Moss Spider Smallest Animals

Spruce-fir Moss Spider

The Spruce-fir Moss Spider is yet another tiny species on the brink of extinction. Dwelling mainly in the American Appalachian Mountains, these spiders are among the smallest in its kind, measuring only to be three to four millimeters in size. The spiders can range in color from light brown to a darker reddish brown and possess no markings on their abdomen. Since 1995, the Spruce-fir Moss Spider has appeared on the Endangered Species List due to the widespread death of Fraser Fir trees, that have resulted in a thinning of the forest canopies, and also ultimately a shortage of moss mats that are critical to the spider’s survival. Within the past few years, efforts have been made to create captive breeding programs for these spiders, in order to secure their future survival.

Thorius Arboreus Smallest Animals

Thorius Arboreus

These tiny salamanders have been slithering across the matted greens of forest floors in Sierra de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico, for centuries. But, due to recent logging and agriculture practices, their numbers have begun to decline. The long, skinny bodies of this salamander typically only measure up to 16.1 to 18.4 millimeters in length and are easily distinguishable by their big, bug-like eyes.

Pygmy Mouse Lemur Smallest Animals

Pygmy Mouse Lemur

The Pygmy Mouse Lemur, which you may also know as the Peters’ mouse lemur or dormouse lemur, is a primate and second-smallest species of the mouse lemurs, weighing in at only 43 to 55 grams as adults. Due to its small size and nocturnal nature, they were only recently discovered in western Madagascar in 1993. They often live in packs of up to 15, with the females being the more dominant of the sexes. While the lemur isn’t included on the Endangered Species List, it is considered vulnerable due to the dangers its sleeping patterns create (Pygmy Mouse Lemurs sleep during the day and in the open) that make it easy for predators to catch them off-guard.

Paedophryne Amauensis Frog Smallest Animals

Paedophryne Amauensis Frog

As you can tell from the picture above, this smallest species of frog and vertebrate is incredibly easy to miss. The Paedophryne Amauensis Frog, coming in at a mere 7.7 millimeters in length and was only recently discovered in 2009 by an American scientist sifting through dirt in Papua New Guinea. Because they are known to camouflage themselves in leaf litter on the floors of tropical forests, these frogs can be incredibly hard to detect, and much is still not known about their living patterns and eating habits.

Speckled Padloper Tortoise Smallest Animals

Speckled Padloper Tortoise

The Speckled Padloper Tortoise, or Homopus Signatus, is the smallest species of tortoise in the world and is naturally restricted to a small area in Little Namaqualand, an arid region in western South Africa. The turtles live amongst the rocky outcrops of the area and feed on tiny succulents. The courtship between the males and females is initiated with a simple head nod, and then mating can begin. Despite efforts to keep the Speckled Padloper Tortoise off the Endangered Species List, these creatures still remain vulnerable due to heavy poaching and traffic along the area that they inhabit.

Hippocampus Denise Smallest Animals

Hippocampus Denise

Also known as Denise’s pygmy seahorse or the yellow pygmy seahorse, the Hippocampus Denise is one of the smallest seahorses ever discovered, reaching a maximum length of approximately 2.4 centimeters. While this species is incredibly rare, they have been in several locations throughout the western Pacific, including Indonesia, Vanuatu, Palau, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands, and Micronesia. The seahorse is incredibly adaptive due to potent camouflage abilities. Similar to other species of seahorses, the male broods the eggs in its ventral brood pouch, and when fully grown, the “pups” exit the pouch and venture out on their own.

To see them all: https://bestlifeonline.com/smallest-animals-on-planet/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=msn-feed


How the World Looks Through Your Cat’s Eyes

I love my cat. She’s a great companion, and I like watching her watch the world. Like most cat lovers, I’ve often wondered what she sees through those big brown eyes. Can she tell the difference between people just by looking? Does she know it’s me when I wave goodbye from the driveway? A new project from artist Nickolay Lamm helps to answer some of these pressing cat-parent questions. Using information from top veterinarians and ophthalmologists, Lamm constructed images that contrast human and feline vision.

I was shocked to learn that although cat’s eyes are superior to ours in some ways, they’re not nearly as good in others. While cats have a broader field of vision than we do, the resolution is inferior to ours. What seems clear to us at a distance of 100 feet or more is totally blurry to cats. They see things more clearly at 20 feet or less. (So no, your kitty doesn’t see your face as a big blob when you’re cuddling on the couch!)

What cats lack in distance vision is made up for in other areas, however. Cats can see six to eight times better in dim light than humans due to their eyes’ high number of rods and because of their elliptical pupil, large cornea and tapetum. Since cats are nocturnal animals, this is a great advantage for hunting and hiding from enemies.

More fun cat vision facts below! (Human vision on top, cat vision on the bottom)

Cats have a visual field of 200 degrees compared to humans’ 180 degrees. Peripheral vision for humans is 20 degrees on each side. This is represented by the blurriness.

Cat Vision

What a normal human can see as un-blurred and sharp at 100-200 feet, a cat would have to view from 20 feet. A cat’s visual acuity is between 20/100 to 20/200.

Cats were originally thought to be dichromate (color blind) like dogs and some humans. They have been found to have peaks at 450-454 nm and 550-561 nm (blue-violet and green-yellow, essentially). That said, there is some research out there that suggests cats may also have a third cone type that peaks at 500-520 nm (green area).

Cat Vision

This new research would indicate that cats are actually trichromats, but not in the human sense since the cones aren’t as spread out and all fall in the violet-yellow range. Protanopic humans really only see blues and yellows (red-green color blind), so cats are probably like that, but with some green thrown in from that third cone type.

Cat Vision

Our retinas have many more cones than cats, especially in the area of the fovea, which is all cones and no rods. This gives us fantastic day vision with lots of vibrant colors and excellent, detailed resolution.

Cat Vision

Dogs and cats have many more rods, which enhances their ability to see in dim light and during the night.

Cat Vision

The increase in rods also enhances a cat’s visual “refresh rate,” so that they can pick up movements much faster. This is very helpful when dealing with small animals that change direction very quickly during a chase. These differences also help them to have great night vision and an excellent ability to pick up and follow quick movements, but at the cost of less vibrant color, with less detailed resolution. Interestingly, this also means that humans see slow-moving objects at speeds 10 times slower than cats. I.e. we see very slow things move whereas they would not appear to be moving to a cat.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/see-how-the-world-looks-through-your-cats-eyes.html#ixzz2xMfuKS1c

Do Dogs Have Night Vision?

Puppy Eyes and Vision: What Dogs Actually See

Puppy eyes work quite similar to our own. Light passes through the clear window-like cornea on the front surface of the eye, through the dark round opening called the pupil, and enters the lens which focuses the light images onto the retina at the back of the eye. Unlike human eyes, all dogs have a "third eyelid" called the haw or nictitating membrane which is located in the inner corner of the eye that acts as a windshield wiper that sweeps horizontally across the eye.

What Dogs See

“Most dogs are emmetropic—normal sighted,” says Christopher Pirie, DVM, a veterinarian certified in ophthalmology and an Assistant Professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. “Previous canine study demonstrated the average refractive error to be -0.05 D, or very slightly myopic.” In other words, your puppy may be slightly nearsighted. Dogs tend to rely more on motion than focus, though. They have trouble seeing objects closer than about 10 inches and must use their noses to find the kibble that spills out of the bowl. The visual acuity of dogs is about 20/75, although the German shepherd, Rottweiler, and Schnauzer appear to be even more nearsighted. Contact lenses can correct nearsighted vision in dogs. Good vision can be important especially for service animals that need to pay very close attention to human partners, or run interference as protection dogs. Poor vision may interfere with competition or hunting dogs seeing the handler’s directions. But contacts aren’t practical when dogs lose them so easily. Dogs do benefit from being fitted with glasses. A veterinary ophthalmologist evaluates vision by refraction in the same way non-verbal children are examined. Products like Doggles are designed to fit the canine face in all its various shapes and sizes. They can be used to protect sensitive eyes from injury or include corrective lenses to improve canine acuity.

Can Dogs See Color?
Can your puppy tell the difference between that red ball and the blue one? The retina at the back of the eyeball contains specialized cells called rods that detect shades of white, black and gray while cone cells detect color. Dogs have fewer cone cells than people do and see a dichromatic—or two-color system. Dr. Pirie says the dog’s cones are most sensitive to deep blue and green wavelengths. In comparison, people see a three-color system of red/yellow/blue. Dogs seem to be similar to people who are “color-blind” and unable to detect certain colors like red. Dogs can be easily trained to tell the difference between certain colors even though they don’t see them in the same way as people. Under normal light, dogs probably see green and blue as much brighter than red, because they have very few to no red-sensitive cones. Like human eyes, the dog's eye can control the amount of light that passes through the eye. The specialized muscle called the iris, that’s the colored portion of the eye, can contract the pupil to a round pinpoint in bright light, or open wide to allow in more light during low light. The lack of color sense is balanced by the dog having many more rods, light-sensitive cells on the retina, than people do. The retinal illumination of the dog is about three times more efficient than ours.

Dog Eye Shine at Night?
Dog eyes also have the ability to “re-use” existing light to improve their vision in low-light environments.
Many mammals, including cats and dogs, have a layer of highly reflective cells behind the retina that reflects back any light the eye captures. The tapetum lucidum enhances the light-gathering efficiency of your dog’s eyes by nearly 40 percent and accounts for that eerie eye-glow you see at night.“The dog’s tapetum allows for an overall lower amount of light required to generate a signal and to detect a change,” says Dr. Pirie. “The rods are more sensitive to changes in light and useful for motion detection but do not allow dogs to see well. The cones are primarily responsible for visual acuity but are not functioning at such a low level of light.” So a dog’s eyes are more sensitive to low light conditions and have a better ability to perceive changes in motion than people. But the dog’s visual acuity (how clearly they see) isn’t particularly good under these conditions.

Depth Perception
Prey animal like rabbits and deer can watch in two directions at once with eyes on each side of the head. But predators, such as dogs and cats, have eyes toward the front of the face that gives them depth perception and binocular vision so they can correctly time pursuit and pounce.Eyes placed closer together have a greater degree of visual overlap, improved binocular vision, compared to those placed further apart. The binocular vision and field of vision vary somewhat between dog breeds depending on the formation of the face. The eye placement of brachycephalic dogs like Pugs is situated more toward the front of the face, while the narrow-headed sight hound breeds like the Collie tend to have eyes more on the sides of the face. Most dogs have only about 30-60 degrees of binocular overlap versus approximately 140 degrees of humans. Therefore dog’s depth perception is not as acute as people’s. He may see the movement of hand signals from a long distance but not recognize a hat-wearing owner until scent or voice further identifies you.

Peripheral Vision
But dogs are champions when it comes to the visual field of view, seeing all around in peripheral vision. That means when your puppy looks straight ahead he can still see 240 degrees, compared to 180 degrees in humans. Dogs are potentially even better at peripheral vision because they have a high-density line of vision cells across the retina, called a visual streak.
That lets them see a sharply focused object at a distance, even in the extremes of peripheral vision, out of the corners of their eyes. “It is believed this extension of cones improves the animal’s ability to see particularly along the horizon and serves as an adaptation based on the evolutionary requirement of the animal,” says Dr. Pirie.
Motion Detection A reliance on motion makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. The dog breeds developed to hunt by sights like Greyhounds and Afghan Hounds scan the distance for prey. Most dogs can detect strong hand signals from as far away as a mile. While dogs tend to ignore stationary objects, this visual streak triggers their instinctive urge to chase whenever something moves in their peripheral vision. That makes dogs great guard dogs because they alert to even small movements humans probably would never see. The visual streak is most pronounced in long-nosed dogs; the sight hound dogs developed to hunt and chase. That’s why herding breeds, for instance, may trigger on a bicycle or car and turn into chase maniacs.

Can Dogs See TV Images?
But many of the short-nosed dogs like Pugs don’t have this visual streak. Instead, they have high-density vision cells arranged in a single spot on the retina, called the area centralis. The area centralis has three times the density of nerve endings as the visual streak. While Dr. Pirie says it’s difficult to truly assess these differences, some researchers report this may be why short-nosed dogs seem to react to the TV screen or perhaps appear more sensitive to human facial expressions. This may be why smaller breeds are cherished not only fit better on the owner’s lap or for hunting or guardian abilities. Dogs able to see well in near-vision (lap-to-face) distances have the physical ability to be more responsive to our moods and emotions.


Dogs’ nose prints are as unique as a human’s fingerprints and can be used to accurately identify them.

The Canadian Kennel Club has been accepting dog nose prints as proof of identity since 1938. Just as humans can be identified by their fingerprints, dogs can be identified by their nose prints. Yes, you read that correctly, a dog’s nose print is unique to that dog, just as no two human fingerprints are the same. If you look closely at a dog’s nose, you will see lines forming patterns, just like fingerprints. This raises the question – Can nose prints be used to accurately identify a dog if found without a collar or tags?’

How Wolves change RiversI, and possibly you also, remember when the wolves were introduced  back into Yellowstone National Park about 20 years ago. There was a lot of debate about whether or not it was a good thing. I don't know your thoughts on this but have a look at this video clip. How often do we wonder, what difference does one animal make in the greater scheme of things?  Well, here is the answer! Sit back and enjoy this amazing video on how just one animal has changed the environment.

15 Amazing Things Your Dog Can Sense About You

1. Dogs Know When You Are Sad

When you feel sad, your dog will immediately pick up on this and adjust his behavior accordingly. He may become more subdued than usual, lose interest in his toys and even refuse his food. Usually, your dog will quietly observe you from a corner of the room. After a while, he may come over and lie down at your feet or gently rest his head in your lap. Many dogs will even try to lick away tears as they fall. A dog’s master is the center of his entire world, so sensing your feelings of sadness will have an effect on him too. In a study published in the journal “Animal Cognition,” researchers found that a dog was more likely to approach someone who was crying than someone who was humming or talking.

Furthermore, they found that dogs respond to weeping with submissive behavior. In other words, dogs seem to be trying to placate a person who is upset. What is more, dogs will approach anyone who is upset the same way, regardless of whether that person is their owner or not. The scientists insist that this study does not prove that dogs experience empathy, but it certainly goes a long way to supporting the claim. It also clearly indicates that dogs can identify sadness as an emotion that is different from other feelings.

2. Dogs Can Sense Your Intentions


We’ve all experienced a dog’s almost psychic ability to sense when something unpleasant is about to take place. Even before you turn on the shower or touch his towel, your dog knows you intend to give him a bath and will immediately run for cover. The same goes for haircuts, nail trims and administering medicine. On the other side, your dog will also understand if your intentions are pure and you are performing the task for his own good. Most dogs will submit to unpleasant experiences, such as nail trims, if their owner is close by to offer some reassuring words and gentle encouragement. At least one study has shown that dogs read intentions by reading behavior.

A 2011 study published in “Learning & Behavior” found that domestic dogs are roughly as intelligent as a 2-year-old human. That means that they are capable of understanding the meaning of roughly 165 words and that they can make sense of body language. It turns out that dogs use eye contact and gaze to figure out what people are thinking. Just as a mentalist will follow your gaze to determine what is on your mind that you don’t want him to know, so too will dogs follow your gaze to get a read on what you are thinking.

3. Dogs can Sense Any Diseases You May Have


If your dog has been paying particular attention to a certain area of your body, you may want to visit your doctor to make sure everything is okay. Various studies have confirmed that dogs have the ability to detect certain diseases such as cancer through their keen sense of smell. Some dogs can even be trained to warn epilepsy sufferers when they are about to have a seizure. There are many different training centers opening in various parts of the world that are dedicated to training dogs to detect the subtle chemical changes in the human body that signal disease.

A dog’s ability to sense disease comes down to an ability to detect chemicals known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. VOCs are what allows us to sense odor and though some are toxic, the term generally applies to any chemical that can get into your nose because it is a gas. While humans can detect certain potent VOCs, our limited sense of smell is no match for what dogs can do. Depending on the breed, a dog’s sense of smell can be anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than a human’s. That means that a dog can pick up a scent that is up to 100,000 times weaker than any scent a human can detect. If you translate that into terms we understand, like vision, it means that while a human can see roughly 1/3 of a mile, a dog could see just as well at a distance of 3,000 miles if his eyesight were as good, relative to our own, as his nose is! Put another way, a dog can detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water.

4. Dogs Understand When You Feel Scared


If you feel scared, your dog will know about it in an instant. A dog’s sensitive nose can pick up on subtle scents, such as adrenalin, that he associates with fear and danger. If you have a Rottweiler or Doberman, then your burly protector will most likely spring into action and come to your rescue. Smaller dogs, or those with nervous temperaments, will follow your lead and start to feel scared themselves. Your dog will always look to you for guidance on how to react in certain situations, so if you want your dog to be brave you will have to lead by example.

Fear is an emotion shared by a large number of animals, dogs included. While it is true that dogs can “smell” fear, it is also true that they intuitively understand the language associated with it. Dogs, like humans, have a customary reaction to fear. Their hair stands up, their pupils dilate, their lips curl, and their stance changes. When they associate their fear posturing with human fear posturing, they gain an understanding of what humans look like when they are afraid. Combine this with their awesome sense of smell and it’s no wonder that dogs can so easily detect fear.

5. Dogs Know When You Are Being Unfair


Your dog will immediately understand if you are playing favorites. A study performed in Austria tested what would happen if one dog was rewarded for performing a trick while another was not given anything for completing the same task. The dogs that did not receive a reward became agitated at the sight of their peers receiving treats. They responded by scratching and licking themselves with impatience. In other words, they recognized the unfairness of the situation. Notably, the dogs that took part in the study were unable to differentiate between the sizes of the rewards. If one dog received a sausage while another received bread, both dogs were more than happy with their prize. Remember, dogs are roughly as intelligent as a 2-year-old child.

Many animals have a sense of justice. Chimps, for instance, have a very strong sense of right and wrong and even take pleasure in punishing those who break the rules. Dogs have their own sense of fairness and it results from their social structure. One reason that dogs understand fairness arises out of their roots as wolves. Researchers have found that, because wolves must coordinate as a pack to hunt, they depend upon rules of fairness to survive. A wolf that doesn’t pull his weight won’t be allowed to partake in the rewards of a hunt. By the same token, a wolf that works hard to bring down an elk isn’t going to respond well to being denied a piece of the prize. Treat your dog the way you would want to be treated. Human and canine justice both come down to that simple golden rule.

6. Dogs Understand If You Suddenly Have Other Priorities


Dogs that have spent the vast majority of their lives being spoiled and adored by their owner will understand, to some extent, if attention suddenly shifts to a new priority. A new baby, boyfriend, hobby or even a new pet can lead to feelings of jealousy and resentment from your pampered pooch. Some dogs have even been known to physically insert themselves between two lovers in order to shift the attention back onto them. Having pointed out that dogs are able to recognize and cope with shifts in your priorities, remember that they don’t want to be neglected. The most important thing in the life of your pet is you.

Your dog relies on you to feed and care for his most basic needs. To let your dog know that you still care, do your best to keep his routine intact. A disruption in a dog’s routine will not only trigger feelings of jealousy, but will also play on your pet’s sense of justice If your dog displays feelings of jealousy, try to encourage him to interact with the new member of the family. Set aside at least ten minutes a day for some ‘alone time’ between you and your dog. Do right by your dog by responding to his emotional needs the way you would with a person.

7. Dogs Sense When You Are Angry


Owners that have been with their dog for  years often do not have to utter a single word to show that they are annoyed. If you come home and find your dog deep in the garbage can, placing your hands on your hips and issuing a disapproving stare is often enough to convey your anger. When on the receiving end of discipline, a dog will often crouch down, tremble, whine and occasionally lose bladder control. A recent study found that dogs will display this behavior when reprimanded even if they haven’t actually done anything wrong. It is clear that dogs can sense anger, but it is also clear that they can’t always understand its source.

Dogs often don’t know if you are angry at them or as the result of something else. This can be a disastrous situation because a dog may change his behavior in response to your anger, even if he has done nothing wrong. If this happens often enough, your dog may become frustrated with the lack of consistency in the rules and start to act out. Once again, this harkens back to a dog’s sense of justice.

8. Dogs Know If You Are A Generous Person


Just as we judge other people based on their actions, dogs will also pay attention to how you act toward others. An experiment organized by the University of Milan allowed dogs to observe humans in social situations. The dogs watched one set of actors sharing their food with a homeless man and another group telling the man to leave in an aggressive manner. Afterward, the two sets of actors attempted to call the dogs at the same time. Almost all of the dogs would respond to the generous actors when called and avoided the aggressive group.

Generosity is about justice as much as it is about kindness. It is also about tone of voice, anger, and all of the things previously discussed. The bottom line is that your dog knows when you are being generous and when you are being stingy. If you are stingy too often, your dog may begin to take things behind your back, act out, or otherwise let you know he is disappointed. Dogs expect reciprocity, they expect kindness, and they expect fairness. Dogs have a strong moral compass, which is what makes them such outstanding companions. They expect you to live a moral life and will react accordingly.

9. Dogs Immediately Know When Your Back is Turned


If you leave food on a table or kitchen counter within reach of your dog, you had better develop eyes in the back of your head if you want it to remain there. Many dogs would not dream of stealing food in front of their owner, but doing it behind their back is another situation entirely. Researchers tested the willpower of several dogs by setting treats down in front of them and then forbidding the dogs to approach the food. As soon as the researchers left the room, every one of the dogs inhaled the food in an instant. With a sense of justice comes a sense of understanding what one can get away with. How much can you cheat on your taxes? Should you tell a white lie to avoid that boring party? Satisfaction sometimes dictates that we do things that are less than honest so that we can gain some pleasure. With dogs, food is a major source of pleasure. They don’t have access to food the way humans do, able to eat any time they want, so don’t be surprised when your dog risks mild punishment for stealing a little food when your back is turned.

10. Dogs Understand If You Are A Pushover

Some of the more energetic breeds of dog, such as Labradors and Pit bulls, require a firm disciplinarian to reign in their wild behavior.Larger breeds sometimes don’t understand their own strength and can be dangerous if they suddenly decide to surprise a child or an old person with a hug.

However, just because a dog is well-behaved for its master or trainer does not mean it will act the same way for everyone else. Dogs like to test the boundaries on a regular basis. If they find someone who does not punish them for pulling on the leash, digging up the garden, or eating the garbage, they will take advantage their new-found freedom. Dogs rely heavily on social hierarchies to determine what they are and are not allowed to do in a setting. If you want your dog to behave, then he or she needs to see you as the alpha in the relationship.

To maintain alpha status, you need to do what an alpha dog would do. That means making your dog heel on walks, going through doorways first, always eating first, never feeding the dog from the table, and sticking to your punishments when the dog has misbehaved. If you maintain alpha status, your dog will never think you are a pushover.

11. Dogs Can Sense If A Woman Is Pregnant

While there has been no scientific proof that dogs can sense when a women is expecting, there are hundreds of stories of women who noticed changes in their dog’s behavior during their pregnancy. Many owners report that their dogs suddenly become much more protective, attentive, and loving. They also report that the dogs begin escorting them everywhere they go. Your dog may also sniff or nuzzle your belly and rest his head on it. Dogs pick up on hormonal changes, such as when a woman is menstruating, so the ability to sniff out a pregnancy is not so far-fetched.

It should come as no surprise that your dog may feel put out by the new bundle of joy in your home. To ensure that dog and baby are happy together, you need to start preparing your canine friend for the new baby as soon as you know you are pregnant. Most experts recommend that you give the pet a special place that belongs only to him, that you take time each day to spend only with your dog, and that you don’t change routine if it you can avoid it. If you must change your dog’s routine, then start early and do it gradually.

12. Dogs Know When You Are Taking Them To The Vet


How a dog can tell the difference between a trip to the vet and a car ride to the park is a mystery to humans. As soon as you load him into the car, your dog will already know what is going on. He may stare worriedly out of the window, pace back and forth, or eye you suspiciously. Once you get to the vets, then most dogs develop a set of anti-lock brakes that makes them impossible to move. Even if they are visiting a new vet for the first time, as soon as the door opens, they already understand that what is in store isn’t pleasant.

A dog knows that he is going to the vet thanks to his sense of smell and his ability to read body language. You probably can’t make a trip to the vet fun for your dog, but you can make it less anxiety-provoking. Most experts recommend that you acclimate your dog to the vet by taking him there on visits (no shots or prodding during these times). You should also “play doctor” with your dog. That means touching him on the pads of his feet, looking in his mouth, and otherwise doing things that a vet would do. You want to normalize these behaviors for your dog so that they aren’t alarming when the vet does them.

13. Dogs Understand When You Are Grieving

How much dogs can understand about death is still not fully understood. There have been many stories of pets grieving for their dead owners, and many have kept up vigils next to their owner’s grave or previous home. Losing a loved one brings a deep sadness that is very unlike other kinds that result from the breakup of a relationship or disappointment at work. Your dog will understand when you are mourning a loved one and will most likely go through a grieving process of his own. He may become clingier or more attentive. Some dogs have been known to howl when experiencing bereavement.

To help your dog deal with grief, start by maintaining his normal routine. Believe it our not, too much affection can be a bad thing. Some dogs will see it as a sign of weakness and take it that they need to assume the alpha role. You need to be calm and confident when a pet is grieving. Your job is as much about helping the dog move one (by playing, maintaining routine, etc.) as it is about placating your pet. Keep in mind that you should never introduce a new pet during a time of grief. Wait until your dog has recovered before getting a new puppy.

14. Dogs Know If You Are A Good Person

Good, honest, trustworthy people have an aura of good energy around them.New science suggests that, contrary to what neurologists previously believed, the heart actually has a stronger electromagnetic field than the brain. It also sends messages to the brain, through neurotransmitters, that influence thoughts and behavior. When we describe someone as being “goodhearted,” it means that the person literally has a force field of good energy radiating from their heart. Dogs have been aware of this magnetic field for centuries and will naturally gravitate toward those who emit good energy.

Dogs will also know if you are a good person based on your body language and how you treat others. If your dealings with others are just and fair, your dog will pick up on that based on how people react to you. Just as the dogs above were drawn to the more generous individuals, dogs are also drawn to those they perceive as more fair or trustworthy. It isn’t entirely clear how dogs make these moral judgments, but it is clear that you need to be consistently fair, both to your dog and to those around you, to let your pet know that you are a good person.

15. Dogs Understand When You Do Not Like Someone

When we gaze at something or someone we love, a chemical reaction takes place within our body. Dopamine and serotonin are released into our system and cause a chemical reaction that leads to feelings of happiness, joy, infatuation and ecstasy. The same thing happens when you look at a person you do not like. Except in this case the body releases a completely different set of hormones that are associated with hate, resentment and fear. Your dog can detect these changes in you, and will most likely begin to dislike the person that caused your reaction. Of course, body language plays a role in whether your pet thinks you like someone or not. Keep in mind that any dog, even a gentle dog, may try to protect you from people it perceives as a threat.

If you are avoiding a person, watching that person closely, or are otherwise sending out signals that you distrust someone, don’t be surprised if your dog barks, growls, or lunges at that person if he or she tries to approach you. This is important to keep in mind because your behavior can help put your dog at ease and thus decrease the chances of a confrontation in which you, your dog, or another individual may be injured.

Why Dogs Lick, Dogs that Lick, Ask Victoria Stilwell

Why is the dog licking?  Right from birth that is how the mother communicates with her new puppies, how she stimulates them to start breathing and how she cleans them when they are born, so it's very important to the survival of puppies.  In the wild and in domestic dogs, you'll find they will lick around the mother's mouth as newborns and puppies still retain that instinct.  It's also sort of a submissive gesture — the more subordinate members of a pack will lick the more dominant members and that's important in maintaining pack harmony.  

Dogs also lick because they like the taste of an owner's salty skin and out of habit.  Mostly, with domestic dogs, it's a sign of affection.

Licking releases pleasurable endorphins which gives dogs a feeling of comfort and pleasure — like the feeling people get when they are biting their nails — it relieves stress.  If your dog's licking is purely a sign of affection, one way to decrease this is to ignore the licking. Licking never gets attention.  If  your dog licks you, then you immediately stand up and walk into another room. You want to teach your dog that licking means the person will leave the room.  When you pet your dog, if he starts to lick, the petting stops and you walk away. With repetition the licking will stop.

If a dog is chronically licking himself, it can be because he is bored, anxious, has skin problems such as allergies, or could be feeling pain either in their paws or elsewhere in their bodies. You should make sure your dog is getting enough stimulation and rule out any infections or allergies by visiting your vet.


5 Dog Breeds You (Probably) Haven’t Heard Of

Every time I watch a dog show, I’m amazed at all the different breeds — pulis, Bedlington terriers and Chinese cresteds all look so odd to me; I seldom see them in real life (keep in mind that I am constantly surrounded by a pack of corpulent dachshunds). But my idea of a rare breed is nothing compared to some of the truly unusual breeds, many of which I’ve never heard of, dogs that either have small populations or unusual talents. Check out these five breeds from around the world. Which one would you like to adopt?

1. New Guinea Singing Dog

Peruvian Singing Dog New Guinea singing dogs, also called singers, are a rare breed from the highlands of New Guinea. Because their native landscape kept them isolated from other dog breeds for thousands of years, singers have developed a few interesting traits: they are exceptionally intelligent and have superior physical abilities. Oh, and they sing, throwing back their heads and howling in a strangely melodious fashion. Although they are extremely rare in their native New Guinea, singing dogs can now be found all over the world, often serving as therapy pets.

2. Kromfohrlaender


Said to look like a cross between a retriever and a beagle (although to me he looks more like a Jack Russell terrier mix), the Kromfohrlaender (krohm-for-land-ur) is a German hunting dog that was first recognized as a breed in 1955. A smaller breed, Kroms are usually about 15 inches tall and weigh a little over 20 lbs.Their coats, patterned with various shades of brown markings on white, can be short, long or wire-haired. Kroms usually have good temperaments and make excellent companion animals.
Cambodian Razorback Dog

3. Cambodian Razorback Dog

Cambodian Razorback Dog The Cambodian Razorback, a long-haired ridgeback dog, is native to a very small area of Cambodia, from the Lao border to the capital Phnom Penh.  A larger dog, Razorbacks weigh around 60 lbs. and stand about 20 inches at the shoulders. The ridge itself is usually more than 2 inches long, standing up like a mohawk along the back of the spine. Good-natured, friendly and intelligent, Cambodian razorbacks are loyal guard dogs adept at hunting.

4. Mudi

Mudi A rare Hungarian herding dog, the Mudi excels at hunting, herding, guarding and ratting. Like the border collies they so strongly resemble, Mudis are high-energy dogs that need plenty of exercise and a job to do. If they can’t guard the flock or take out a few rats, they’d love to compete in agility, obedience trials, flyball, tracking and Schutzhund. Like most working dogs, they were bred to be live outdoors, but Mudis will do well in homes provided they have a back yard to run around in.
Peruvian Inca Orchid

5. Peruvian Inca Orchid

Peruvian Inca Orchid The Peruvian Inca Orchid is a type of South American hairless dog similar to the Xoloitzcuintli Mexican hairless dog. Standing about 25 inches at the shoulder, PIOs can weigh between 25 and 50 lbs. Like the name suggests, PIOs are bald with wispy hair on their face and ears. They sunburn easily and get very cold in the winter, and they have extremely sensitive eyes. Clever, intelligent and calm, PIOs are generally good with children and other dogs.

Do Animals Have Souls?

University of Kentucky neurologist, Kevin Nelson concluded animals can experience spiritual events like humans.  Nelson has performed over 30 year’s research into OBE (out of body experiences) and has published a book “The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: a Neurologist’s Search for the God Experience.”

Scientists recently declared human and animal consciousness the same. Would you agree that to have a soul requires consciousness?  This is certainly thought-provoking.

We all have belief systems.  Some have faith in the concept of a soul and afterlife.  Others count on reincarnation and some are convinced after the body dies there is nothing but a big, black abyss.  But if you are one who believes humans have a soul, do you also feel that an animal has a soul?

Nelson’s hypothesis is drawn on the fact that research in humans has shown mystical experiences of wonderment originate in the more primitive parts of the brain called the limbic system.   All mammals share similar brain structure, therefore he concludes animals can have spiritual experiences similar to humans.


Some religions believe animals have souls and reincarnate.  Others teach animals do not have souls because humans are the masters of the earth and its animals.  In 1990, Pope John Paul II said in a shocking statement at the time, he believed that animals do have souls.  The Pontiff said animals are “…fruit of the creative action of the Holy Spirit and merit respect.” In the Catholic school I attended as a child, the nuns drummed it into us that only people have souls.

In the Jewish faith, author Yanki Tauber talks about souls on Chabad.org.

The Chassidic masters speak of two distinct souls that vitalize the human being: an “Animal Soul” and a “G-dly Soul.” The Animal Soul is driven by the quest for self-preservation and self-enhancement; in this, it resembles the soul and self of all other creations. But we also possess a G-dly Soul”–a soul driven by the desire to reconnect with its Source. Our lives are the story of the contest and interplay between these two souls, as we struggle to balance and reconcile our physical needs and desires with our spiritual aspirations, our self-focused drives with our altruistic yearnings.

These two souls, however, do not reside “side-by-side” within the body; rather, the G-dly Soul is enclothed within the Animal Soul–just as the Animal Soul is enclothed within the body. This means that the Animal Soul, too, is vitalized by the “part of G-d above” at its core. Ostensibly, the two souls are in conflict with each other, but in essence they are compatible.

Hindu belief states all life forms are manifestations of God and therefore have souls that can achieve salvation.  Animals, plants and inanimate objects are believed to possess a soul.  The difference is in the level of a soul.  Human souls are considered the most evolved due to the level of consciousness.  After a soul lives many lives as an animal, it will eventually be allowed to reincarnate into a human body and continue to evolve in understanding God and Godliness.

Muslims believe a soul has different parts: the plant or vegetative part of a living being, the animal or sensitive part, the rational part as well as totality of all three parts.  The Qur’an states a soul is a creature of Allah.

Mission Islam says:

It [the soul] is blown into every human being when it is just a foetus of 120 days old, it remains in contact if not inside the human being throughout its life on earth, and at the point of death it departs from the body to reside in the heavens.
During their journeys through this universe, the soul and its body travel through four different worlds:
1. The womb – where the soul joins its body.
2. This world – where we all live for a limited period only.
3. The grave – a ‘Barzakh’ period.
4. The Hereafter – The final destination of all human beings.

I find it intriguing how the different religions are so similar in its teachings, don’t you?

Next Page: Personal Stories of Animal Spirituality: http://www.care2.com/causes/do-animals-have-souls.html Or Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/do-animals-have-souls.html#ixzz28I9VoYEQ

Texas family says they have captured mythical animal chupacabra.


Jackie Stock and Arlen Parma said they caught the large hairless animal while it was eating corn on their Ratcliffe property Sunday. There has never been a confirmed case of the chupacabra, which according to legend attacks goats

The mythical creature, which legend says kills goats and other cattle, has never been proven to exist, but many people have often claimed to have hunted the animal of which there are many different descriptions.

Jackie Stock said her husband, Arlen Parma, captured their animal on their Ratcliffe property Sunday. They are seeking confirmation that they've made the once in a lifetime discovery, TV Station KAVU-TV reports.

"He called me to come and look, and I said 'Bubba that looks like a baby chupacabra,'" Stock told the station. The dark, hairless animal that looks like a large dog is now in a cage and appears fairly peaceful as he eats a diet of corn and cat food. Parma said he has hunted for 20 years and isn't sure what type of animal it is.

"A coon doesn't make that noise, or a possum. What makes that noise? I guess a chupacabra does," Parma told the station.

Many people have claimed to have captured a chupacabra in the past. The animal is typically considered to be hairless, but many experts say would-be chupacabras could just be animals with mange, a skin disease caused by mites that causes animals to lose their hair.

Brent Ortego, a wildlife diversity biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, said the Ratcliffe animal was likely a dog, fox or coyote that has mange.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/texas-family-caught-chupacabra-article-1.1742980#ixzz2zI3BslA8

Maybe We Should Rethink the Term “Bird Brain”

Maybe We Should Rethink the Term “Bird Brain”

You may remember Alex, research Irene Pepperberg’s beloved African grey parrot who became world famous for his whipsmart intelligence and problem-solving skills. For generations, we’ve known that parrots are smart; capable not just of echoing human speech but actually learning how to talk, read human emotions, solve problems, work through puzzles and more. Other birds, like ravens and crows, have also strutted their stuff and shown themselves to be remarkably acute thinkers.

New research, though, shows how parrots got so smart, and it’s a fascinating story that boils down to this: Their intelligence is rooted in their social lives. It turns out that hanging around with people really does make you smarter, and that after generations of having lively complex social communities, parrots (like other birds and animals, as well as, well, humans), parrots developed larger brains with a broader capacity. Certainly gives you food for thought on the next night you want to lurk at home instead of going out, doesn’t it? (Okay, we all know evolution doesn’t really work that way.)

First, the scoop on bird brains. Contrary to popular mythology, while birds may have small brains, they use them to rather spectacular effect. Corvids (ravens, crows, and magpies) don’t just like to collect shiny things, troll housecats (my cat Loki has an ongoing war with the two ravens who hang out around our property) and croak ominously in Edgar Allan Poe novels — they’re also quite intelligent. They’re not just good at solving problems, organizing and recognizing patterns: They’re also skilled at task-switching, which is something even humans have trouble with (including this human).

What’s interesting about the research on corvids, aside from what it tells us about their intelligence, is the fact that it shows how brains organized in fundamentally different ways can still demonstrate the same kinds of intelligence. An examination of bird brains doesn’t suggest that they’d be intelligent, when compared to mammals, but they are — one comparison is to look at bats and birds, which both fly, but do so in totally different and unexpected ways.

Birds, meanwhile, would probably wonder why humans are smart when their brain anatomy and chemistry is so radically different from theirs. They even manage to trick us into doing their work for them, as this fascinating story illustrates: A smart set of crows in Japan wait for the traffic light to turn in their favor, line up walnuts in the crosswalk, and then retreat, waiting for the light to turn and oncoming traffic to crack the nuts open for them.

So, about parrots. Virgiania Morell at Science has the details: “[T]he parakeets’ society has layers of relationships, similar to those documented in other big-brained animals. Living in such a society requires that the birds recognize and remember others, and whether they are friend or foe — mental tasks that are thought to be linked to the evolution of significant cognitive skills.” It turns out that social stratification builds intelligence — something seen in mammals like monkeys as well.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/maybe-we-should-rethink-the-term-bird-brain.html#ixzz3EnwBn4XB

Ever See A Water Bear ????

4 Reasons Why Water Bears Are the Toughest Animals on the Planet

4 Reasons Why Water Bears Are the Toughest Animals on the Planet

On this week’s episode of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” Neil deGrasse Tyson explored the wonders of evolution. Wonderful it is! Life, it turns out, shows up in the wildest places, places only a few decades ago we would never expect. One of the little animals mentioned were tardigrades, otherwise known as water bears, waterbears or, adorably, moss piglets. They are tiny, adorable, micro-animals that only grow to about half a millimeter long. They are also one of the most amazing organisms on Earth. (They’re no slime molds, but then again, nothing is.)

Water bears can live in the vacuum of space

Talk about hardcore. In 2007 some tardigrades got the chance few humans even get: they were sent into space. A lesser creature would have succumbed to the harsh realities of nature outside the Earth’s atmosphere, but not tardigrades. Neither solar winds nor lack of oxygen could kill them off. They just needed a little water and they were back up and running.

Water bears can survive for a decade with basically no water

Basically all life on Earth needs water to survive. Humans are famously three quarters water. Everything needs water. Water bears do, too, but less than most. When it gets very, very cold, their body composition goes from 85 percent water to about 3 percent. During periods of extreme dryness water bears can undergo anhydrobiosis, or life without water. These microscopic organisms can survive in this dry state for 10 years. They do this by curling up into a little ball called a tun. While in its tun state, their metabolism can decrease to about 0.01 percent of the normal level.

Water bears can survive under intense pressure and extreme temperatures

Not only can water bears survive the very low pressure and temperature found in a vacuum, they can also withstand incredibly high temperatures and high pressures. Tardigrades can survive temperatures between -328 F and 304 F. They can even be frozen and thawed and live to tell the tale. The pressures they can tolerate is just as impressive. They can withstand the very small pressures of space, as well as over 1200 times the pressure of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Water bears can tolerate a bunch of radiation

Just mention the word “radiation” and people get all squiggly. Water bears, being the tough little buggers they are, are resistant to radiation. In their chilled state, it took 570,00 roentgens to kill 50 percent of exposed water bears. To put that in perspective, it only takes 500 roentgens to kill a human.

Tardigrades are arguably the toughest animal on the planet, and a marvel of evolution.
Read more:

Can Animals Really Smile?

“Look at that face!” That was the reaction heard worldwide on the internet as a photo of a donkey who was rescued from severe floods in Ireland went viral. The image, taken moments after the local animal rescue group Animal Heaven Animal Rescue Team managed to get the donkey–who was on the verge of drowning–out of the water and into dry land, shows what seems like a very happy donkey, now named Mike, smiling like he just won the lottery. “We loved every moment saving Mike and I think I speak for all of us, he was so worth the danger just to see his little face on dry land,” wrote the group on their Facebook page. Mike is certainly not the first animal to flash his pearly whites for the camera. From a photo-bombing sloth to a chipmunk having the best day ever climbing on some wild flowers, the internet does not lack images of happy animals smiling. But are those smiles real or just lucky camera moments?

According to Cesar Milan, best-selling author, public speaker, behavior expert and star of the “Dog Whisperer,” the smiles animals flash us are more of an illusion, but that doesn’t mean they’re not happy. “Animals don’t smile like we do,” he explained to Care2 in an email. “However, when an animal is happy, it means that they’re projecting calm, positive energy. When they’re calm, they’re also more alert to the world around them, which animates their eyes and, as with humans, it’s really the eyes that make the smile more than the mouth. So the dog ‘smile’ is an illusion created by our own human perceptions, but this doesn’t mean you can’t tell when a dog is happy, though.” This state of relaxation also causes them to relax their jaw, opening their mouths a bit, and in dogs, maybe they pant slightly, which makes it seem like they’re smiling.

Even if the actual smile is just a human projection, however, the elated feeling is very much real, whether it’s in a dog that just got rescued from death row or a donkey taken from flood waters. “To the dog, someone has just come along and removed them from a place that probably wasn’t fun — a loud, cold kennel with a lot of anxious or frightened animals,” says Milan of cases when a dog seems to smile on his way home from the shelter. “Since dogs live in the moment, they don’t go on feeling grateful forever to the person for saving them from the shelter.

To a dog, the shelter was the experience of the moment and then it wasn’t. They forget the shelter but they remember the Pack Leader they’re with. Their gratitude isn’t for what you did. It’s for what you’re doing for them right now.” So when an animal looks perfectly content in a sanctuary, for example, their happiness is not from understanding that because they got rescued, they live a much better life but from feeling absolutely wonderful in that very moment and having those good-vibe energies reflected on their body language. On the other hand, if a dog was feeling threatened or sad, their energies would reflect in the same way, just not with a frown, which is what humans know to be a sign of those emotions. “All animals communicate the same way, through energy and body language.

Humans are the ones who’ve forgotten how to speak like this,” adds Milan, whose new DVD, volume 2 of the Essentials of Dog Behavior series “The Language of Dogs“ explains how humans can have a better relationship and avoid conflict with their companions by learning to “talk” to them. “We need to learn how to understand and speak ‘dog’ before we can find balance and harmony with them.” A smile, even if it’s just an illusion, seems to be a good place to start with that.

6 Dog Behavior Myths, Debunked

6 Dog Behavior Myths, Debunked

Interpreting dog behavior can be tricky, and there are some strong myths about dog body language. The list below debunks a few common misconceptions about what our dogs are trying to tell us.

Dogs have personalities as varied as humans, and unless you know a dog really well it can be difficult to read what she’s trying to tell you. My dog Jenna, for example, is very high anxiety because of her history before we adopted her. Her cues are sometimes more subtle than more “normal dogs.”

It’s hard to tell at first glance sometimes whether you’re dealing with a well-adjusted dog or not, but knowing how to spot subtle signs can make things go more smoothly for you and for the dog. So often our dogs or dogs we encounter are trying to tell us that they are scared, anxious, or unhappy. When we miss these signals, we tend to blame the dog.

Director of animal behavior services at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Carlos Siracusa recently shared six common misconceptions about dog behavior. The more we know about reading a dog’s signals, the better.

Dog Behavior Jenna

That averted gaze and raised front paw means this dog is nervous and needs a little bit of space.

1. Dogs attack without first showing any signs of distress.

Siracusa dispels this dangerous myth, explaining that almost all dogs give signs that something or someone is making them uncomfortable. Those signs may be subtle, like inching away or even just pulling their heads away. Look for other signs like bared teeth and flattened ears. Not all dogs will grown before lashing out, so looking for these physical signs is important.

Why don’t all dogs growl before attacking? Something Jenna’s trainers have stressed with us is to never scold her when she growls. It’s actually pretty easy to train a dog not to growl. The trouble is, you’re teaching her not to give that important warning that she’s reaching the end of her rope.

2. A dog on her back is asking for a belly rub.

When a dog rolls over, she is saying one of two things:

  • “I trust you, you’re the boss, please rub my belly!”
  • “I’m feeling nervous. Please leave me alone.”

Talk about confusing! According to Siracusa, the key is to look at the other signals that dog is sending. Does she seem relaxed with a vigorously wagging tail? Rub away! If her legs are stiff, and she’s holding her head to one side, leave her be.

3. Happy dogs wag their tails.

If I had to pick the most dangerous dog behavior myth on this list, it would be this one. Tail wags can mean lots of things, and not all of them are happy. I’ve noticed that – at least with Jenna – it’s about the way she’s wagging. A slow back-and-forth means she’s uneasy. If she’s wagging so hard that her booty is shaking, she’s feeling fine. We call the latter her “helicopter tail,” and I love seeing her that happy!

If you don’t know the dog, Siracusa says that you should look at other signs, just like with the two myths above. The ears, eyes, and mouth give you a lot of information.

4. The idea of dog training is to teach your dog that you’re the alpha.

This one shocked me, I’ll be honest. We’ve been training Jenna for years, and we always thought of me as the alpha, since I’m with her most and she follows my lead most of the time. Siracusa calls this a common misconception. He says that dog training is about getting your dog attached to you, not establish pack order.

5. When your dog is bad, punish her.

No. No. No. This was one of the first things we learned in training, and changing our mindset about how to modify Jenna’s behavior has done wonders for her. Punishing teaches your dog fear. Instead, you want to entice and reward. There’s no need to hit your dog or shout at her.

6. A calm dog is a happy dog.

Siracuse explains that this couldn’t be further from the truth, and this is a lesson that my husband and I learned quickly after adopting Jenna.

At the shelter, Jenna would sit quietly. We thought at first that this was a sign of a relaxed, well-adjusted girl, and it could not have been less true. She wasn’t sitting calmly. She was so overcome with anxiety that she was completely shut down. A dog like that can be dangerous, and it took years of love and training to get Jenna out of her shell. She is still an anxious girl, but she responds to the commands she’s learned, and she is generally very happy.

If you encounter a dog who’s sitting very still, know that she might be terrified. Terrified dogs are hard to read. Your best bet is to look to the owner for cues on whether to pet her or leave her be.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/6-dog-behavior-myths-debunked.html#ixzz34oEMVvJf

5 Fascinating Facts About Hibernating Animals

5 Fascinating Facts About Hibernating Animals

Most people do not give much thought to the changing of seasons. Sometimes we change our wardrobes to include seasonal clothing that is appropriate for the weather. Other times we may alter our eating styles to include seasonal products or holiday foods. Annual cold-weather related disorders are even known to plague us. However, it is rare that our entire lives are uprooted and modified for the winter.

Animals that hibernate do exactly that. Their whole system and way that they live is transformed into something completely new. Whether it be a creature that can altogether stop breathing and instead absorb oxygen in a novel way, or a critter that “hibernates” in a lighter sub-style of the process in order to recuperate only until awoken by possible danger, the concept of hibernation is simply fascinating.

While there are more than enough extraordinary facts about animals who hibernate to produce extensive amounts of literature on the topic, here are just five remarkable facts that will blow your mind.

1. Some hibernating animals can stop breathing and be perfectly fine.

Water reptiles and amphibians can do some extreme things in order to hibernate. For instance, frogs like the hibernating bullfrog breathe air in the summer so that when winter arrives, their bodies slow down and they can absorb oxygen through their skin without actually breathing. In fact, most of a pond’s reptiles and amphibians are able to absorb the oxygen that they need through their skin; some turtles do this as well.

2. Some animals have adapted their hibernation style to suit their survival needs.

Animals such as bears can go into an alternate, light hibernation state called a torpor. Torpor is like hibernation, but in this condition, the bear can be woken up easily. Unlike the deeper sleep during hibernation, animals who are in a torpor can be more aware of threats, making them superior survivors. Ground squirrels are also among animals who torpor, however they shift between hibernation, torpor and being awake.

3. Animal companions can lightly hibernate and have even been mistaken for dead.

Hamsters are also animals who torpor. Hamster parents have mistaken their beloved pals to be deceased, only to witness their little balls of fur “come alive” again. The reason that hamsters go into light hibernation is due to the fact that there is a food and water source close by and readily available to them; they just wake up to dine, then resume their torpor. Sadly, hibernating hamsters can become tremendously startled if purposefully awoken from torpor, and some have even died of heart attacks.

4. An animal’s body can wake them during their hibernation in order to protect them.

Interestingly, the hedgehog whose heart rate drops by approximately 90 percent, can get too cold. If a hedgehog’s body temperature decreases to an unhealthy measure, it will wake up just enough so that the waking heart rate naturally warms it just right, then hibernation recommences. Hedgehogs also go into estivation during immensely warm weather, which is a hibernation that allows the animal to cool down before resuming normal activities.

5. Some animals use hibernation as if it were nature’s pause button.

The common poor-will is the only bird that goes into true hibernation. It hibernates during extreme temperatures (when it is either too hot or too cold) and at times of food scarcity. As a built in survival technique, the animal can take a hiatus and increase chances of continuation. The common poor-will can even hibernate while they are incubating their eggs, proving as not only a true survivor, but also a riveting multitasking animal.

The 10 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds Based on Biting and Fatality Statistics

In the pit bulls defense, they are heard more through the media than most other attacks.

When we’re talking about dog attacks, it’s not always the dog’s fault but we still felt it would be useful to report on biting statistics of dogs just in case it might affect a person’s choice on buying a certain breed.   We’re not posting this article to discourage you from buying these dog breeds.  We just want to make you aware of the statistics out there in certain studies.  The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association conducted a twenty year study on the most dangerous dog breeds, and here are the top 10 most dangerous dog breeds based on the amount of fatalities they have caused.  Again, this is purely statistical and should not discourage you from purchasing any of these breeds.

10.  St Bernard – Seven fatalities so it’s not like this breed is terribly dangerous.   The real reason for their potential danger is their sheer size.   St. Bernards are actually pretty lovable and affectionate dogs.

9.  Great Dane – Another dog with seven fatalities so again, not dangerous.  The Great Dane, like the St. Bernard can be troublesome because of its sheer size.  These are some big dogs but if groomed and trained properly will be great pets.

8.  Chow Chow – according to the study the Chow Chow has been responsible for eight fatalities.  The Chow Chow does have an aggressive personality, especially around strangers and other pets.  Again however, this has to do with ownership and not always a genetic problem of the dog.

7.  Doberman Pinscher – Known to be one of the most aggressive breed of dogs ever, the Doberman Pinscher was one of the most recognizable dog breeds as they were used extensively as guard dogs.  Dobermans accounted for 9 fatalities in the study but most deaths were caused in defense of their owners.  This is a great, loyal dog.

6.  Malamute – this breed was responsible for 12 fatalities an is another case of a large dog causing unintended harm.   Families with children need to be careful if purchasing a malamute.


5.  W0lf-Dog Hybrid – this one is no surprise as half of this dog is wolf.  Even with proper crossbreeding, domestication, and training Wolf-dog hybrids maintain much of the prey drive of their wolf genetics making them quite dangerous to keep as pets.

4.  Husky – With a total of 15 fatalities linked to Huskies in the study conducted, they are definitely known to be aggressive, but this has been linked to poor training/obedience issues as Huskies as one of the most intelligent canines in the world.

3.  German Shepherd – Also like the Doberman, their high intelligence and aggressiveness makes them sure picks as guard and police dogs. With 17 fatalities attributed to them, they are the third most dangerous dog breeds.

2.  Rottweiler – Coming in at #2, the Rottweiler was responsible for 39 fatalities in this study.  Their temperament is usually passive and attentive, but are known to be prone to aggressive outburst.

1.  Pit Bull – To anyone who knows dogs, the American Pit Bull Terrier is no surprise at #1 on a list of deadliest dogs. In this study the Pit Bull stood far ahead of all the other breeds with 66 fatalities attributed to it. Known for their extremely aggressive nature, many states have legislation banning the breeding of pit bulls

To read more: http://puppytoob.com/dog-breeds/the-10-most-dangerous-dog-breeds-based-on-biting-statistics/

Veterinary Professionals Vote on the Best 18 Dogs for New Owners

No. 18: Pomeranian

The Pomeranian often seems to think he's the cutest thing around, and most of the time he's right. Tiny, fluffy, curious and clever, he's a happy and adaptable breed that can be equally content hanging out at home or performing on the agility course. Although his size is suitable for a purse, he doesn't seem to know it; his personality is all big dog, all the time. His thick coat needs regular brushing but isn't terribly high-maintenance.


No. 17: Shetland Sheepdog

Don't call him a little Collie! The Shetland Sheepdog is his own breed and has long been a family favorite for his happy face and loyal, smart and quirky personality. He learns tricks with ease and loves to show off, which, paired with his speed, makes him a great agility dog. Beware, though: The Sheltie is a barker, and don't be surprised to find him herding other members of the family — both animal and human.

No. 16 (tie): Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are considered a toy breed, but this easily portable dog is a total Terrier. He's intelligent and playful with a big enough attitude to handle cats and larger family dogs. His high-maintenance coat may be a challenge for some, but his alert, curious personality more than makes up for it as far as Yorkie lovers are concerned. Bet you won't want to put him down! It's hard to have just one of them. This dog is best for adults or families with older children.

No. 15 (tie): Havanese

The Havanese is a bright, lively pup who enjoys playing games with you, particularly if he's the one who created the game. But just because he has his own ideas, don't think for a moment he'll be content entertaining himself. This dog craves company and plenty of it. His coat requires daily brushing and occasional professional grooming, but he doesn't shed as much as many breeds.

No. 14: Maltese

At less than 7 pounds, the Maltese is a tiny toy dog, but his bold personality means he's no shrinking violet. Spunky and puppy-like even into his golden years, this smart little lap dog was specifically bred to love and be loved, which explains why vets agree he's a great pick for first-time dog owners. Remind the kids to be gentle with this in-your-face guy who’s always in the thick of things.

No. 13: Pug

The Pug is an absolute charmer. His wrinkly face and fun-loving personality make him a hit with dogs, cats, adults and children. He's no athlete, and he's happiest when he's included as part of the family, which makes sense since the breed was bred as a companion dog for ancient Chinese nobility.

No. 12: Puggle

The fourth and final designer mix on our list, the Puggle is a cross between a Pug and a Beagle. Beagles are great family dogs who can hang with the most active of companions, yet they are also ruled by their nose and can be hard to lure back if someone accidentally leaves a door open. Oh, and then there's the howling. Pugs, on the other hand, are little homebodies whose short nose can make them less exercise-tolerant than other breeds their size. The Puggle can be a robust little dog with the adventurous yet quieter spirit of a Beagle and the clever antics of a Pug. The best Puggles love to please and have a sense of humor, but, as with all designer mixes, his traits are not fixed, so he has been known to be a bit stubborn, distractible and not overtly affectionate.

No. 11: Shih Tzu

This sweetheart of a dog lives to love and be loved, and he is happiest when snuggling in your lap. The Shih Tzu, originally bred for royalty in China, is compact, playful and mischievous enough to steal your shoes. He might believe the world revolves around him, but it's not out of arrogance; rather, it's because it tends to be pretty close to the truth. Not surprisingly, his coat requires regular grooming to keep it beautiful.

No. 10: Papillon

He might look dainty, but don't be fooled. The Papillon is definitely a "big dog in a small body," and his energy and intelligence abound, which makes him a perfect choice for active owners but a challenge for the more sedentary. He's clever and active enough to hang with the big dogs in organized sports and at the dog park but small enough to be content in an apartment setting. In order to keep him safe, you may have to remind your kids how small he really is. He'll never believe it himself.

No. 9: Boston Terrier

Friendly, portable and enthusiastic, the Boston Terrier gets along with just about everyone he meets. He was bred to be a buddy, after all, so he's happy so long as he's with his human family. And depending on that family's activity level, he can be a competitive canine athlete or a cuddly couch potato, making him another great choice for those new to dog ownership.

No. 8: Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise was bred specifically to be a companion, so it's little surprise veterinarians deem him such a great choice for new dog owners. Wonderfully affectionate and endlessly entertaining, he has long been a popular circus performer, but he'll be perfectly happy performing his tricks for his family at home.

No. 7: Labradoodle

Like our No. 5 and 6 dogs, the Labradoodle is a popular crossbreed, this time mixing the exuberant, hardy Labrador with the stable, even-tempered Poodle. At his best, this is a smart, affable and moderately active dog who can excel in obedience, agility and being your best buddy. His size can vary depending on whether his Poodle genes are toy, miniature or standard. As with the other designer mixes, it's important to keep in mind that his traits are not fixed.

No. 6: Goldendoodle

The Goldendoodle combines the No. 1 and No. 2 breeds on this list, so it's no surprise he ranks well within the Top 10. A cross between the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, an ideal Goldendoodle is intelligent, friendly and hopefully more active than rowdy. Because traits of crossbreeds are not fixed, there's no guarantee that your Goldendoodle will be hypoallergenic or even a particular size, but he's likely to be a loving family dog.

No. 5: Cockapoo

The first of several designer mixed breeds on this list, the bright-eyed and scruffy-coated Cockapoo is a happy-go-lucky charmer. Ideally, this dog will combine the best traits of the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle, creating a jovial and affectionate, low- to no-shed pup who requires professional grooming. However, because he is a crossbreed, there's no guarantee as to what you'll end up with, and both breeds are susceptible to ear infections.

No. 4: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This popular toy breed loves people, whether that involves sitting on laps or going for long walks. The Cavalier is happy, trusting and easygoing, making friends everywhere he goes. Although he can be stubborn, he generally responds well to positive reinforcement and tends to be adaptable enough to sit quietly with an older person, then turn around and play with an active child.

No. 3: Labrador Retriever

The lovable Lab has been a favorite breed in the U.S. for more than 20 years, and it would appear that vets agree with this choice, naming him the No. 3 best breed for new dog owners. This friendly breed is a popular choice for service and therapy dogs, and his athleticism makes him an excellent hunting dog and canine athlete. Labs can be challenging and rambunctious as puppies and young dogs, and they have the reputation of eating just about anything. These beauties are best suited to active families who enjoy taking the dog along on their adventures.

No. 2: Poodle

Smart, energetic, sensible and entertaining, the Poodle is another breed that's great for the beginner dog owner. Poodles have a reputation for being a bit aloof with people they don't know, but we just think they're less "needy." He's available in three sizes, but whatever size you choose, be aware that if you want his curly coat in anything but a basic cut, you're going to spend a lot of time going to the groomer.

No. 1: Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is the No. 1 choice of veterinarians for new dog owners, and it's no wonder. His sweet, gentle, people-pleasing personality makes him a delightful addition to most families. He loves to play, displays loyalty and affection — and, if that weren't enough, this guy is a real looker. Those good looks come at a price, though: His gorgeous coat needs regular brushing and bathing.

To read more: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/veterinary-professionals-vote-on-the-best-dogs-for-new-owners?WT.mc_id=cc_moreonvetstreet


Why Koalas Hug Trees

Koala Australia   The mention of a koala bear often conjures up an image of an adorable spoon-nosed creature cocking its head to one side while clinging to a tree. Now, scientists have figured out why the iconic Australian marsupials hug trees: The trunks help the koala bears keep cool, according to a new study. "It can be a really useful way of getting rid of heat on a hot day," said study co-author Michael Kearney, an ecologist at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Tree huggers

Given that koalas spend so much time in trees — the marsupials live in Australia's woodlands where they munch on leaves and sleep — nobody wondered why they hugged the trunks. People just thought they were taking a break on a more stable spot after eating leaves in the branches, Kearney said. As such, the discovery came as a surprise. Kearney and his student, doctoral candidate Natalie Briscoe, were trying to predict how the woodland creatures on French Island, near Melbourne, would regulate their body temperatures as the continent heats up due to climate change. The region is cool most of the year, but during the summer, the temperature routinely spikes above 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), Kearney said.                                                        

"As it got hotter the koalas went farther down the trees and started to really hug onto the tree trunks," Kearney told Live Science. "That seemed strange to us until we figured out that the trees are a bit cooler."

Stay cool: Koala bears pant to keep cool, letting evaporated moisture from their mouths carry heat away from their bodies.

When the team modeled koala bear heat transfer, they found the tree-dwellers save half the water they would have used panting if they hug trees instead. Koalas get most of their water from their diet, but because eucalyptus leaves are laced with a toxin, the koalas can eat only a limited amount before the toxin harms the animals, Kearney said. So tree-hugging could be critical to their survival on hot days, by allowing them to cool off without wasting precious water through panting, Kearney said.

It's not clear exactly why their preferred tree trunks are cool, but one possibility is that they pull in a lot of groundwater, which stays closer to the annual average air temperature, rather than the current air temperature, he said.


7 Common Dog Behavior Myths Decoded

Although dog training has become more of a science than a craft in recent years, some persistent myths still mislead us when reading canine behavior. Don't let a myth harm your relationship with your pooch. Here, we dispel common myths and look at the facts.

1. My dog knows she was bad after she goes potty in the house. Her guilty face says it all.

False. Dogs show a perceived "guilty face" not because they feel an actual emotion of guilt, but they are actually showing appeasement behaviors in response to their owners intimidating body language. Whether we want to or not, it's difficult not to display negative body language when we're upset with our pets. A 2009 study by researcher Alexandra Horowitz at Barnard College in New York revealed that the "guilty look" dogs display is solely attributed by humans and has no relation to whether the dog is actually responsible for an offense. The study found that dogs who had not actually eaten the forbidden treat, but were scolded by their misinformed owners for eating a treat, showed guiltier-looking body language than dogs who had actually eaten the forbidden treat. The guilty look is simply a response of the dog to her owner's behavior. 

2. You should let dogs just fight it out when they get into a scuffle.

False (well, at least partly false). It's true that you should never get into the middle of a dog fight, because some of the most damaging dog bites occur when owners try to separate fighting dogs. There are some tactics you can use to break up the scuffle without actually getting in the middle of the fray. Try using water, a really loud noise, or even a distraction like grabbing a treat bag or using voice to direct them to do something else. Owners should do everything they can to prevent another fight in the future. Often dogs don't settle matters on their own, and fighting intensifies over time, especially with dogs in the same home. This calls for advanced training with the help of an animal behaviorist or a certified professional trainer.

3. It's always the owner's fault when a dog misbehaves.

False. Most owners are well-meaning, but are simply misinformed or lack knowledge on how to train their dogs effectively. Blaming the owner for all of a dog's problems makes for good TV, but there are a myriad of reasons why a dog misbehaves, including lack of proper socialization or preventive training, or even the genetic tendencies of the dog. It's important for pet parents to push past feelings of shame or guilt; instead get started in the right direction with help from a pet professional using positive reinforcement methods. 

4. Using treats for training is bribery, and the dog won't do the behavior later if you don't give her a treat.

False. It's true that dogs need motivation to perform a behavior. That said, the motivation doesn't always have to be a food-based reward. Dogs can be rewarded in many other ways. Reward them with playing, petting or getting to go outside. They can also be put on a random schedule of rewards with a lottery-ticket-like system so they never know when the payout will come. This system helps keep them motivated. For example: learning to walk on a loose leash may be taught in the beginning by using treats, but once the behavior is learned, treats can be phased out so that the only reward becomes getting to go on the walk itself.

5. When a dog chews up shoes or destroys furniture it's because she's punishing the owner.

False. Dogs chew on shoes, furniture and other human items not to punish their owners, but simply because it feels good on their teeth, it relieves boredom, releases energy and, in some cases, may indicate separation anxiety. 

6. A dog can't really be happy unless she can run off-leash.

False. Leashes are made for a dog's safety. They should be perceived as tools that keep your dog from running into oncoming traffic, going up to unknown dogs or people, and prevent them from running way. Although regular off-leash play in a fenced area is essential for a dog's well-being, while out in public, dogs can learn to be perfectly content on a leash at their owner's side.

7. Dogs are great judges of people, so if a dog doesn't like someone, it must mean there is something wrong with that person.

False. In the majority of cases, dogs who react aggressively or fearfully to a person are not doing so out of a negative moral evaluation of the individual, but are responding out of their own self-preservation. With that said, there have been plenty of circumstances where pets have used an apparent sixth sense to pick up on cues that went unseen by their human and actually saved their human's life. However, the majority of dogs I see in my training practice are unfriendly with a person because they are reacting out of fear to a certain physical attribute, movement or the physical proximity of a person, and are not reacting based on any moral evaluation of the individual.


Animal Cruelty and Neglect

Cruelty laws punish everything from abandoning a dog to intentionally harming it.

Cruelty to animals is against the law everywhere in this country, but it wasn't always so. If you were to pick up a famous old treatise called Chitty's Criminal Law, blow the dust from its leather-bound pages, and look inside, you would search in vain for a crime of "cruelty to animals." It didn't exist in 1819, when Chitty wrote. Most states didn't pass anti-cruelty laws for another century.

Typical Anti-Cruelty Laws

Anti-cruelty laws usually punish several different kinds of conduct, ranging from abandoning a dog to neglecting it to intentionally harming it. Some states have only one or two broadly worded statutes that prohibit any kind of "inhumane" or "needlessly cruel" treatment. Others have several statutes: both a catch-all ban on cruel treatment and prohibitions of specific acts—for example, abandoning an animal, leaving it in a car without proper ventilation, or cropping its ears without anesthesia.

A broadly worded statute prohibits many kinds of cruelty, even though it doesn't list them specifically. Locking a dog in a car that overheats could be illegal under a catch-all statute that forbids cruelty to animals, even if there's no specific mention of that conduct in the statute. Here's the Texas anti-cruelty statute, which combines the broad and the specific to cover nearly every kind of misconduct toward animals (there is a also a more specific and detailed statute outlawing dog fighting):

(a) A person commits an offense [in Texas, a misdemeanor] if he intentionally or knowingly:

(1) tortures or seriously overworks an animal;

(2) fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, care, or shelter for an animal in his custody;

(3) abandons unreasonably an animal in his custody;

(4) transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner;

(5) kills, injures, or administers poison to an animal, other than cattle, horses, sheep, swine, or goats, belonging to another without legal authority or the owner's effective consent;

(6) causes one animal to fight with another; or

(7) uses a live animal as a lure in dog race training or in dog coursing on a racetrack. 

Dog-fighting statutes are almost always separate from general anti-cruelty laws, and carry their own stiff penalties.


Failing to provide an animal with the necessities of life is always illegal. A typical statute, for example, makes it a crime not to furnish "food, water, protection from the elements, or other care normal, usual and accepted for an animal's health and well-being." In California, those general rules apply, along with a specific prohibition on leaving an unattended animal tethered for more than three hours a day. (Cal. Health & Safety Code § 122335.) A separate statute requires that confined animals be given an adequate exercise area. (Cal. Penal Code § 597t.)  Some cities impose more detailed requirements. San Francisco, for example, has an ordinance requiring doghouses to be clean, dry, raised off the ground, and big enough for the dog to lie comfortably.

Whether or not a person accused of neglecting an animal will be convicted by a judge or jury depends, of course, on the circumstances and the evidence. But to convict someone of a crime, the state must prove guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt"—a tough standard to meet. For example, a District of Columbia man was arrested for failing to give his dog adequate shelter and protection from the weather. A physician had seen the dog, a German shepherd, tied by a three-foot chain on an open concrete back porch, on a January day when the temperature never got above 28 degrees. The owner was convicted, but an appeal court overturned the conviction because no one "experienced in the care of a dog of this type" had testified that the dog had been made to suffer. After all, said the court, it's common knowledge that some breeds of dogs can stay out in bitter cold with no ill effects. (Jordan v. United States, 269 A.2d 848 (D.C. App. 1970.)

Unless a statute requires that the neglect be malicious, it doesn't matter that someone accused of neglecting animals didn't intend to be cruel. Under most statutes, it is enough that someone knowingly neglected animals. For example, an Ohio farmer who left cattle to die because the market price of cattle dropped was convicted under a neglect statute. (State v. Hafle, 367 N.W.2d 1226 (Ohio App. 1977.)  Presumably, he didn't stop feeding them because he wanted them to suffer, but he did intentionally stop feeding them, and as a result, they suffered.

Some neglect statutes don't even require the conduct to be knowing. Under those statutes, if an animal is neglected because of someone's actions, that person is guilty, period. For example, a North Dakota law makes it a crime to deprive an animal of necessary food, water, or shelter. The prosecution is not required to prove that the person acted knowingly or willfully. (State v. Prociv, 417 N.W.2d 840 (N.D. 1988).) 

Malicious Cruelty

Malicious (intentionally mean) cruelty is punished more severely than other cruelty to animals—often by a  prison sentence and a fine that can run tens of thousands of dollars.

Conduct may be malicious even if it isn't particularly harmful. Take, for example, the case of the North Carolina man who grew so annoyed at his neighbor's cat (it threatened bluebirds and walked over his wife's car) that he set a live trap for it. He put red paint in the trap, so that when the cat was caught it was covered with paint from neck to tail. The paint was to identify the cat, he said. He was convicted of animal cruelty and fined $40. (National Law Journal, Aug. 15, 1988.) (The cat was fine after a couple of shampoos.)


You may have seen articles in your local newspaper about a house where animal control authorities have discovered large numbers of severely neglected dogs or cats. The owner, unaccountably, seems oblivious to the appalling filth and disease and remains convinced that he or she is actually a loving caretaker.

For years, this situation has been treated as an animal control problem—but of course, it's really a people problem. Hoarders see themselves as rescuers. They are commonly charged with violating animal cruelty laws, and may spend time in jail. But many of them go right back to their old habits when released unless they receive effective psychological treatment.

For more information on the pathological collecting of animals, see the Tufts University's Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium website.


Anyone who lives in the country, or even on the edge of town, knows that dog owners who have tired of their pets sometimes dump the unfortunate animals on deserted roads. In most places, that's illegal. New York law makes it a misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to one year's imprisonment, a $1,000 fine, or both.  Enforcing these laws, however, is extremely difficult. Just about all witnesses can do is report license plate numbers to police.

Confining a Dog in an Unventilated Car

Some states and cities specifically forbid confining a dog in a car without adequate ventilation. But even without a specific statute, this could constitute cruelty under a general anti-cruelty law.

Leaving a Dog Hit by Your Car

The law of several states (Pennsylvania, for one) specifically provides that a driver who hits a dog and knowingly doesn't stop to help it is guilty of a crime.  Again, this might be a crime under more general laws as well.

Cosmetic Cruelty: Cropping Ears and Tails

It is still the fashion, among those who breed and show certain kinds of dogs, to cut off part of the ears and tails of puppies. It’s outlawed in the United Kingdom, France, and many other countries, but legal in the United States. Massachusetts is the only state that makes it illegal to exhibit a dog with cropped ears, unless a veterinarian has certified that the cropping was reasonably necessary. (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann ch. 272 § 80B.) A violation can be punished by a fine up to $250. A bill to outlaw ear cropping was introduced in California in 2005, but opposition from purebred dog breeders stopped it in committee.

Some states (Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and New York, for example) at least attempt to make the process less painful for the pups. They require ear-cropping to be done by a veterinarian, while the dog is under anesthesia. Penalties range from stiff in New York (a fine of $1,000, a year in prison, or both) to trivial in Connecticut ($50 for a first offense).

Cruelty in Pet Shops and Puppy Mills

Some states have special anti-cruelty laws for pet shops, where animals are sometimes treated as just more merchandise. California, for example, requires pet shops to provide animals with sanitary conditions, adequate space, heating, ventilation, and humane care. Violators can be punished by a fine of up to $1,000, 90 days in jail, or both. (Cal. Penal Code § 597L.) 

"Puppy mills," large-scale dog breeding operations that churn out puppies for pet shops across the country, may also be found in violation of local or state anti-cruelty laws or federal laws regulating interstate transport of animals. For example, in 1991 the owners of a Nevada puppy mill were convicted of animal abuse and cruelty (misdemeanors under Nevada law) and sentenced to 150 days in county jail. Neighbors had found 66 dogs, many of them pregnant, huddled in outdoor cages in subzero temperatures; 30 dogs were already dead.

An Exception to Anti-Cruelty Laws: Self-Defense

Even if an anti-cruelty law doesn't say so explicitly, it may not apply if the cruelty to the animal was inflicted for what, under the law, is considered a good reason. Many anti-cruelty laws excuse anyone who injures or kills a dog that is attacking a person or livestock.

It's not always clear when this exception applies. Take the Kansas statute: Does it protect a farmer who shoots one of three dogs that have just destroyed his children's Easter baskets, which were in the cab of his pickup truck, parked on his land? The Kansas Supreme Court said yes, ruling that "property" wasn't limited to "farm property." (State v. Jones, 625 P.2d 503 (Kan. 1981).)  Earlier, a New York court acquitted a man who shot a dog that frightened his children and attacked his own dog during a family picnic. (People v. Wicker, 357 N.Y.S.2d 5897 (Town Ct. 1974.)

A comparable Oklahoma statute did not, however, protect a man convicted of cruelty for shooting three hunting dogs as they chased a deer. He had left the dogs, wounded but still alive, on someone else's land. The law justified killing a dog that was chasing livestock, but not one chasing wildlife, the court ruled. The defendant "knew that he had hit the dogs and he was willing to let them drag themselves off and suffer and die," said the court. "The trial court felt that this was cruelty to animals, and we can but agree." (Laner v. State, 381 P.2d 905 (Okla. 1963).)


Rare Fish and Marine Animals washing upon shore lately.

CNN) -- Marine biologists have a mystery to solve: Why have the carcasses of two rare oarfish washed up on Southern California shores within a week?

Sightings of the huge deep-sea creatures -- dead or alive -- are unusual, because they typically swim thousands of feet below the surface.

A dead 14-foot-long oarfish came ashore in Oceanside, California, on Friday afternoon, according to an Oceanside police dispatcher. A representative of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was called to haul the serpent-like fish away for study, she said. A group of third-graders on a beach study trip made the discovery, according to CNN affiliate KGTV.

Giant eyeball washes up on beach

Discovery makes a splash: The rarest whale


Rare goblin shark wasn't the only thing that surfaced

CNN) -- Photos of the gruesome-looking goblin shark a fisherman accidentally caught last month drew attention as scientists caught a rare glimpse of the deep sea creature.

But wait, there's more. Now another marine species shown in the photographs has scientists talking. Many deep sea isopods showed up in the pictures of what fisherman Carl Moore caught in his net, said Andrew Thaler, a marine biologist in California.

You've probably never seen one. "Imagine a pill bug the size of a house cat," Thaler said. The creatures, which can grow up to 20 centimeters, are common in the deep sea, Thaler said, but spotting them is rare because they're usually very spread out. "I've never seen that many in one place at the same time before," he said.

The shark was still alive, so Moore released it after snapping photos.


Why Does My Cat... Knead Me?


It’s almost like a state of feline nirvana: Your cat curls up in your lap and rhythmically presses one paw, then the other, with eyes half closed and a trickle of drool running down her chin.

Kitten Origins

Kneading, or what many veterinarians call “making biscuits,” is an instinctive behavior that begins in kittens shortly after birth. Noted zoologist Desmond Morris coined the phrase “milk treading” to describe the movement of a kitten’s paws against her mother's mammary glands to stimulate milk flow.

This behavior certainly serves a purpose for kittens, but why does it continue into adulthood? Animal behaviorists speculate that an adult cat kneads to show contentment, to calm herself when she's feeling anxious or to mark a person or object with her scent from the sweat glands in her paws.

Obsessive Kneading

Kittens who are weaned too early may not only knead, but also attempt to suckle on human skin, earlobes, stuffed toys and even the family dog. In extreme cases, some cats (usually Siamese or Siamese-crosses) will obsessively suck or chew on wool blankets or clothing while kneading — and even ingest parts of the object.

So if your little fluff ball is simply kneading you — and she appears to be in a state of contentment — sit back, relax and enjoy your kitty massage. And if she's overdoing it? Talk with your vet.

To read more: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-cat-knead-me


5 Surprising Cat Facts

My love of knowledge has been a guide in my life and has taken me far from the Idaho dairy farm on which I grew up. It’s one of the reasons why travel has always been so important to me — I’ve been to more than 80 countries, and my wife and I have taken our children to many as well.

Even when I’m not in motion, I like to keep learning. And it should come as no surprise that much of what interests me has to do with pets. While the human-animal bond has always been of special interest to me, the fact is that the quirkier bits of trivia appeal to the perpetual student in me — particularly when it comes to cats.

Thanks to an engineer's slow-motion video, we now understand the fascinating science of how cats drink.

The Element of Surprise

I love to surprise others, and I hope I catch you saying “I didn’t know that!” with these five crazy cat facts.

A cat’s tongue is magic. Well, not really. But it sure seems that way if you watch a slow-motion movie of a cat drinking water. A cat’s tongue breaks the surface of the water and returns to the mouth too quickly for the human eye to follow well, dragging a column of water up with it. The cat’s mouth then captures the water before gravity pulls it down. We know this because an engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used one of the university’s specialized cameras to record the motion at 120 frames per second, then analyzed the result. The result was published in the prestigious journal Science in November 2010. MIT professor Roman Stocker told Wired magazine that this discovery could have implications when it comes to the design of robots.

Cats have more bones in a key part of their spine than people do. Cats have a combined 20 thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, compared with 17 in people. The number of bones in the mid-spine region accounts in part for the power and flexibility cats have when it comes to fast acceleration and leaping ability. Cats are capable of attaining speeds of more than 30 mph for very short distances — just a few yards — which is a perfect skill if you’re a stalk-and-pounce predator. And cats can jump several times their height, flying over fences to the disgust of many a cat-chasing dog. Their other anatomical oddity is a free-floating collarbone, which can enable a cat to fit through an opening the size of its whisker span. That is, unless he’s fat, which too many cats are these days.

Some calico cats are male. Yes, I still hear people saying that all calico cats are female, along with tortoiseshell and related “dilute” versions (gray instead of black fur, and shades of yellow instead of bright orangey-red). If you were to make a bet that a calico is female, you would probably win, but there's no guarantee: Approximately one calico in 3,000 is male, thanks to a genetic oddity known as “Klinefelter syndrome,” in which an animal has X and Y chromosomes, making it a male, but also has an extra X chromosome (which allows for the expression of the calico coat pattern). By the way, betting that an orange tabby is male isn’t as good a bet, for reasons I have previously explained.

To read more: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-cat-knead-me


Why Does My Dog... Walk in a Circle Before Lying Down?


Many dogs will circle around a spot before they settle down to rest. While no one can be certain of the exact reason why canines do this, the ritual is likely a residual habit from the days when wolflike dogs lived out in the wild, says veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Sueda, DVM, of the VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital.

Your dog’s ancestors had to sleep outside, in the elements, without much warmth or safety. Walking around a spot was a way to stamp down grass, leaves or snow and create a soft, level surface — something akin to carving out a nest.

Circle There and Dig This

After she circles, does your dog scratch at the bedding or carpeting before curling up? Just like circling, the digging action is probably an ancestral behavior related to staying safe and comfortable.

In extreme heat, digging a hole was a way to reduce a dog’s body temperature by surrounding herself with cool soil that could help regulate body heat. When it was cold — or even freezing — climbing into a hole allowed a dog to retain body heat and keep cozy.

So why haven’t our pampered house pets evolved away from these behaviors?

Don’t worry — circling is not a sign that your pet has heard the call of the wild. Adaptive behaviors tend to linger long after they’ve lost their usefulness if there’s nothing to discourage them or “select against the habit,” Dr. Sueda says.

When Circling Could Be Cause for Concern

Restlessness can be a sign of discomfort or even pain. If your dog is repeatedly circling and digging but can’t seem to get comfortable, she may have a health problem, such as arthritis or neurological problems.

You should observe your pet to see if she’s having trouble getting up and settling down. If she’s restless, take her to the vet to rule out pain and get a proper diagnosis.


Why Does My Dog... Cock Her Head?


It’s a classic dog move: Your pup hears something — a mysterious sound, a smartphone ring, a certain tone of voice — and suddenly her head tilts to one side as if she is contemplating what the sound wants from her. Internet videos of the behavior attest to its commonality — and to the fact that so many dog lovers find it so entertaining. Once you realize how your dog reacts to, for example, a question — “Who’s the best girl?” — it's hard to resist repeating it over and over, just to see your already-adorable dog up the cute factor by cocking her head to the side. It's like she's puzzling out the precise meaning of your words.

Or is she? What’s really happening when your dog tilts her head?

The Better to Hear You With

Dr. Stepita notes that the way dogs hear plays a part as well. Dogs have movable earflaps that help them locate the source of a sound. In addition to moving their ears, says Dr. Stepita, dogs' brains “compute extremely small time differences between the sound reaching each ear. Even the slightest change in the dog’s head position relative to the sound supplies information the dog’s brain uses to figure out the distance of the sound.” So, when a dog cocks her head, she could be trying to more accurately determine the exact location of a sound, specifically the height relative to the ears, adds Dr. Stepita.

Put these elements together and it seems pretty likely that dogs naturally engage in this behavior and then repeat it when reinforced. “If the dog is praised by the owner for cocking her head, she will be more likely to cock her head in the future,” says Dr. Stepita.

Is Head-Tilting a Sign of Intelligence? Or Something Else?

So is your head-tilting dog smarter than her canine peers? Although there are anecdotal reports of dogs with long, floppy ears being more likely to cock their heads in response to noises than dogs with erect ears, Dr. Stepita knows of no studies that associate the head cock with any specific classification of dog like breed, age or intelligence. She also notes that some experts have reported that dogs with certain socialization problems are less likely to engage in the head tilt when people speak.

While it’s easy to assume something as cute as your dog tilting her head at you is always benign, it is important to speak with your veterinarian about any behavior that could have a medical cause, including a head tilt. “A dog that consistently or even intermittently holds their head to the side, especially without an obvious external trigger present (i.e., a noise), may have a medical problem,” says Dr. Stepita, These types of health issues range from brain disease such as infection, inflammation, cancer, etc, to an ear problem such as infection, lodged foreign object or other mass. Only a veterinarian can rule these out.

The head tilt, although not fully understood, might actually signify your dog’s attempt to make sense of what she hears. Dr. Meredith Stepita, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists now practicing at East Bay Veterinary Specialists in Walnut Creek, Calif., explains that some experts believe that dogs tilt their heads when they think there is a possibility that what is being said could lead to something important to the dog — an activity they enjoy, for example. Since dogs can understand some human

To read more: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-dog-eat-poop?WT.mc_id=cc_moreonvetstreet

Can Dogs Really Understand Words?   Yes...


When you talk to your dog, does he cock his head as if he is really listening to what you are telling him? Do dogs understand words? Pet expert Arden Moore writes that dogs understand your voice tone more than the actual words to gauge if you are delivering praise or discipline. Try this test. Stiffen your muscles, grab a telephone book, and begin to call out the names alphabetically in a stern, low tone in front of him. Watch his response. I bet he will glance your way, crouch down, and move away from you almost as if to say, “I can tell you’re angry and Im not sure why.” Now repeat the exercise, but this time, relax your muscles, sit on the floor, and call out the names in the phone book in a cheery, musical tone. Watch what he does. He will probably race over to you with a circular wag and a happy, open-mouth grin and try to give you kisses. The same words spoken in a different tone elicit different reactions from your dog. Although tone matters more, many dogs do understand specific words and phrases. That’s because we have been consistent when speaking these words followed by a particular action.

More on Animal Communication (14 articles available)

If you'd like to read more by Melissa Breyer:


Does your pet really love you?       


You'll know if his tail is wagging. Every dog lover knows how a pooch expresses its feelings.

Ears close to the head, tense posture, and tail straight out from the body means “don’t mess with me.” Ears perked up, wriggly body and vigorously wagging tail means “I am sooo happy to see you!”

But there is another, newly discovered, feature of dog body language that may surprise attentive pet owners and experts in canine behavior. When dogs feel fundamentally positive about something or someone, their tails wag more to the right side of their rumps. When they have negative feelings, their tail wagging is biased to the left. Every dog lover knows how a pooch expresses its feelings. Right Brain, Left Brain The muscles on either side of the tail apparently reflect emotions like fear and love registering in the brain. Ears close to the head, tense posture, and tail straight out from the body means “don’t mess with me.” Ears perked up, wriggly body and vigorously wagging tail means “I am sooo happy to see you!” But there is another, newly discovered, feature of dog body language that may surprise attentive pet owners and experts in canine behavior.

When dogs feel fundamentally positive about something or someone, their tails wag more to the right side of their rumps. When they have negative feelings, their tail wagging is biased to the left.
Research has shown that in most animals, including birds, fish and frogs, the left brain specializes in behaviors involving what the scientists call approach and energy enrichment. In humans, that means the left brain is associated with positive feelings, like love, a sense of attachment, a feeling of safety and calm. It is also associated with physiological markers, like a slow heart rate.

At a fundamental level, the right brain specializes in behaviors involving withdrawal and energy expenditure. In humans, these behaviors, like fleeing, are associated with feelings like fear and depression. Physiological signals include a rapid heart rate and the shutdown of the digestive system.
Because the left brain controls the right side of the body and the right brain controls the left side of the body, such asymmetries are usually manifest in opposite sides of the body. Thus many birds seek food with their right eye (left brain/nourishment) and watch for predators with their left eye (right brain/danger).
In humans, the muscles on the right side of the face tend to reflect happiness (left brain) whereas muscles on the left side of the face reflect unhappiness (right brain).


Animal ‘Myths’ That Are True

We’ve all heard some crazy animal myths, but who knew these random facts were actually true?! See them all here on U-Tube.
See Below


Real Mermaid Caught on Camera

Real Mermaid Caught on Camera in Kiryat Yam, Israel. Locals and tourists in the Israeli town of Kiryat Yam have been flocking to the coast in hopes of glimpsing a creature that most people believe only exist in fairy tales.

See the clip below:

22 Freakish Facts About Giraffes You Will be Glad You Know

Freakish Facts About Giraffes 1.  A giraffe’s 6-foot (1.8-meter) neck weighs about 600 pounds (272 kilograms).

2.  The legs of a giraffe are also 6 feet (1.8 meters) long.

3.  The back legs look shorter than the front legs, but they are about the same length.

4.  A giraffe’s heart is 2 feet (0.6 meters) long and weighs about 25 pounds (11 kilograms).

5.  A giraffe’s lungs can hold 12 gallons (55 liters) of air!

6. The average length of a giraffe’s tongue is 20 inches and they can grab things with it.

The average length of a giraffe's tongue is 20 inches . And they can grab things with it.

7.  Their tongues are black in color to prevent them from getting sunburned. They actually stick their tongues out that much.

Their tongues are black in color to prevent them from getting sunburnt . They actually stick their tongues out that much .

8.  Male giraffes will use their extremely long tongues to taste the pee of female giraffes to determine if they’re ovulating.

22 Facts That Will Change The Way You Look At Giraffes

 9.  Female giraffes are pregnant for 15 months.

10.  Giraffes sleep a maximum of two hours a day, and usually for under 10 minutes at a time.
11.  Giraffes have been recorded KICKING LIONS.

22 Facts That Will Change The Way You Look At Giraffes

12.  Who’s the king of the jungle now?

13.  Giraffes give birth standing up, which means the first thing a baby giraffe experiences is a six-foot-drop onto the cold, hard ground.

Giraffes give birth standing up , which means the first thing a baby giraffe experiences is a six-foot-drop onto the cold, hard ground.

14.  They are the only animals born with their horns, which are actually called ossicones.

They are the only animals born with their horns, which are actually called ossicones.

15.  Giraffes fight by whipping their heads at each other.

22 Facts That Will Change The Way You Look At Giraffes

 16.  They can sprint up to 35 miles per hour.

22 Facts That Will Change The Way You Look At Giraffes

17.  And because their legs are so long, giraffes walk at 10 miles per hour without even trying.

22 Facts That Will Change The Way You Look At Giraffes

18.  But giraffes can live without water longer than a camel can.

But giraffes can live without water longer than a camel can. At this point it's OK to suspect that they're indestructible.

19.  Their blood pressure is twice that of humans and is necessary to keep blood flowing all the way up to their heads.

20.  No two giraffes have the same pattern of spots, but giraffes that live in the same area tend to have similar coats.

No two giraffes have the same pattern of spots, but giraffes that live in the same area tend to have similar coats .

21.  Giraffe herds have almost no defined social structure or hierarchy.

Giraffe herds have almost no defined social structure or hierarchy.

22.  The giraffe’s closest relative is the okapi.


19 Times Animals Saved Peoples Lives

1 – Heroic Dolphins

Image Source: One Green Planet

Todd Endris, was out surfing for the day and was sitting on his surfboards when a shark attacked him. The shark was biting him from behind, but Endris was able to protect the front of his body helping to avoid damage to his intestines as this would have meant immediate death. It was then that a pod of dolphins arrived and began to hit the shark. They then circled around Endris protecting him as he swam to safety!

2 – Ningnong the Elephant

Image Source: Care2

During the massive Tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004, 8 year old Amber Mason was saved by an elephant named Ningnong. Amber had been riding on the elephant when the wave hit. Ningnong lifted Amber high onto her back and turned away from the rushing water using her own body as a shield for the little girl. She got the girl away from the beach to safety.

3 – Jambo the Gorilla

Image Source: Care2

In 1986, Jambo the Gorilla was hailed as a hero and dubbed a gentle giant when a 5 year old child fell into the Gorilla enclosure at Jersey Zoo. The boy suffered a fractured skull and broke several other bones. Jambo sat by the boy and gently rubbed his back and protected him from other gorillas until help arrived for the little boy.

4 – Winnie the Cat

Image Source: THe Pet Info

In 2007, Cathy Keesling was woken by her cat licking her and nudging her face while meowing loudly. As she tried to get up she realized that she was dizzy and nauseous. She discovered that her husband and son were both unconscious and carbon monoxide fumes were filling her home. She was able to call 911 and got help in the nick of time thanks to Winnie.

5 – Mandy the Goat

Image Source: Care2

Farmer Noel Osbourne was accidentally knocked into a pile of manure causing him to completely shatter his hip. He was unable to move and was too far away from the farm house for anyone to hear him calling for help. However, for 5 days his goat Mandy huddled by him to keep him warm and even allowed him to drink her milk for sustenance.

6 – LuLu the Pig

 Image Source: 100 for 100
Joann Alstman owns a clever pig named Lulu. One day, Joann suffered from a heart attack and collapsed to the ground. Lulu rushed outside and attempted to stop traffic while regularly running back inside to check on Joann. Eventually a car stopped and followed Lulu inside to where Joann was lying and got her help.

7 – Willie the Parrot

Image Source: The Pet Info

In 2008, Willie the Quaker parrot made headlines when he saved two year old Hannah Kuusk’s life. Hannah was at the house of her babysitter Megan Howard, eating breakfast when she choked on a piece of pop tart. Megan had stepped out of the room at the time and was unaware of the situation. However, Willie started shouting ‘Mama! Baby!’ repeatedly until Megan came back and found Hannah starting to turn blue. Megan performed the Heimlich Maneuver and saved the girl thanks to Willie’s warning.

8 – The Beluga Whale

Image Source: Care2

Diver Yang Yun was participating in a competition in China to see how long she was able to hold her breath in a pool of Beluga Whales. However, as Yun began to breathe again she found that she was unable to move her legs and began to drown. However, one of the Beluga Whales sensed her panic and took hold of her leg and dragged her to the surface!

9 – Kerry the Horse

Image Source: Care2

Scottish rancher Fiona Boyd was leading a distressed calf into a shed, when the little ones mother became enraged and attacked Fiona. The cow was attempting to trample Fiona to death, but Kerry the Horse got in front of the cow and began kicking it until the cow moved away. This saved Fiona’s life.

10 – Trio of Lions Saves Girl

Image Source: One Green Planet

In June 2005, a 12 year old girl was snatched by 4 men from her school in Ethiopia. A week later the men tried to move her with the police in pursuit. However 3 lions appeared and chased the men off before remaining sitting with the terrified girl until the police caught up with her.  Once the police arrived the animals simply walked away leaving everyone untouched.

11 – Sea Lions Thwart Suicide Attempt

Image Source: One Green Planet

In 2000, Kevin Hines attempted to commit suicide by jumping off of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. He knew as soon as he jumped that he had made a terrible mistake and thankfully her survived the fall. However, even though he managed to resurface in the water the freezing water was taking its toll. Just when he was losing hope some sea lions arrived and started to push him further above the water to stop him drowning. Soon a passer by spotted Hines and called for help

12 – Deer Sees Off Attacker

Image Source: One Green Planet

In 2012, an Ohio woman was attacked from behind and dragged behind a building where her assailant attempted to choke her and rob her. However, a heroic deer turned up and scared the man off leaving the woman with only minor bruising and all of her property intact!

13 – Beavers to the Rescue

Image Source: One Green Planet

Rheal Guindon was camping with his parents when they all decided to go fishing. Rheal stayed on the shore, but unfortunately witnessed his parents’ boat capsizing causing them both to drown. In a panic, Rheal attempted to walk back to town, but ended up having to sleep outside. He lay shivering on the ground traumatized by his ordeal when he felt a warm fuzzy body press itself against him. He believed it was a dog and dozed off. However, the next morning he awoke to find 3 wild beavers snuggling with him, The creatures had kept him warm when the temperatures dipped to zero over night – and also offered him comfort in his time of need.

14 – Super Bunny

Image Source: Cracked

When Simon Steggall fell into a life threatening diabetic coma on his couch, help came from an unlikely source – his pet rabbit Dory! Simon’s wife assumed that he had simply fallen asleep, but Dory knew something was wrong. She thumped emphatically around him and kept licking at his mouth to try and wake him. When Simon’s wife saw this she realized that the situation was serious and called an ambulance!

15 – Dog Saves 92 Sailors

Image Source: MNN

In 1919, a ship called Ethie crashed on rocks leaving 93 sailors stranded. One of the men was swept out to see. The ship’s dog Tang took a rope in his mouth and swam to shore. Onlookers on the shore were able to secure the rope allowing it to be used to guide the 92 men to safety.

16 – Treo the Bomb Dog

Image Source: Listverse

Treo is a bomb sniffing search dog. He was recently awarded the Dickin Medal (the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross). He saved countless lives after locating two hidden bombs in Helmand province. He has now retired following 5 years of service and is his former handler’s family pet!

17- Watusi Calf Saves Woman

Image Source: Listverse

When Janice Wolf was working in the back pasture of the refuge she runs in Arkansas, an 11 month old Watusu Calf suddenly blocked her path. She did not understand why it was doing this and so took hold of his horns and tried to push it out of the way. It knocked her off balance and refused to move. It was only then that she spotted the venomous copper head snake right where she would have been walking!

18 – Dog Vs Snake

Image Source: Listverse

Another snake attack that was thwarted by an animal is one from 1982 when family dog Arf became agitated during a walk. The grandmother took her 2 year old grandson indoors because of the dog’s erratic behavior and when she came back she found Arf engaged in a battle with a 2 foot long North American Coral Snake. She shot the snake, but Arf had been badly bitten. He was admitted to hospital, but made a full recovery. Had the snake bitten the child he would likely have died.

19 – Fire Alarm Kitty

Image Source: ListVerse

Dianne Busscher was understandably annoyed when her cat woke her up at 4.45am.However, when she got up to silence the cat she found smoke and realized that her home was on fire. She rushed to wake the rest of the family and all made it out alive thanks to the cat! Interestingly, Dianne had never been all that fond of the cat until that night! Needless to say Oreo is now spoiled rotten by Dianne!

      Autism assistance dogs?


I've heard that dogs can be trained to help autistic kids. Is that true? answered by Rachel Friedman

Answer: In two words, Yes, but.

Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning there is a wide range of symptoms that stem from a neurological disconnect characterized by widespread abnormalities of social interactions and communication and severely restricted interests and highly repetitive behavior. The range of impairments in functioning run from mild to severe, but the real test about the benefit of a service dog is whether the child and his/her family have an interest in dogs.

For the children within the spectrum who find aspects of a dog extremely rewarding, an appropriate dog can greatly benefit the child in many ways including calming (tactile stimulation--petting the soft fur of a dog), helping develop pragmatic language skills and social interactions (people are more likely to engage a child who is paired with a lovely dog), help alert to a child's possible impulse control (running away, "escaping," and causing possible risk of danger), give a child something to focus on in overly stimulating environments (trip to a store, doctor's office, etc.), as well as just being a companion who gives unconditional love and comfort in an often scary and overwhelming world. To read more: http://dogtime.com/dogs-autistic-kids-rachel-friedman-faq.html

Can fish be blind? 

If the white is inside the eye, it is probably cataracts. There really isn't anything you can do except keep him as healthy and happy as possible. They are often genetic, or sometimes are caused by infection or injury. If the white isn't inside the eye, but on the outside, it could be from toxins like ammonia and/or nitrite. They burn the skin, eyes and gills. If the tank can't balance completely they will be elevated. This can happen when a tank is kept "too clean". I know it sounds strange, but if you are removing all the water and totally cleaning it every month, it never has the chance to build a healthy beneficial bacteria balance. Changing 25% of the water every week while vacuuming the gravel is a good regimen to follow. You should never have to remove all the water unless there is a serious pollution problem or a foreign substance has gotten in the water. If you are finding a lot of crud in the gravel, it means you are overfeeding. (Very common problem, I overfeed sometimes too.) If he has a hard time finding food, it is easy to overfeed because you will want the fish to get enough. Just do the best you can. They do have a sense of smell, so he can find it when he needs to. Feed sinking pellets if you don't already.

One solution: If it were my fish and it looks like a outer eye infection, I would try cutting back on food and add aquarium salt to the tank. Use uniodized pure salt. You can buy it at local fish stores. Put in 1/2 teaspoon per gallon. When you make water changes, put back enough salt to treat the water replaced. For instance, your water changes are about 3 gallons, so you will add back 1.5 teaspoons every time. The salt helps the fish fight infection and it can also help kill the cause of infection. It is always best to avoid medicine when ever you can. Especially in chronic cases.  http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_Goldfish_be_blind

      Why Cats Play With Water


In spite of their reputation for tolerating only dry land, many cats are actually water lovers. Some like to play in standing water, whereas others are fascinated by running water and prefer to drink from a faucet. In The Cat Behavior Answer Book , pet writer Arden Moore writes that there are many theories as well as urban legends about this behavior, but no one knows for sure. This attraction to running water may reflect an adaptive behavior from a wild past. Perhaps because running water has fewer contaminates, many wild animals prefer to drink from streams rather than ponds.

Water bowl splashing could also be attributed to the need to test the water to make sure it’s safe. The paw pad represents one of the most sensitive areas of a cat’s body. A cat may scoop water with her paw to check for possible “dangers” in the water or to test the temperature. Cats’ long distance eyesight is superb and they see anything moving easily, but their close-up vision is somewhat weak. They rely on their noses to sample food and paws to test water. And they may be partaking in a little fun and enjoyment seeing the mini-ripples their paws create in the bowl.

Make sure that you provide your cat with fresh water every day, even if she makes a mess. Offer her more than one bowl in your home. If you don’t mind her perching on a bathroom sink, leave one with a few inches of water for her to play in during the day. You might consider an inexpensive automatic water dispenser that trickles water continuously. Many cats find them irresistible. These are readily available at pet supply stores and through catalogs.

Another idea is to take a one-gallon plastic jug and cut a hole about two inches from the bottom. Make the hole just a bit bigger than your cat’s head (don’t forget to allow for her whiskers) so that she can reach in for a drink but can’t splash too much water on the floor. If she pushes the jug around, you can attach it to a wall.


6 Fascinating Facts About the Misunderstood Magpie

Magpies are often maligned as pests, but they’re actually quite interesting birds that are usually overlooked for both their beauty and their intelligence. Here are six interesting facts about magpies.

1. Magpies Don’t Like Shiny Things — They’re Scared of Them

Magpies have a reputation as thieves out to steal your shiny jewelry or take ornaments from your garden, but new research shows that objects that are shiny probably repel magpies who don’t much like the look of them. The myth seems to have built up without much science to back it up, but the truth could actually be useful. Magpies are capable of wrecking crops by digging for grain, berries and other food, so along with other bird-scaring measures, the use of shiny materials in fields might help keep the magpies away and our crops safe from being upturned and trampled.

2. Magpies Will Eat Almost Anything, Including Bird Eggs and Chicks

While their natural diet is quite broad, including insects, mice and other small rodents, grain, berries and other fruit, magpies have been known to steal other birds’ eggs and even young chicks.

In addition, they’ve adapted rather well to suburban living and will often eat leftover scraps and other food bits put out for them, though for their health it’s probably better that you give them proper bird food so as to ensure they don’t eat anything that might be poisonous.

3. Magpies Are Closely Related to Crows, Jays and Ravens

Though they may look quite a bit different at first glance, magpies belong to the bird family corvidae, a group that includes crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws and jays, as well as lesser recognized members like treepies, choughs and nutcrackers. As such, they are among the most intelligent family of birds recognized by modern science. Which leads us to our next fact:

4. Magpies Recognize Themselves in Mirrors

European magpies have demonstrated the remarkable ability to recognize their own reflections in mirrors, something that was once thought to be a defining characteristic belonging only to humans. This might not sound that amazing, but out of countless species tested, only four ape species, bottlenose dolphins and Asian elephants have demonstrated this ability.

Scientists tested the magpies by placing a colored mark on their necks (which did not hurt or cause skin irritation). Then when placed in a cage with several mirrors, the birds were filmed scratching at  their necks after looking at their reflections. With everything else controlled for, this could only mean that magpies had recognized themselves in the mirrors, and not just that, but had differentiated between what was their normal physical state and their now marked plumage.

You can watch a video of that below:

For a really nerdy aside: scientists believe that self-awareness in birds and certain mammals may be an example of convergent evolution, which is where unrelated species evolve particular characteristics through different means. Another example of convergent evolution, and perhaps one of the best, is our very own set of camera eyes.

5. What is a Group of Magpies Called?

There are several names given to a group of magpies, but perhaps the most descriptive is “a parliament.” The birds have earned this title as a result of their often appearing in large groups in the Spring, looking stately and cawing at each other.

6. To The End of the Tail

Our last fascinating fact relates to one of the defining features of a magpie. While they share some similarities with their corvid family, the magpies possess an extremely long tail. In fact, a magpie’s tail is often roughly the same length as its entire body. Why magpies have such long tails is still debated but it may be that it gives the magpie, who isn’t a particularly strong, though still capable flier, the ability to make swift turns while in the air. This would allow the magpie to evade larger predator birds and make up for its rather average flying abilities.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/6-fascinating-facts-about-the-misunderstood-magpie.html#ixzz3BEHWTacP

Some Rats Actually Help Detect Disease, Not Spread It

Say “rats and disease” and your first thought is probably bubonic plague, rats as the carriers of deadly illnesses. However, now African giant pouched rats (Cricetomys gambianus), weighing in at 10 to 15 pounds, are helping to fight tuberculosis in Tanzania:.The rats’ sensitive noses are able to detect TB in human phlegm by its smell.

Two years ago, Alan Poling, a psychology professor at Western Michigan University, reported that he and his colleagues had successfully trained the giant rats to identify the scent of TB in sputum samples. Starting when they were a few weeks old, rats were trained using Pavlovian conditioning to associate a click sound with a small bite of mashed banana and a special food pellet. Some were then able to learn to detect the tuberculosis bacilli in human phlegm with as high as an 86.6 percent accuracy rate; they were even better (93 percent accuracy) at detecting the absence of the bacteria. When compared to detection via using a microscope, the rats picked up 44 percent more positive cases.

Human experts were initially wary about using rats to detect disease, rather than the usual equipment and techniques that have become de facto in modern Western medicine. While describing their tuberculosis-detecting skills as “amazing,” Neil W. Schluger, a professor of medicine at Columbia University, issued a number of caveats to the New York Times in 2011:

…but even if you accept that it worked within their lab, are they still good at it a year later? Do they all have to be trained by the same person? How do they have to be cared for? If you change their cage or their bedding, does it still work?

Two years later, chemist Negussie Beyene and a team of workers from APOPO (which also uses the rats to detect land mines) are using Poling’s techniques to train rats to detect TB in Tanzania, where thousands die every year from the disease.

As NPR reports, about 32 rats have been trained at a small laboratory in the city of Mongoro in Tanzania. The rats work as a “second-line screening system there to verify results from current microscopy tests” conducted in clinics in rural Africa. Microscopy from such clinics is only about 30 to 40 percent accurate and misses nearly half of the cases of tuberculosis.

Thanks to the rats, health workers have been able to detect about twice as many cases of tuberculosis. The rats also work far faster than a human can: one rat can analyze more samples in ten minutes than a lab technician can in an entire day. A rat whose name is Harod can evaluate ten samples in just 20 seconds.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/these-arent-lab-rats-theyre-lab-tech-rats-detecting-tb.html#ixzz2UKyGJetX

Top 10 Reasons Not to Wear Wool

You probably wouldn’t have thought that the woolly jumper you’re wearing or those Ugg boots you love so much could be the cause of so much cruelty and suffering. The truth is, there is a much darker side to the wool industry than you may have ever imagined, and no amount of fluff can hide the abhorrently cruel and bloody practices that millions of sheep have to endure every day.

Here are the top ten reasons why you should boycott wool and opt for a cruelty free alternative instead:

1. Sheep don’t need to be shorn. Through no fault of our own, we are mistakenly led to believe that ‘sheep need to be shorn.’ The reality is much more complicated. Sheep naturally produce only the amount of wool they need to protect themselves from extreme weather conditions. It is due to genetic engineering and the manipulation of the sheep’s wool production that we have left these defenseless animals dependent on human interference.

2. Mulesing. Half of the world’s Merino wool comes from Australia, where sheep are specifically bred to have wrinkled skin in order to increase wool production. This wrinkled skin is prone to flystrike due to the accumulation of excess moisture and urine. Flystrike is a painful condition in which flies lay eggs in the folds of the skin and the hatched maggots eat the sheep alive. The wool industry’s solution? Cutting off huge pieces of skin from the area around the tail and back of the legs, producing smoother, scarred skin that doesn’t harbor fly eggs. This barbaric practice is usually performed without anesthesia and causes a great deal of distress to the animal, and in many cases the bloody, untreated wounds often get flystrike before they have healed.

3. The wool industry is riddled with death and disease. To give you a better idea, ten million lambs die every year before they are more than a few days old in Australia alone. Why? Flocks usually consist of thousands, making it impossible to give proper care and attention to individual sheep. Rather than reduce the number of sheep in an effort to better maintain them, sheep are bred to bear more lambs to offset the deaths.

4. An estimated 1 million sheep die from exposure. Sheep have to be sheared in the spring before they naturally shed their winter coats. Shearing too late means a loss of wool, so subsequently they are sheared while it is still too cold, leaving them vulnerable and at risk of death from exposure due to premature shearing.

5. Sheep shearers are paid by the volume. The majority of sheep shearers are paid by the volume, as opposed to by the hour, encouraging fast work without regard for the welfare of the sheep. This results in rough handling and injury during the process.

6. Lambs have to endure castration, tail docking and dehorning without anesthesia. Using a knife to cut out their testicles or a rubber ring to cut off the blood supply, a knife to cut off the tail, and a scraper blade or dehorning shears to remove the horn bud without any painkillers doesn’t sound very humane, does it? All of these procedures are common practice in the wool industry, and cause fear, pain and distress.

7. Sheep are highly intelligent animals. They have incredible memories and can remember up to 50 individual faces (sheep and humans) for years! This is because they use a similar part of the brain and neural process as humans use to remember.

8. Sheep are gentle, loving and feeling individuals who are capable of a range of emotions. Extensive studies have been carried out proving that sheep have much richer emotional lives than we give them credit for.

9. Five million kangaroos are killed every year as a result of the wool industry. Excessive numbers of sheep have eaten the native flora upon which the kangaroo feeds, causing the yellow footed rock wallaby to become an endangered species. These native animals are now viewed as damaging pests and the Australian government permits the slaughter of an estimated 5 million kangaroos each year.

10. Every sheep shorn will eventually be sent to slaughter. When a sheep’s wool production declines, they are sold for slaughter. This terrifying and frightening ordeal requires the sheep to travel long distances in extremely cramped and crowded conditions. Many sheep die during the journey from exhaustion, dehydration, stress and injury, and lambs born during the trip are often trampled to death.

Sheep are not the only animals exploited for their wool. Goats, rabbits and alpacas are also commonly used to manufacture angora, cashmere and alpaca wool. You don’t have to contribute to this abusive industry. Check labels before you buy and use alternatives such as cotton, cotton flannel, soft acrylic, polyester fleece and synthetic shearling.

10 Ways To Keep Those Pesky Ants Out Of Your Kitchen

I love springtime – except for the invasion of ants in my kitchen that this time of year seems to encourage.

Maybe you’ve tried making a trail of sugar, with the idea of leading the little critters away from your home, but that hasn’t worked? So what to do?

Here are 10 tips for keeping those ants out of your house. Best of all, the “recipes” are all natural and involve items you’re likely to have in your home already.

1. Deterrence. The best way to get rid of ants is to prevent them from ever considering your home an easy target. Ants are tiny, and can find thousands of doorways that you didn’t even know about. But as much as you can, block those entryways.

2. Caulk. Continuing on this theme, try sealing with caulk any windows, doors and any cracks the ants crawl through. This will also give you better temperature control and lower energy bills, and is one of the least risky methods if you have kids or pets.

If those two don’t work, try these deterrents:

3. Vinegar. Clean surfaces in your home with a half-and-half solution of white distilled vinegar and water. As an added bonus, this is a great mixture to use for cleaning in general, replacing detergents with polluting phosphorus. Vinegar works because ants hate its smell, and the vinegar removes the scent trails they use to get around.

4. Lemon Juice. Just like vinegar, lemon juice also seems to destroy those scent trails that ants follow. Try spraying lemon juice around the places you think ants are using for entryways.

5. Peppermint Oil. Here’s another super-easy one to try. Clean off your surfaces really well, and then wipe them down with a clean damp cloth that has a few drops of essential peppermint oil on it. Ants seem to really dislike the smell of it and it is also environmentally friendly, and safe for humans and children. Not to mention, your kitchen will smell minty fresh.

6. Spices and Herbs. Another deterrent to make your home smell awesome! Sprinkle black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, cinnamon, mint, chili pepper, cloves or garlic (whichever you have at hand) wherever you’ve seen ants and along your home’s foundation. You can also try placing bay leaves in cabinets, drawers and containers.

7. Coffee Grounds. Sprinkle your used coffee grounds in the garden and around the outside of your house. If you can locate exactly where the ants are getting in, be sure to put some there. You should see them move away from your home because they dislike the smell of coffee grounds.

8. Chalk and Baby Powder. Try drawing a line of chalk or sprinkle baby powder across the spot where the ants are entering your home. It works because talcum powder, an ingredient in both chalk and baby powder, is a natural ant repellent.

9. Cucumber or Citrus Peels. You can repel those ants by leaving these peelings in areas of known ant activity. That’s because cucumber and citrus peels are toxic to the types of fungi that ants feed on, so they don’t want to go anywhere near them.

10. Dish Soap. Put a very thin line of dish soap around baseboards, windows, doors and wherever else the ants tend to gather. You can also try pouring dish soap directly onto ant hills or mix the soap with some water in a spray bottle.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/10-ways-to-keep-those-pesky-ants-out-of-your-kitchen.html#ixzz2UKwo7eLl

Why Do Bloodhounds Have Long Ears? The Better to Smell You With

Why Do Bloodhounds Have Long Ears?

Bloodhounds, Basset Hounds, and Coonhounds have several things in common, but their long, droopy ears are among the most distinctive. You might think that a dog with such large ears would have great hearing — and you would be right. But Bloodhounds and their cousins also rely on their ears for smelling.

If you look closely, you may notice that the Bloodhound's ears are set lower on its head than most other dogs' ears. This makes them hang down lower and look even longer than they really are. The ears of Basset Hounds and Coonhounds also hang low, so when these dogs are following a trail, their dangling ears drag along the ground.

Dragging ears act like dust-brooms for scents, stirring up any of the invisible particles that make up a scent trail and then sweeping those scent particles up toward the dog's powerful nose.

What's with the Wrinkles?

Basset Hounds get their distinctive droopy look from their low-hanging jowls and from loose folds of skin below their chins, referred to as a dewlap. Coonhounds also have a dewlap, and their jowls are loose, but not quite so droopy. Bloodhounds have it all — droopy jowls, dewlap, and big, loose wrinkles around the face and neck. All those wrinkles may be adorable, but they are also an important part of how these hounds actually work.

When the dog's ears catch scent particles and sweep them upward, some of those particles get trapped by wrinkles around the dog's neck and face, which lets the dog carry around a handy scent reference for the trail he is following.

The next time someone asks you, "Why do Bloodhounds have long ears?" you can tell them, "The better to smell you with, my dear!"


The Average Salary Of Wildlife Photographers

Being a wildlife photographer may entail tracking lions in Africa or observing wild salmon in Alaska. You might shoot a subject in sub-zero temperatures or in desert heat. Other times, you'll work at a home base developing photographs and checking up on new assignments. Wildlife photography is not always glamorous, and is not, in most cases, a high-paying job. However, some of the benefits of being a wildlife photographer are getting to see amazing animals in their native habitats and snapping reminders for all of us of the wonders that exist in the world's remote places.
Related Searches:


        Most wildlife photographers are self-employed. Some, however, have consistent work for either newspaper, magazine or publishing companies. Government and advertising agencies also seek out photojournalists. The average annual salary range for a wildlife photographer is $26,000. This is the baseline for the field; a salary may either be more or less depending on reputation, education and experience. Some earn as high as $50,000 and others bring home only $15,000 or less during their first few years in the field.
    Additional Income

        Although some wildlife photographers consistently score high-paying gigs, many supplement their income by teaching part- and full-time at universities and trade schools. In addition, many wildlife photographers use their sharp photo-taking skills to make money at other commercial photography ventures, such as selling images to stock photo companies or shooting weddings and other events. Occasionally, wildlife photographers may apply for private or government grants to pursue specific projects, especially if those projects contribute to an arts scene or to the public good (for example, documenting environmental degradation or animal migrations).

        Although the choice photography gigs generally cover travel and other incidentals, wildlife photographers do accrue many expenses. Equipment is the biggest expense, as a variety of lenses and camera bodies is needed to successfully capture wildlife on film. The rise of digital photography has cut down on film-processing costs; however, depending on the client, some wildlife photographers may still prefer to shoot with film in which case lab rental, film and paper costs must be taken into consideration. A home lab for the digital photographer includes at minimum a fast computer with back-up hard drives and professional photo-editing software. When you first start out you may end up covering all of your travel expenses, too. This means you may lose money or only break even while you build your portfolio and make contacts in the field.

        Those with photography experience and a bachelor's degree in photojournalism will have a better chance of obtaining the higher-paying gigs. Some recommendations for those just starting out include visiting a newspaper or magazine office and talking with their in-house photographers or photo editors. It's best to have a portfolio which displays outstanding photos---these days the best way to do this is online with a professionally made website. Extensive knowledge of traditional, nontraditional and digital cameras is also helpful.

        Wildlife photographers often travel to remote locations all over the world. Hostile conditions are often the norm in the life of a photojournalist. Some will sit for hours before snapping shots worthy to be sold. If you fear hostile environments or have a low threshold for discomfort, or don't have the patience to wait for an animal to appear, this is not the field for you.

    Local Photography ClassesSchools.com/Photography

    Find Photography Training Programs in Your Area & Get Free Info!

Read more: The Average Salary Of Wildlife Photographers | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5477290_average-salary-wildlife-photographers.html#ixzz1hnAjs161

 6 Facts about Penguins

Here at Vetstreet think there's no better way to celebrate the many species of waddlers out there than to share some cool facts about these curious creatures, who inhabit frosty (and sometimes toasty) habitats.

two penguins

1. Although all penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere, they can be found in South Africa, Antarctica, the coast of South America, the Galapagos, Southern Australia and New Zealand.

2. The largest species of penguin is the Emperor, with an average length of 36 to 44 inches, while the smallest penguin species is the Little Blue, which averages 10 to 12 inches in height.

3. Penguins can swim close to 15 miles per hour — far outpacing Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, whose top speed is only around 4.7 miles per hour.

4. Penguins' waterproof feathers are tightly packed to insulate them against frigid temperatures, but they can open their feathers to feel the cold.

5. Penguins mate for life. However, the yellow-eyed penguin is so reclusive that if two pairs catch sight of one another, their breeding season will not be successful.

6. The African penguin is sometimes referred to as the jackass because this species brays like a donkey.

penguins swimming

Our penguin facts were provided by the following: New England Aquarium, Penguin Facts and answers.com.

Click here for more Vetstreet penguin coverage.


A Breakdown of the "Wet-Dog Shake"

posted by: Megan Drake

A team of graduate students at the School of Mechanical Engineering of Georgia Institute of Technology, headed by Andrew Dickerson, studied the wet-dog shake.  Bio-inspired design uses the mechanics of nature to understand and create.  It led this group of students to investigate oscillatory shaking -- the wet-dog shake -- to see if it could be applied to make a more efficient washing machine.

With a high speed video camera, they recorded various mammals shaking off water.  What they discovered was: the bigger the mammal, the shorter the shake.  Grizzly bears and large dogs shake at about 4 Hz, or four shakes per second.  Small animals like mice shake at 27 Hz, or 27 shakes per second. X-ray cinematography was also utilized for a look on the inside. Video recording showed the shake starts at the head and works down to the tail.  The head can twist more, creating a solid starting point for an energy wave to travel the entire length of the animal's body.  But the skin moves faster than the head or body -- think of a whip.  It is integral to how the animal shakes off water.

Centripetal force is a center-seeking net force that is required to keep moving objects in a circular path.  Think satellites.  The wet-dog shake is centripetal force. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the researchers claim no animals were harmed for this research.  They only had to get them wet.

For those curious enough to want to understand the physics of the wet-dog shake, this research will be presented at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics being held this year at the Long Beach Convention Center in California, November 21 - 23. 


Fun facts

What is a cat's vibrissae?

Answer: It's whiskers

Fun facts

How long can a snail sleep without eating? 

Answer: 3 years

Facts About Adopting Black Dogs...

Big Black Dog Syndrome

I learned about something recently that surprised me. Evidently, many people do not want big black dogs. As the owner of a black Lab, I found this to be surprising. But a newsletter from the Heartland Lab Rescue had an article about how big black dogs are the hardest dogs to adopt out for shelters. Theories abound as to why. Black dogs are difficult to see in their crates and cages at shelters. It’s hard to see their faces. They don’t photograph easily for online listings. There is a cultural bias against big black dogs because of irresponsible Rottie, Lab, Chow, Pitt and Doberman owners. People are more afraid of big black dogs because it’s hard to read their expressions when you can’t see their eyes and faces very well. Black dogs are too common or “ordinary” and prospective pet owners prefer a more unique coat color or pattern.

   The theories vary, but the statistics don’t. Consistently across the country at shelter after shelter, the wait time for big black dogs — especially males — is longer than for any other type of dog. The adoption rate is lower. The surrender rate is higher. “Our yellow and chocolate puppies rarely last more than a week before being adopted by loving families,” says Amy Serrata, Hertland Lab Rescue Co-Chair. “But the black puppies simply get passed up.” Here are some ways to keep black dogs out of shelters: If you hear of someone who’s looking for a family dog, encourage them to get a black dog. To find a big black dog waiting for adoption, go to http://www.blackpearldogs.com/ or http://www.heartlandlabrescue.com.

Black pearl dogs website is working tirelessy to remove BBDs from death row and works as a middle man between shelters & rescues
YOU can help end Big Black Dog Syndrome!
If you are thinking about adopting a dog please remember "Big and Black".



  Raining Cats and Dogs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Meaning:  Raining very heavily.


Raining cats and dogsThis is an interesting phrase in that, although there's no definitive origin, there is a likely derivation. Before we get to that, let's get some of the fanciful proposed derivations out of the way.

The phrase isn't related to the well-known antipathy between dogs and cats, which is exemplified in the phrase 'fight like cat and dog'. Nor is the phrase in any sense literal, i.e. it doesn't record an incident where cats and dogs fell from the sky. Small creatures, of the size of frogs or fish, do occasionally get carried skywards in freak weather. Impromptu involuntary flight must also happen to dogs or cats from time to time, but there's no record of groups of them being scooped up in that way and causing this phrase to be coined. Not that we need to study English meteorological records for that - it's plainly implausible.

One supposed origin is that the phrase derives from mythology. Dogs and wolves were attendants to Odin, the god of storms, and sailors associated them with rain. Witches, who often took the form of their familiars - cats, are supposed to have ridden the wind. Well, some evidence would be nice. There doesn't appear to be any to support this notion. It has also been suggested that cats and dogs were washed from roofs during heavy weather. This is a widely repeated tale. It got a new lease of life with the e-mail message "Life in the 1500s", which began circulating on the Internet in 1999. Here's the relevant part of that: I'll describe their houses a little. You've heard of thatch roofs, well that's all they were. Thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. They were the only place for the little animals to get warm. So all the pets; dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs, all lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery so sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Thus the saying, "it's raining cats and dogs." This is nonsense of course. It hardly needs debunking but, lest there be any doubt, let's do that anyway. In order to believe this tale we would have to accept that dogs lived in thatched roofs, which, of course, they didn't. Even accepting that bizarre idea, for dogs to have slipped off when it rained they would have needed to be sitting on the outside of the thatch - hardly the place an animal would head for as shelter in bad weather. Another suggestion is that 'raining cats and dogs' comes from a version of the French word 'catadoupe', meaning waterfall. Again, no evidence. If the phrase were just 'raining cats', or even if there also existed a French word 'dogadoupe', we might be going somewhere with this one. As there isn't, let's pass this by. There's a similar phrase originating from the North of England - 'raining stair-rods'. No one has gone to the effort of speculating that this is from mythic reports of stairs being carried into the air in storms and falling on gullible peasants. It's just a rather expressive phrase giving a graphic impression of heavy rain - as is 'raining cats and dogs'. The much more probable source of 'raining cats and dogs' is the prosaic fact that, in the filthy streets of 17th/18th century England, heavy rain would occasionally carry along dead animals and other debris. The animals didn't fall from the sky, but the sight of dead cats and dogs floating by in storms could well have caused the coining of this colourful phrase


Can Cats Steal Babies Breath ?


Status: False

Claim:   Cats suck the breath from babies, sometimes killing them.
The story, passed on by a pregnant woman is about cats that get jealous of newborn infants. As it was described to me, the cats, no longer afforded the attention they once got prior to the infant's birth, will actually attempt to suffocate the infant. Specifically, she described a cat, "sucking the wind out of the baby," by placing its nose in the infants mouth while the infant is asleep. This immediately seemed unreasonably far-fetched, yet she maintains it's true since she has it "on the authority" of a number of other women.
Origins:   The idea that a cat could suck the breath of an infant is simply a misguided notion — cats just don't do that. It is Cat said the smell of milk on the child's breath draws the feline in for the kill, but anyone who has been around house cats knows the average moggie doesn't much care for the liquid. (Given free choice between plain water and a bowl of milk, cats generally head for the water unless milk has been the only liquid offered to them from weaning onwards. Put more simply, unless the cat has been taught to like milk, it generally won't seek out that substance on its own.) Another theory advanced as to why a cat would want to harm a baby relates to the jealousy the pet will supposedly experience when the little bundle from heaven is brought into the household. No longer the center of attention, the neglected pet is allegedly capable of setting about to get rid of what it sees as the usurper. This theory is of far more recent coinage than the bit of lore it purports to explain, though, coming into fashion no earlier than the 20th century (while the "smother" belief dates to at least the 1700s). In 1791 a jury at a coroner's inquest in England rendered a verdict to the effect that a Plymouth child had met his death by a cat sucking out its breath. The superstition itself is older, with print sightings of it recorded from 1607 and 1708, so that 1791 verdict should be viewed with the realization that the jury was probably influenced by a snippet of "everybody knows" lore when it came time to explain a death for which there was no apparent cause. It is possible a cat might lie across the face of a sleeping child and thus upon extremely rare instances accidentally cause a death, but that is not the old wives' tale at hand wherein the cat does so with malice aforethought. Tragedy is hard enough to bear without its also being inexplicable. Better to blame the cat than to admit the cause of a child's death is unknown . . . 
The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/catsuck.asp


10 Fascinating Facts About Chickens

10 Fascinating Facts About Chickens

In the United States alone, more than 8.5 billion chickens are killed every year. That’s 272 every second! Those numbers are pretty crazy, right? When I actually sat down to figure it all out, I literally couldn’t get my head around all those zeros. Every single one of those chickens is a unique individual that has so much more to offer the world than ending up on someone’s dinner plate.

1. Chickens slurp grass like spaghetti.
  When living in their natural environment, chickens will spend the day foraging for bugs and slurping down fresh blades of grass.

2. Chickens LOVE dust baths.
It may not sound very appealing to you, but chickens take so much pleasure in digging a shallow pit in the dirt, spreading their winds and rolling around in it. Dust baths help chickens maintain proper feather insulation and ward off parasites. I’ve known chickens that have spent their entire life cooped up in a cage but when given the chance to be free, one of the first things they ever did was give themselves a dust bath.


3. Chickens have complex communication with specific meanings.
When you spend enough time around chickens, you’ll start to understand their many different vocalizations, from calling their youngsters to alerting others of the whereabouts of food.

4. Chickens like to play.
When given enough space, chickens will run, jump, spa and even sunbathe. Unfortunately, around 95% of all chickens raised in the United States spend their entire lives in tiny cages no bigger than the size of an iPad.

5. Chickens talk to their unborn babies.
In a natural setting, a mother hen will cluck to her chicks before they have even hatched and they will churp back to her and to each other through their shells. In factory farms, a chick will never get to meet his or her parents because they are taken from her as soon as they are laid and placed in large incubators.

6. Chickens are a lot more clever than you think.
  Recent studies have shown that chickens are intelligent animals with many attributes akin to that of primates. They are able to solve complex problems, understand cause and effect, pass on knowledge, demonstrate self control and worry about the future.


7. Chickens are technically dinosaurs.
   Research has proven that not only have chickens evolved from dinosaurs and are the closest living relative to the magnificent T. rex, they are in fact living dinosaurs.

8. Chickens place great importance on building a private nest.


They start by scratching a shallow bed in the ground, then carry twigs and leaves to their nest on their backs where they let the material slide off and build up around the rim.  They will even go without food and water in favor of creating a private nest safe from predators.

9. Chickens have excellent memories.
They are able to recognize and remember more than 100 different individuals, including humans.

10. Chickens are able to comprehend object permanence.
   Even when an object is taken away from them and hidden, chickens are able to comprehend that it still exists. Not many animals have the ability to do this, and neither do young human children.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/10-fascinating-facts-about-chickens.html#ixzz3d8dPo0rr

Tidbits of Trivia You Might Not Have Known...

Dog plays with large 

Domesticated pets are complex creatures. Have you ever wondered why they do some of the things they do? Your cat seems smart, but how sharp is his memory? Why is it your dog can always outrun you? Is it your imagination, or does it seem like your bird is always eating? Here are some interesting facts bound to keep you guessing.

Fun Facts About Dogs

  • Dogs only sweat from the bottoms of their feet, the only way they can discharge heat is by panting.
  • Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions, most of them made with the ears.
  • Dogs have about 10 vocal sounds.
  • Dogs do not have an appendix.
  • There are more than 200 different breeds of dogs.
  • Dalmatians are born spotless: at first pure white, their spots develop as they age.
  • Contrary to popular belief, dogs aren’t color blind; they can see shades of blue, yellow, green and gray. The color red registers on a grayscale in a dog’s vision.
  • Most domestic dogs are capable of reaching speeds up to about nineteen miles per hour when running at full speed.
  • Using their swiveling ears like radar dishes, experiments have shown that dogs can locate the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second.
  • Domesticated for more than 10,000 years, the dog was one of the first animals domesticated by humans.

    Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw!

Fun Feline Facts

  • Cats do not have sweat glands.
  • A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.
  • Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
  • Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
  • A pack of kittens is called a kindle, while a pack of adult cats is called a clowder.
  • An adult cat can run about 12 miles per hour, and can sprint at nearly thirty miles per hour.
  • A cat's tongue is scratchy because it's lined with papillae—tiny elevated backwards hooks that help to hold prey in place.
  • The nose pad of each cat has ridges in a unique pattern not unlike a person's fingerprints.
  • Cats' bodies are extremely flexible; the cat skeleton contains more than 230 bones (a human has about 206), and the pelvis and shoulders loosely attach to the spine. This adds to their flexibility and allows them to fit through very small spaces.
  • Cats have better memories than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that while a dog's memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's can last as long as 16 hours—exceeding even that of monkeys and orangutans.

Iguanas are able to hold their breath for up to 30 minutes!

Fun Facts About Avians and Exotic Bird Pets


      Iguanas are able to hold their breath for up to 30 minutes!
  • To survive, every bird must eat at least half its own weight in food each day.
  • A bird's heart beats 400 times per minute while they are resting.
  • Americans own more than 60 million pet birds.
  • Larger parrots such as the macaws and cockatoos live more than 75 years.
  • Many hamsters only blink one eye at a time.
  • Armadillos have four babies at a time and they are always all the same sex. They are also the only animal besides humans that can get leprosy.
  • Iguanas are able to hold their breath for up to 30 minutes.
  • A garter snake can give birth to 85 babies.
  • Ferrets are currently the third most popular pet in the US. There are an estimated eight to ten million ferrets in the United States being kept as pets.
  • A goldfish can live up to 40 years.

Why Dogs Do Strange Things.

Digging, Nesting and Rolling Common Behavior...

 digs a hole

Part of the reason we love dogs is for their unconditional love and curious nature. Some of their most endearing qualities may also stump us from time to time: the furious digging, the inexplicable rolling in stinky, smelly stuff, and the ritualistic nesting at bedtime.
Many of these strange behaviors common to dogs are believed to be tied to the days when they ran in packs, dug shallow dwellings and gathered their own chow.

Birds Aren’t the Only Nesters Their strange habits include “digging” a bed each night before lying down to sleep.

Puppy sleeping

Before dogs were domesticated some 100 years back, they dug shallow beds to keep them a bit warmer than simply snoozing on the ground’s surface.
The bedtime ritual might also be linked to a dog’s instinct to mark his or her territory. Dogs mark the area that they consider theirs by scratching the ground with the smell that comes from the sweat glands in their paws.
While Natalie’s dogs conduct harmless pawing, some dogs shred whatever they can get their paws on. If this is the case, get your dog a bed of her own with a lose fill such as cedar chips. (Dogs are more likely to adapt to a bed placed in spots they already consider their territory.)
Many of these strange behaviors common to dogs are believed to be tied to the days when they ran in packs.

Dogs Dig Digging

Dogs dig for lots of reasons: As a means to get somewhere, hide food, explore and, frankly, just for fun.
This knack for getting dirt between the paws goes back to the days when they dug dens and buried their leftovers. Watching other dogs and owners dig can also encourage the urge to make a hole of their own.
If digging causes a problem, fill favorite spots with rocks and a smell they dislike such as chili pepper or their own feces. You can nudge them into digging in a designated spot by burying a treat there and cheering them on as they make the discovery.
Your dog could be sending you a message by the holes he’s digging, according to The Secret Lives of Dogs:

  • Holes near fences indicate something of interest on the other side or boredom.
  • Holes adjacent to the house could mean your dog is lonely and wants to come in.
  • Shallow holes could mean your dog is trying to get comfortable by warming up or cooling down.

What’s That Smell?

Many a pooch enjoys rolling in some smelly stuff from piles of autumn leaves to dirt, snow and, unfortunately, even the droppings and carcasses of other creatures.

Dog rolls on the grass

Dogs might prefer a good roll to itch a scratch. Dogs who sometimes rub around after a bath might be attempting to remove the sweet shampoo smell.
Reeling in something smelly could be your dog’s way of saying that he found something interesting and he wants you to know. Or he could be marking his territory. He may enjoy the smell of something so much that chafing against it is his way of taking that lovely smell along with him.
Most rolling and rubbing is harmless. But if your dog picks up a totally unruly scent, freshen him up with odor neutralizers rather than shampoos, which may enhance the stench – err – scent.


  Does Your Pet Watch TV?


Almost everyone I know with a dog claims that their pooch watches television. I believe them, but I also know that a dog’s eyesight is very different from ours, so what exactly does “watching TV” mean for a dog? Pet experts say that a lot of dogs will actually follow the movement of objects on the screen–and may even bark. However a dog doesn’t see the screen the same way we do. Although dogs don’t see exclusively in black and white (as many people think), they don’t have the same range of color that humans do. There are fewer cones (color vision cells) in a dog’s eye than in a human’s eye. Yet, dogs have many more rods (light and motion detectors) than we do, so although they see a limited spectrum, they can see better at night. Dogs can also see flickering light better than we can, which means they might even be able to see individual frames in a television sequence where we would see a continuous scene. Because of the anatomy of a dog’s eyes, the dog cannot tell what an object on the screen actually is. But the movement and shapes he is able to see can be pretty intriguing! The sounds emitted from the television are attention-grabbers as well. Because dogs can pinpoint the directional origin of sounds they hear, the TV can be quite aurally entertaining. Although experts say that a dog’s acute hearing can differentiate between a television sound and a live sound, many a dog still seem to be fairly well entertained by the sounds coming from the set. Now if only they had TVs that could emit the smell of a fire hydrant or BBQ–I bet we’d find more dogs watching TV–or at least licking the set…

By Melissa Breyer, Senior Editor, Healthy & Green Living


Did you know Chickens are smart ? The cognitive abilities of chickens above those of small human children.

Chickens comprehend cause-and-effect relationships and understand that objects still exist even after they are hidden from view. This puts the cognitive abilities of chickens above those of small human children. For instance, scientists have found that chickens clearly understand cause-and-effect relationships, an advanced comprehension skill that puts their intellect beyond that of dogs. 
Chickens can also grasp other complex mental concepts. For instance, according to Evans, chickens are able to understand that objects still exist even after they are hidden or removed from view. This level of cognition is actually beyond the capacity of small human children.
Researchers also recently reported that chickens “can anticipate the future and demonstrate self-control, something previously attributed only to humans and other primates.” Scientists made this discovery after they observed that when given the option between pecking a button and receiving a small food reward instantly or holding out for 22 seconds in order to receive a larger food reward, chickens in the study demonstrated self-control by holding out for the larger reward over 90 percent of the time.

Chickens are social animals who form complex social hierarchies and interact in complex ways that are indicative of what anthropologists call “culture.” For example, researchers have shown that chickens learn from observing the success and failure of others in their community. One experiment that demonstrated this finding involved teaching one group of chickens to peck red and green buttons a certain number of times to obtain a food reward. Researchers were surprised to find that when a new group of chickens watched those who had learned how to push the buttons for food, the new chickens quickly caught on by watching the others.  There are hidden depths to chickens, definitely.”

If you'd like to read more: http://www.goveg.com/f-chickens-psection.asp

Could Wolves Understand Empathy? Yawning Study Suggests They Do


"Could wolves feel empathy? A recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE shows that just like humans and other types of dogs, these creatures are also susceptible to yawn contagion. 

With yawning contagion, scientists from the University of Tokyo, Japan, actually believe that these animals may be capable of understanding others in the pack.

Previous studies have shown that contagious yawning is experienced in domestic dogs who also witness their owners yawning. However, up until now, scientists were uncertain of how the phenomenon rooted in the evolution of mammals or whether it evolved due to domestication." by Kathleen Lees
"Despite the small sample size the results suggest contagious yawning may relate to the wolves' capacity for empathy; other animals may also have the same ability to experience empathy." http://sco.lt/9LwAcL

Center for Building a Culture of Empathy  

Fungus turns Amazonian ants into zombies

By Darren Osborne for ABC Science Online Posted Thu Mar 3, 2011 3:57pm AEDT

A dead zombie ant infected with a species of parasitic fungus

The fungus grows out of the head of the dead ant, releasing spores into the air (David Hughes ) Researchers combing the rainforests of Brazil have uncovered four new species of fungi that turn ants into zombies. Although it is not the first time the fungi has been seen affecting ants, the discovery of four distinct species in close proximity highlights the level of biodiversity in the Amazon. Their study appears online in the journal PLoS One.

The research, led by Assistant Professor David Hughes of the University of Pennsylvannia, identified and described the parasitic fungus Ophiocordyceps unliateralis living on four species of carpenter ant (Camponotini sp.) in the Zona da Mata region of Brazil. Ants become infected when they come into contact with spores released by the fungus. Within a week the ant enters a zombie-like state. This so-called zombie or brain-manipulating fungus alters the behaviours of the ant host, causing it to die in an exposed position, typically clinging onto and biting the adaxial surface of shrub leaves," the study authors write. The fungus then grows out of the head of the ant, releasing spores into the air, which rain down onto unsuspecting ants and the forest floor.

To read more on this story: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/03/3154387.htm?section=world

Amazing Gliding Ants (See clip below)
The tree-nesting tropical ant Cephalotes atratus can glide forwards and backwards in a directed flight. The ants steer themselves by changing the position of their hind legs, mid legs and gaster (the bulbous posterior segment of their bodies).  Other ants who exhibit this falling behavior live in Africa, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica and the United States. The Smithsonian blog gives a fuller account not only of how the ants perform this unusual behavior and also how scientists manage even to study the tiny insects falling in the forests, using ropes, canopy walkways, construction towers, video cameras and even wind tunnels.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/amazing-gliding-ants.html#ixzz1RcqslIZW

The Wisdom of Black Cats And Myths

    The Wisdom of Black Cats  

Black cats have gotten a bad rap for centuries — many cultures have perpetuated myths about them. They have been maligned and even tortured because of their alleged association with evil and witchcraft. Chinese believed a black cat was an omen for poverty, and German folklore says that a black cat jumping on a sick bed signals that death is near. We cat lovers know the truth about black cats. They make very loving, playful companions. And so as I wait for the coming of Trick-or-Treaters and The Great Pumpkin.
I’d also like us all to remember the feral black cats who don’t have laps to sit in, and who risk injury and cruel pranks this Halloween season. They remind us of the violence that haunts humanity far worse than any horror movie character could. I know that once we rid ourselves of the underlying causes like poverty and ignorance, all creatures will be safe. We can’t face the ills of society, however, by hating those who hurt black cats. We can only evolve by taking responsibility for doing our own work.  Have you experienced the wisdom of a black cat? Please share below.
 Dr. Susan Wagner is a board certified veterinary neurologist whose pioneering work acknowledges the bioenergetic interaction between people and animals. She is an advocate for change in the area of interpersonal violence and animal cruelty, and works toward a greater understanding surrounding the health implications of the human-animal bond.


If you'd like to adopt a black cat:


Dogs Yawning Contagious ?  

LONDON—Dogs find human yawns contagious, suggesting they have a rudimentary capacity for empathy, British scientists said on Wednesday.

Although yawning is widespread in many animals, contagious yawning—a yawn triggered by seeing others yawning—has previously only been shown to occur in humans and chimpanzees. It turns out, however, that man's best friend is highly sensitive to catching human yawns, with 72per cent of 29 dogs tested yawning after observing a person doing so. The copying activity suggests that canines are capable of empathising with people, say the researchers who recorded dogs' behaviour in lab tests. Until now, only humans and their close primate relatives were thought to find yawning contagious. The team - from Birkbeck College, University of London - reports its findings in Biology Letters.  Yawning, although sometimes a response to extreme stress, is more often a sign of tiredness; but the reason for why yawning is catching is not fully understood.

Human cues

There is evidence that autistic individuals are less inclined to yawn into response to another human yawning, suggesting that contagious yawning betrays an ability to empathise.  "Dogs have a very special capacity to read human communication. They respond when we point and when we signal," Dr Senjutold BBC News. The researchers explained that along with floppy ears and big soppy-eyes, humans have selected dogs to be obedient and docile. The results from this study suggest the capacity for empathy towards humans is another trait selected in dogs during domestication.


          Why Cats Purr 


The phenomenon of purring has fascinated humans for ages. A lot of research has been conducted to figure out this feline mystique, but no one knows for certain why cats purr, though it is believed to be a voluntary act initiated by the central nervous system. In other words, cats purr on purpose, not just as an instinctive response. Scientists report that cats produce purring sounds by using the diaphragm to push air back and forth across vibrating nerves in the larynx. Purring occurs in a frequency range between 25 and 150 hertz. At the lower end of the range, that rumbling sound can resemble an idling diesel engine, which has a similar velocity. All domestic cats and most wild felids are are born with the ability to purr. Cats, from young kittens to senior citizens, purr when they are happy, such as when they are being petted, anticipating dinner, or snuggling on a warm, cozy bed. Mother cats purr when nursing their kittens, and kittens purr when nursing. But many cats also purr when they are afraid or in pain. That helps explain why females may purr during labor and why some cats purr when they are being examined at a veterinary clinic or when they are recovering form an injury. The purring might serve to reassure or comfort the frightened cat, and some studies suggest that the low-level vibrations of purring physically stimulate feline muscles and bones to keep them healthy and actually hasten the healing process.

Excerpted from The Cat Behavior Answer Book (Storey, 2007), by Arden Moore.

More from Melissa Breyer on the information:

             Do Dogs Feel Guilt?


A recent study claims to prove that dogs don’t feel guilt. I can only surmise that these researchers have never had a dog! During the study, owners were asked to leave the room after ordering their dogs not to eat a tasty treat. While the owner was away, researchers gave some of the dogs the forbidden treat before asking the owners back into the room. In some trials, the owners were told that their dog had eaten the forbidden treat; in others, they were told their dog had behaved properly and left the treat alone. What the owners were told, however, often did not correlate with reality. Whether the dogs’ demeanor included elements of the “guilty look” had little to do with whether the dogs had actually eaten the treat or not. Dogs looked most “guilty” if they were admonished by their owners for eating the treat. In fact, dogs that had been obedient and had not eaten the treat, but were scolded by their (misinformed) owners, looked more “guilty” than those who had, in fact, eaten the treat. Thus, the study concludes, the dog’s guilty look is a response to the owner’s behavior, and not necessarily indicative of any appreciation of its own misdeeds. Well, okay. But how can they say that the dogs don’t feel guilt??? So maybe a dog doesn’t think it’s bad to eat a tempting piece of food (and why oh why should a dog think it’s bad to eat something that it needs to survive, anyway?)–but the dogs clearly showed guilty looks–slinking away, ducking the head and dropping the tail–when they were reprimanded. Our canine companions are so often so in tune with us, that they respond to our clues. We might not expect them to feel bad about eating a piece of steak on the counter, that’s their natural instinct, but once we’ve let them know that we are not happy with it, they clearly show signs of guilt. In my book, dogs feel guilt–end of story. What about your dogs? Do you agree with the study that dogs don’t feel guilt?      By Melissa Breyer, Senior Editor, Care2

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/scientists-find-dogs-dont-feel-guilt-ha.html

Throwing Rice At Weddings Myth...

In Roman times, Wheat was thrown at the bride and groom as a symbol of fertility. Under Queen Elizabeth I, wheat cakes where broken up and thrown instead. Once they became costly, rice was a cheap substitute, and it "stuck". The Urban Legend that raw rice causes birds to explode has been found to be false. Because of this rumor, bird seed or bubbles are now being thrown at weddings. It is an Italian Tradition to throw Confetti at weddings. The confetti symbolize money and good fortune for the couple. A Scottish tradition is to throw flower pedals on the couple. This is also a symbol of fertility.

Other trendy"tosses" include rose petals and other blooms, sunflower seeds, fall leaves, and paper snowflakes. Bridal businesses also promote blowing bubbles or waving lit sparklers at the departing couple. Just don't ask us what those symbolize.



Do Birds or Fish Fart? 


A little History on the word Fart..

Fart is an English language vulgarism most commonly used in reference to flatulence. The word "fart" is generally considered unsuitable in a formal environment by modern English speakers, and it may be considered vulgar or offensive in some situations. Fart can be used as a noun or a verb.[1] The immediate roots are in the Middle English words ferten, feortan or farten; which is akin to the Old High German word ferzan. Cognates are found in old Norse, Slavic and also Greek and Sanskrit. The word "fart" has been incorporated into the colloquial and technical speech of a number of occupations, including computing. Fart is sometimes used as a nonspecific derogatory epithet, often to refer to 'an irritating or foolish person', and potentially an elderly person, described as an 'old fart'. This may be taken as an insult when used in the second or third person, but can potentially be a term of endearment, or an example of self deprecatory humor when used in the first person.[2] The phrase 'boring old fart' was popularised in the UK in the late 1970s by the New Musical Express while chronicling the rise of punk. It was used to describe hippies and establishment figures in the music industry, forces of inertia against the new music.

Birds: The short answer is an almost definite NO, birds do not fart. Farts are, by definition, noticeable eruptions of significant volumes of intestinal gas. Avian intestines are short and evacuate wastes frequently. Any gases produced in digestion leak out as fast as they're produced, so there isn't the opportunity for build-up that leads to those explosive releases we cheerfully or disgustedly call farts. 

Read more: http://lauraerickson.blogspot.com/2007/04/question-of-day-do-birds-fart.html

Fish: Biologists have linked a mysterious, underwater farting sound to bubbles coming out of a herring's anus. No fish had been known to emit sound from its anus nor to be capable of producing such a high-pitched noise. "It sounds just like a high-pitched raspberry," says Ben Wilson of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (Listen here, .wav file). Wilson and his colleagues cannot be sure why herring make this sound, but initial research suggests that it might explain the puzzle of how shoals keep together after dark. "Surprising and interesting" is how aquatic acoustic specialist Dennis Higgs, of the University of Windsor in Ontario, describes the discovery. It is the first case of a fish potentially using high frequency for communication, he believes. Arthur Popper, an aquatic bio-acoustic specialist at the University of Maryland, US, is also intrigued. "I'd not have thought of it, but fish do very strange and diverse things," he says.

Read more: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4343-fish-farting-may-not-just-be-hot-air.html

Meet the 'Werewolf Cat': All About the Lykoi Breed

If you’re interested in fantasy (think Harry Potter) or have an affinity for horror films, there’s a good chance you’ve pondered what it would be like to come across a magical, mythical creature in real life. For some of us, that dream may be closer to a reality than we think.

Meet the Lykoi cat: a relatively new breed that’s been making a splash on the web for its striking and slightly spooky resemblance to a werewolf. With its dark, scraggly coat and nearly hairless face and paws, the Lykoi’s presence in the home could certainly make it feel like Halloween year-round.

What is a Lykoi Cat?

Discovered from a gene mutation in domestic shorthair cats, the Lykoi is reported to be the first type of cat specifically bred for it’s unusual features—a thin, single coat and little to no hair around the nose, eyes, underbelly and paws. This specific trait, though found naturally in some cats, had not been purposely bred until Brittney and Johnny Gobble, a veterinarian and practiced breeder, began developing the Lykoi. According to their website, the Gobbles founding cats came from two unrelated litters with the same physical appearance. Kittens from both litters had their DNA, skin and hearts tested by UC Davis geneticists, dermatologists at the University of Tennessee and the Gobble’s cardiologist and, after testing negative for the Sphynx/Devon gene (a gene that gives these breeds their wavy coats) and proving to be in good health, the Lykoi breeding program was born. 

In the end, their website says, it was determined that the breed’s unusual hair pattern—in which some of the hair follicles lack the necessary components required to create hair—does not come from a known disease or disorder and is a true natural mutation. The name for the breed, Lykoi, is loosely derived from the Greek phrase meaning “Wolf Cat” and The International Cat Association (TICA) officially recognized the breed in 2012.

Genetic Mutation Versus “Designer Breed”

The Lykoi breed, like many other well-known cat breeds, is not considered “designer” nor is it a “genetically modified” animal, says Joan Miller, chair of outreach and education and all breed emeritus judge for the Cat Fancier’s Association.

“Almost all of our cat breeds are the result of natural mutations and include the longhair gene, classic tabby pattern and the dominant white coat color,” she said. “[There are also] breeds defined by body-changing mutations, ear cartilage mutations and several breeds that have resulted because of natural mutations that have changed the coat.”

The Lykoi, it appears, falls into the latter category of these natural gene mutations. Genetically modified breeds are a result of human manipulation of an animal’s genetic material and are generally not considered to be ethical or healthy for a cat and its future breeding line, Miller said. The term “designer breed” is meaningless in the cat world and is derived from dog breeders purposefully mating purebred dogs for mixed breeds (like Cockapoos and Labradoodles). While purity is highly valued in certain dog circles, cat breeders often must include outcrossing with other breeds to maintain genetic diversity and avoid health concerns of their breeds.

To read the rest: http://www.pet360.com/cat/breeds/meet-the-werewolf-cat-all-about-the-lykoi-breed/xKpt8wu5SE-GgkTNetY4Gg?roi=echo3-22709491982-22776402-29a509ae1771dc9f34f0759df07e8279&email=jkbullivant@yahoo.com&utm_campaign=TREND&utm_source=EmailProspect-User-Trend&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=Trend_10-6-14-EmailProspect&extcid=EML1670

        How Smart is a Fish?


Dogs are easy. You talk, they respond–smart! Fish, not so easy. It’s not like we get the frequent opportunity to really interact with them–and for anyone who’s seen a goldfish repetitively doing the rounds in its bowl, it’s easy to buy into the old adage that fish have only a three-second memory. (Although, do you remember Gus, Central Park Zoo’s “neurotic” polar bear? Much like a goldfish in a bowl, the poor old guy repetitively circled his habitat in the same exact manner day in and day out. But no-one accused him of having only a three-second memory–he got diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder caused by boredom, and got an animal therapist! Only in New York…)

Anyway, recent research may suggest the possibility that a fish circles its bowl because it is really stinkin’ bored, not because it doesn’t remember that it just did it, again and again and again. What does Dr. Kevin Warburton, adjunct researcher with Charles Sturt University’s Institute for Land, Water and Society, have to say about the three-second memory of a fish? Rubbish!

Warburton, who has been studying fish behavior for years says, “There’s been a lot of work done over the last 15 years on learning and memory in fish and it as been found that fish are quite sophisticated. Fish can remember prey types for months; they can learn to avoid predators after being attacked once and they retain this memory for several months; and carp that have been caught by fishers avoid hooks for at least a year. That fish have only a three second memory is just rubbish.”  posted by Melissa Breyer Jan 30, 2010 7:01 am


 Fun Horse Facts


  You know that there are people called "Horse Whisperers". Perhaps you seen the movie with the same name with the actor, Paul Newman. These people claim to have the ability to communicate with horses. Some use this ability to heal and train horses.

    * -Horses do not lie down together, one stands guard for dangers
    * -They have small stomachs and short intestines
    * -Horses can't vomit
    * -One front leg is shorter then the other and the mane falls to that side
    * -Arabian horses have one less rib, back vertebrae and neck vertebrae
    * -Horses lock their legs when they sleep so they don't fall over
    * -Horses have close to 360 degrees all around vision
    * -A horses brain is the size of a potato
    * -A horse can poop up to 15 times a day- well that explains why barns look and smell like they do and why stalls need constant cleaning and mucking out
    * -The ears point where they are looking
    * -In the wild mares decide where the herd goes
    * -Horses can interpret tones rather than words
    * -Horses see better at night than people
    * -A horse sees two different images from each eye
    * -Horses can't breath through thier mouths
    * -A horses age can be determined by thier teeth till the age of 9
    * -Their heart weighs 9-10 pounds
    * -The oldest recorded horse was 62 years old when he died. He was a barge horse. He lived from 1760 to 1822. That is longer then some humans live!
    * Talk about being sleep deprived. Horses only sleep 3-4 hrs in a 24 hr period.
    * A horse in Chilie actually jumped an astonishing 8 feet!
    * Talk about being sleep deprived. Horses only sleep 3-4 hrs in a 24 hr period.
    * A horse in Chilie actually jumped an astonishing 8 feet!
    * Also the upper lips of a horse are very sensitive and can feel different objects. This is called a "prehensile" lip. That just means that the horse can take hold of something with their lips.

The country of China not only is populated by the most people but apparently they have the most horses too! They have 10,000,000 horses! Always be careful when in front or behind a horse because these are their blind spots. It is easy for a horse to spook and kick you.  Just remember never stand behind them or you could be in a world of pain!                                                                                                   


 Interesting Information on Horses

  • Reproductive Age: 3-4 years
  • Number of Offspring: One (rarely two)
  • Breeds: More than 350
  • The height of a horse is measured with hands, where each hand is equal to four inches.
  • You can know the age of a horse by counting its teeth.
  • The average weight of a horse’s head is 11.84 pounds and heart is 10 pounds.
  • A horse can easily drink up to 10 gallons of water in a day.
  • Horses can communicate with the use of their facial expressions.
  • The hoof of a horse never stops growing, like a fingernail, and has to be clipped on a regular basis.
  • A horse can walk, trot, canter and gallop.
  • The offspring of a horse, known as foal, is usually born at night and can stand up and walk hardly 1-2 hours after being born.
  • A horse has two blind spots. One of them is located directly in its front, while the other is located directly behind.
  • A young male horse, which is 4 years or older in age, is called a colt. A young female horse, of the same age, is called filly.
  • Horses have monocular vision and can see two different images at once. They also have better vision at night than humans.
  • A mule is a cross between a male donkey and a female horse. While, a hinny is a cross between a male horse and a female donkey.
  • A marking on the head of a horse is known as a star, irrespective of the shape it has.
  • Akhal-Teke, a horse breed from Russia, can go for days without food or water.
  • Horses cannot vomit, but they can sleep while standing.
  • Celts regarded horse as a sacred animal.

  • http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-horses-1256.html

        Do Cats Have Emotions?


Cat owners rely primarily on observations of feline behaviour to determine which emotions a cat may be feeling, but there is also physiological evidence that cats experience many of the same emotions as humans:

  • Biochemical changes that occur in the brain with certain emotions such as pleasure or fear in humans also occur in cats, and cats respond to the same mood regulating neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, etc.) as people do.
  • Some pharmaceuticals that are designed to address mood disorders in humans such as depression and generalized anxiety are also effective for cats.
  • Damage to certain brain structures that regulate fear, rage, and other emotions has similar effects on both people and cats.
  • Cats and many other animals can experience depression, which can override their basic survival instincts, such as the urge to eat, if it is severe enough.

Developing a greater understanding of feline emotions has helped animal therapists adopt more effective treatment strategies to address behavioural and mood problems.

The Range of Feline Emotions

Emotions expressed by cats include simple feelings of joy, sadness, anger, fear, anxiety, excitement, affection, frustration, pleasure, and contentment. Many people assert that cats display even more complex social emotions, such as compassion, contempt, embarrassment, jealously, and love.

Notably, Charles Darwin believed that differences between humans and animals are quantitative but not qualitative. In other words, the experiences of humans and animals fall along different points of a continuum of consciousness, but they are on the same continuum.

Claims that Animals are Incapable of Experiencing Emotions

There are those who continue to argue that animals do not experience emotions, despite mounting evidence against this view. Many of these individuals have only observed animals in laboratory settings, where their behaviour is unnatural due to stress, pain, and lack of social interaction.


5 Creepy Creatures That Are Actually Quite Cute

1. Vampire Squid


For those weary of looking at terrifying, totally cliche pictures of the goblin shark, the vampire squid is another deep-sea beauty. When attacked, the creature turns inside out, exposing an underside of teeth-like fleshy spines know as cirri. These spines combine with a webbing that looks suspiciously like a cape to give the animal its name. The species is not actually a squid, but the only remaining kind of a more ancient form of cephalopod. In fact, fossils from two million years ago are virtually indistinguishable from them today. Living at below 600 meters, the creature is well-adapted to water with little oxygen and also can glow in the dark. Of course, the fact that human activity threatens the vampire squid’s existence is scarier than its appearance. “They are threatened by ocean warming, decreasing oxygen, pollution, overfishing, industrialization, and dozens of other changes taking place in the deep,” the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s Bruce Robison tells the Huffington Post. “We have a responsibility to learn all we can about these amazing animals and to protect them from the greatest danger to life in the deep—the human species.”

2. Tube-nosed Bat

The tube-nosed bat looks churlishly enthralled by something he did. Because he’s a bat, it must have been something ghoulish. An exhibition came across the unnamed fruit bat alongside 200 other species in Papua New Guinea back in 2009. Despite mischievous looks, the bat may be partly responsible for keeping the tropical rain forest full of plants, as it disperses seeds from its diet. Fruit bats like the tube-nosed bat are threatened by bushmeat hunting, loss of habitat and even windmills. More than 1,000 species of bats total are vulnerable or already endangered.

3. Aye-Aye

While the type of lemur looks a balding werewolf, the creepiest aspect about the aye-aye is probably the over-sized spindly claw that it uses to grasp onto tree branches. The longest finger—the middle one—can rotate 360 degrees around the hand and bores into wood with sharp claws to gather insects for a tasty meal. Natives of Madagascar often consider the aye-aye a bad omen and kill it on sight. This, and habitat destruction, National Geographic reports, leave the animal critically endangered.

4. Hood Mockingbird

Sometimes the most petrifying creatures look the most benign. This delicate songbird uses its sharp bill to drink the blood of nesting seabirds, as well as from wounds on sea lions. The hood mockingbird even picks off ticks and dead skin off of iguanas to create small cuts to then feast upon. A native of the Galapagos, the hood mockingbird only lives on two islands and is listed as vulnerable because of its limited range.

5. Star-nosed Mole and baby star nosed

It lives in perpetual darkness. It feeds by feelers that can detect a grain of salt buried in a pile of sand, according to National Geographic. The nearly blind killing machine is the star-nosed mole. The mole is one of nature’s most efficient killers, taking an average of 230 milliseconds to identify and consume food. It’s scary. Its favorite food is earthworms. While the species is fairly common, this may change as more wetlands, their habitat, dry up. This list may leave many of us thinking humans are the most nightmarish beasts of all. You can opt out of some of the destruction by supporting conservation-friendly organizations and protecting the habitats where these animals live.



Geoff Robinson Photography

Micro pigs are the biggest newest trend in itty-bitty pets. They're adorable, extremely clean, and look quite manageable at only 14 inches high.

Looks can be deceiving. Micro pigs maybe not be as manageable as they appear on the surface. Besides carrying a possibly unattainable $1,160 price tag, these cuties are more high-maintenance than you might think. The UK's Daily Telegraph has rooted up
another side to ownership of the pint-size porcine that is considerably less cute than the pigs themselves, saying the micro pigs could be a maxi-disaster. The Telegraph spoke with Kirsty Bayley, who is the Pig Herd Manager at the Institute of Animal Health, and who shared a few details that might make you think twice before bringing home a tiny piglet.

For one thing, because the precious pigs are bred so exclusively for their size, the risks of inbreeding and its associated health risks go up. Among these myriad health risks is decreased fertility, which is a major problem if you're hoping for a portly profit.

Pigs are very social and surprisingly active creatures, so they're happiest with at least one companion pig, lots of room, and lots of toys. If they're not properly entertained, they can quickly begin exhibiting signs of depression, such as lethargy or repetitive movements, according to what Bayley told the Telegraph.

Bayley also warns potential pig purchasers to be wary of buying from a breeder without a reference, as there have been numerous documented stories of people purchasing what they believed to be micro pigs, only to have what were actually piglets grow into full-sized pigs once they hit their growth spurts.

Though the urge to get your hands on one of these delightful, darling pets may be irresistible, don't let it become an impulse buy. A toy-sized animal isn't a toy. Do your research, and make sure you and your family are thoroughly prepared to handle a micro pig or any other pet before you reach for your wallet.

by Kristen Seymour



What's that Smell? The Cat's Nose Knows


1.   Cats are said to have a sense of smell that is 30 times better than humans.

2.      Cats enjoy the smell, and the effects, of catnip, but only if they've inherited the gene for it. For other cats, the smell may be intriguing,but catnip will have no effect.

3.      Cats are born with their sense of smell functioning, and it is highly developed by about three weeks of age.

4.   Their sense of smell means that felines are extremely sensitive to tainted food, and perhaps this has contributed to their finicky reputation.Cats are hunters, and in the wild, would rarely eat stale meat. Carrion is for scavengers.

I See You! Cat Eye Facts

  1. The night vision of the feline is legendary. In order to see, they need only one-sixth as much light as a human. They cannot, however, see in total darkness. When enough light is not available, they use their whiskers to feel their way around.
  2. Your kitty's eyes offer her almost 285 degrees of sight in three dimensions. Ideal peripheral vision for hunting.
  3. Cats do see in color, and can distinguish yellow, blue, and green hues.Their eyes are best, however, at detecting movement, and shades of gray.
  4. The feline eye has a third eyelid. Called the nictating membrane, or haw,it is designed to remove dust and dirt, and lubricate the eye. If there is illness or injury, the haw will show. Ironically, content and sleepy cats have been known to show haws as well.


Definition of a Polecat


Polecat, carnivorous mammal of the weasel family. The name refers especially to the common Old World polecat, Mustela putorius, found in wooded areas of N Eurasia and N Africa. Similar to weasels, but larger and with longer fur, polecats grow to nearly 2 ft (60 cm) long, including the 6-in. (15-cm) tail. The fur, sold under the name fitch and much used in the early 19th cent., is dark brown above, with yellow patches on the ears and face. The belly, feet, and tail are nearly black. Like other members of its family, polecats have a scent gland under the tail which emits a fetid secretion used for territorial marking; the gland is most active when the animals are alarmed. Solitary, nocturnal animals, they spend the day in dens. They feed on small animals and eggs and are quite destructive to poultry and small game. Farmers have exterminated polecats in many areas, but they still survive in wilder places over most of their former range. Domesticated strains of polecat have been developed for hunting; these are called ferret, a name also applied to a wild polecat species of North America. The marbled polecat and striped polecat are related animals of Africa and W Asia. The skunk, a New World member of the weasel family, is called polecat in some regions.


 Why Cats Leave “Gifts”

 Why Cats Leave “Gifts”

According to Arden Moore in one of my favorite cat books, The Cat Behavior Answer Book (Storey, 2007), cats have novel ways of showing that they love us and that they are worthy hunters. Whether these “gifts” are dead birds, rats, or crickets, our cats are displaying their hunting instincts. We may keep their food bowls full, but our domesticated cats are not hunting out of hunger.

Some cats do bring their prey back home with plans to snack later, but most just leave the carcass lying around. Experts in feline behavior speculate that cats brings us these “gifts” in an effort to train us. Perhaps they have realized what lousy hunters we are. Or maybe they do it because they want our approval. They can’t go out and buy expensive gifts on charge cards, so they hunt and offer us what they value as presents.

In any case, you can’t snuff out a cat’s need to hunt. It’s hardwired in their brains. Instead, give those prey critters more of a fighting chance by putting a bell on your cat’s collar. If your cat goes outdoors, you probably shouldn’t put up bird feeders–keep those for indoor cats to enjoy watching form the window. As an alternative, offer your cat some fake prey to stalk and chase in your home, such as battery-operated toy mice that move erratically.

This information is a reference by Melissa Breyer of Care2.  If you'd like to read more:



Fun Farm Animal Facts


Do you know which where the term chicken pox came from? How about which farm animal is the closest living relative to the Tyrannosaurus Rex or what mental disease causes a man to think he is an ox? You can find the answer below as well as some other amazing facts that you might not have known about pigs, horses, cattle, chickens, turkeys, and sheep.
1. The tongue of a pig has six thousand more taste buds than a human's. Humans have 15,000 while pigs only have 9,000.
2. Pigs and light-colored horses are the only two mammals besides humans that can get sunburned.
3. Pigs have been rated as the fourth most intelligent animal in the world, and are believed to be as smart if not smarter than dogs.
4. In truth, "to sweat like a pig" would mean that you do not sweat at all. Pigs have no sweat glands.
5. If a pig was able to fly, other pigs would be unable to see him. Pigs are incapable of looking up.
6. The average horse eats seven times its own weight in food each year.
7. Horses live about thirty years. However, an English barge horse named "Old Billy" was sixty-two years old when he died and is the oldest recorded horse.
8. If a female horse and a male donkey mate, the offspring is known as a mule. If a male horse and a female donkey mate, the offspring is known as a hinny. Both mules and hinnies are usually sterile.
9. The number of hooves raised on a horse statue does not indicate how the rider died. The common belief was that two legs raised indicated the person died in battle, one leg raised indicated the person died from wounds they received in battle, and no legs raised indicated the person died from natural causes. However, this belief can be applied to most of the statues located at Gettysburg National Park.
10. In Columbia, a cow once committed murder after it stepped on a loaded rifle and shot another cow in the head.
11. Cows are color blind. Bulls charge a matador's cape because it is moving, not because it is red.
12. There are more cows in the United States than people. New Zealand has more sheep than people. They have 70 million sheep but only 40 million people.
13. Cows produce about thirty percent of the methane in the atmosphere.
14. Twelve or more cows are known as a fink.
15. A cow's glands are located in its nose.
16. Boanthropy is a rare mental disorder that causes a person to think he is an ox. One of the first recorded cases is in the book of Daniel (4:33), which tells about Nebuchadnezzar, a Babylonian king who would eat grass.
17. Because of the way a cow's legs bend, they are incapable of walking downstairs. However, they can walk upstairs.
18. During her lifetime, a cow will produce about 200,000 glasses of milk. Cows will produce more milk when they are listening to music.
19. A donkey's eyes are placed so that it is able to see all four of its feet no matter which way it looks.
20. More people are killed annually by donkeys, on average, then die in plane crashes.
21. Russian breeders once claimed that they had produced a sheep with blue wool.
22. Chickens are not very good at flying. The longest recorded flight of a chicken is only thirteen seconds. The longest recorded distance flown by a chicken is 301.5 feet.
23. Scientists believe that the closest living relative to the Tyrannosaurs Rex is the chicken.
24. There is approximately the same amount of chickens as there are people with the most of each species living in China, which has about three billion chickens. The U.S. has only about 450 million chickens.
25. An egg's shell is determined by the breed of chicken. Not all chicken eggs are white or brown; some chickens, such as the Ameraucana and the Araucana, produce blue and green eggs. The color of the yolk, however, can be affected by the chicken's diet. Feeding certain dyes to chickens can cause them to lay eggs with varicolored yolks.
26. The term "chicken pox" comes from the Old English term "gican pox," which referred to an inching pox, not because people believed the illness was caused by chickens.
27. Chickens and turkeys are capable of crossbreeding. When they do, they produce offspring that are known as turkins.
28. Although the turkey originated in North and Central America around 10 million years ago, it was mistakenly named after what was believed to be its country of origin.
29. Most domestic turkeys are incapable of flying. Wild turkeys can, however, and are capable of reaching speeds of fifty-five miles per hour for short distances. They can also run up to twenty-five miles per hour.
30. Equinophobia is the fear of horses; alektorophobia is the fear of chickens; and taurophobia is the fear of bulls. There is no official term for the fear of cows or pigs.

Darcy Logan



                  Yes, Dogs Can Get Breast Cancer


Personal Note: My dog got breast cancer and did survive it. She is a lucky dog, lucky Dog !!

With all the grooming, feeding and playtime considerations that come part and parcel with caring for a dog or cat, breast cancer concerns may be far from the minds of their owners. Veterinary experts say dogs and cats are not immune to breast cancer. However,as with humans, beloved household pets can also develop cancer in the breast tissue — known in animals as mammary cancer. In fact, cancer is the No. 1 natural cause of death in older pets. But with a little know-how, animal owners can help catch tumors before they become deadly. "It's a fairly common cancer, especially in un spayed female dogs and cats,"said Gerald Post, a veterinary oncologist at the Veterinary Oncology and Hematology Center in Norwalk, Conn. "It's important for owners to spay female animals before the animal first goes into heat, because each following heat cycle increases the risk of developing the cancer. "Pets with mammary cancer follow basically a similar type of treatment and recovery as humans with breast cancer. However, pet tumors are often not discovered until later, when the cancer has reached a more advanced stage. About half the mammary tumors that dogs develop are noncancerous, which is similar to the ratio of nonmalignant tumors women find in their breasts. In cats, however, 90 percent of mammary tumors are cancerous.Vets say that these types of tumors closely follow the model of more aggressive forms of human breast cancer.

Advanced Warning for Owners?

And cancer in a pet, in some cases, may provide owners with an "early warning system" of sorts. "The age-adjusted rate of cancer is actually higher in dogs and cats than in people," said Greg Ogilvie, director of the California Veterinary Specialist's Angel Care Cancer Center. "Pets have genetic factors, but they also live in a more polluted environment, and they have passive smoke exposure." Part of the problem may be the toxins that find their way into the air,water, and human households, where pets also live. Because humans and animals share the same environment, some animal cancer experts say that our pets may provide a good indicator of the risks of cancer around us.


                                                         Fun Feline Facts


  • Cats do not have sweat glands.
  • A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.
  • Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
  • Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
  • A pack of kittens is called a kindle, while a pack of adult cats is called a clowder.
  • An adult cat can run about 12 miles per hour, and can sprint at nearly thirty miles per hour.
  • A cat's tongue is scratchy because it's lined with papillae—tiny elevated backwards hooks that help to hold prey in place.
  • The nose pad of each cat has ridges in a unique pattern not unlike a person's fingerprints.
  • Cats' bodies are extremely flexible; the cat skeleton contains more than 230 bones (a human has about 206), and the pelvis and shoulders loosely attach to the spine. This adds to their flexibility and allows them to fit through very small spaces.
  • Cats have better memories than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that while a dog's memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's can last as long as 16 hours—exceeding even that of monkeys and orangutans.

What's in a Cat Name? 

  1. The Egyptian name for cat was Mau. This also means "to see."   
  2. The classical Greek word for cat is ailouros.
  3. Other words for cat used around the world are:
    • Kat - Holland and Denmark
    • Katt - Sweden
    • Katze - Germany
    • Kot - Poland
    • Kots - Russia
    • Gatta - Greece (modern)
    • Gato - Portugal and Spain
    • Gatto - Italy
    • Chat - France

 Fun Facts About Avians ( Birds ) and Pets


      Iguanas are able to hold their breath for up to 30 minutes!
  • To survive, every bird must eat at least half its own weight in food each day.
  • A bird's heart beats 400 times per minute while they are resting.
  • Americans own more than 60 million pet birds.
  • Larger parrots such as the macaws and cockatoos live more than 75 years.
  • Many hamsters only blink one eye at a time.
  • Armadillos have four babies at a time and they are always all the same sex. They are also the only animal besides humans that can get leprosy.
  • Iguanas are able to hold their breath for up to 30 minutes.
  • A garter snake can give birth to 85 babies.
  • Ferrets are currently the third most popular pet in the US. There are an estimated eight to ten million ferrets in the United States being kept as pets.
  • A goldfish can live up to 40 years.


  Dogs Linked To Breast Cancer?                             

Make you own decission...

Can dogs give you breast cancer?

Bizarre medical theories that experts claim may actually be true By ROGER DOBSON
Last updated at 08:17 30 October 2008
DOGS GIVE WOMEN BREAST CANCER: Could it really be true that keeping a dog increases the risk of the disease? Both dogs and humans carry the same virus that can induce cancer Analysis of breast cancer cases by researchers at the University of Munich showed that patients with this type of cancer were significantly more likely to have kept a dog than a cat. In fact, 79.7 per cent of all patients had intensive contact with dogs before they were diagnosed.Only 4.4 per cent of the patients did not have pets at any time compared to 57.3 per cent of a healthy control group ? so there was a 29-fold increased risk for pet owners. Another study in Norway reported a very high level ? 53.3 per cent ? of breast cancers in 14,401 dogs. In looking for a reason, scientists found a virus common in both dogs and humans.The one they homed in on is the mouse mammary tumour virus (MMTV),which triggers breast cancer in mice and which has been investigated for possible links to human breast cancer. The theory is that dogs, and possibly other pets, harbour and transmit MMTV or MMTVlike viruses that can induce human breast cancer. There searchers say the theory may help to explain why women from Eastern countries are at increased risk of breast cancer when they move to Western nations ? Asian or Oriental women seldom keep dogs as pets. Migration to Western countries may cause them to alter their lifestyle, including keeping pet dogs.


  Myths about Dogs and Cats


When it comes to dogs and cats, myths abound, from misinformation about health care and disposition to demeanor and intelligence. The problem with myths, experts say, is that pet owners who act based on incorrect information can inadvertently endanger a pet. In addition, pet owners may become confused over what's truth and what's not. With the rapid-fire abilities of telecommunications and the Internet, misinformation can be disseminated quickly, and it's imperative pet owners remember that anyone can post a Web site - that means someone with misinformation can keep the cycle going. To separate fact from fiction, pet owners should always consult with a veterinarian, animal expert or reputable animal association, such as Cat Fancier's or the Humane Society. It's hard to say which animal is associated with more myths - dogs or cats. Some myths have been repeated so often that they've turned into cliches or catch phrases. For example, the most common untrue dog saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," probably stemmed from someone who couldn't get his adult dog to roll over and play dead. "With patience and understanding you can certainly teach old dogs new tricks, depending on what you're trying to teach the dog - or unteach the dog, which is usually more difficult, " said Nancy Peterson of the Humane Society of the United States, Washington, D.C. Dogs at any age can be taught to sit, bark when the doorbell rings and fetch a stick. In the feline world, the most popular cliche is, "Cats always land on their feet." But in reality, although cats instinctively fall feet first, high jumps can break bones or strain a cat's body. According to the CFA's Web site, www.cfanc.org, "Some kind of screening on balconies and windows can help protect pets from disastrous falls."

The following is a list of the top 12 myths about cats and dogs, chosen for their frequency and popularity in today's culture.

Happy Pups
Does a wagging tail always signify a happy dog? In most cases, the answer is yes. "Tail wagging is similar to a human smile in that it is a social sign meant to communicate an emotional state to someone else," wrote Stanley Coren in his book, What Do Dogs Know? (1997, The Free Press, New York, NY). "Psychologists have learned that dogs reserve their tail wags for living things. A dog will wag its tail for a person, or another dog and may do so for a cat, horse, mouse or even a moth. If the dog is alone, however, it simply doesn't wag its tail. Thus, when you give a dog a bowl of food, it will wag its tail to say, -Thank you. You've made me happy.'" Pet owners need to be aware - dogs do wiggle their tails when they are agitated, tense, anxious, annoyed or ready to fight.

Mint, Anyone?
The expression "dog breath" means the opposite of minty fresh, but most pet owners think their dogs' bothersome mouth odors are just the nature of the beast. In truth, bad breath can be a sign of tarter buildup and bacteria. To reduce odor, brush your dog's teeth, and take him to the vet for routine dental cleanings.

Ducking from Abuse
Many people believe dogs that crouch or lower their heads when approached have been abused, but some dogs are so submissive that they naturally behave this way. Peterson cautioned, "Without being there and knowing what happened, it's hard to predict what preceded that [certain] behavior."

Bone Collectors
Although dogs love table scraps, pet owners need to be aware not all bones are good for dogs. "Many bones can splinter when chewed and cause dogs to choke," wrote Judy Carey and Jack Block, D.V.M. "Offer a nylon bone or rawhide instead."

Colorful World
People who think dogs only see in black and white have been misinformed. "Dogs see in color,  but not the way we do," wrote Dr. Christine Wilford, D.V.M., at www.Kerryblues.org. "Veterinary ophthalmologists have determined that dogs are like people with red/green color blindness: They only have receptors for bluish and greenish shades, not for reddish ones. So, when a person with normal vision sees an orange ball on a grassy lawn, a dog sees only a greenish ball in greenish grass."

Boot Scoot
A dog doesn't necessarily have worms if it scoots its rear end. In fact, it could just be a behavior that alleviates discomfort from infected, full, impacted or ruptured anal sacs. Your vet or groomer can pop the sacs, which will provide relief for your dog.

With Child and Cat
Many people believe that pregnant women shouldn't own cats, but the myth is grounded in fear instead of fact. Cats are perfectly safe for expectant mothers - as long as women steer clear of such chores as cleaning out the litter box or gardening. Cats can be infected with a disease called toxoplasmosis, which can be spread to humans through contact with cat excrement.

Got Milk?
It's healthy for humans, but cats shouldn't drink milk, according to animal experts. "Most cats like milk, but don't need it if properly nourished," wrote Carey. "If you give milk, do so in small quantities - too much can cause diarrhea."

The Loner
Surprising to some is the fact that most cats don't like to be left alone. According to many sources, ferals and strays have been known to form colonies. "People think cats are aloof. A lot of cats aren't. They need to have company - cats are pretty social," Tartaglia added.

Baby's Breath
"There's an urban myth that cats lie upon a baby's chest and suck their breath," said Tartaglia, but she assured that cats are harmless unless they actually sit atop a baby. "Cats are attracted to [babies] and like to lie by them," she added. In their book, How to Raise a Sane and Healthy Cat, (1994, Howell Book House, MacMillan Publishing, New York, NY) authors Sean Hammond and Carolyn Usrey explain a cat's behavior around infants: "Even a newborn is loud and physical enough to keep your cat at a distance. If you're still worried about your newborn, you might keep the cat out of the baby's room when the baby is alone and sleeping," the authors said. "When the baby can turn over unassisted, any fears about injury should be directed to your cat's welfare."

Content Kitties
If a cat purrs, most people believe the animal is happy, but experts say that might not be the case. According to information on Animal Den's Web site, "A cat does purr when it's content, but it will also purr when it's in pain." Some experts believe cats purr to soothe themselves, Tartaglia added.

Night Vision
A cat's night vision is 10 times better than a human's, according to Hammond and Usrey. "This advantage in vision can be compared to what we see on a clear night with a full moon as opposed to an overcast new moon (no moon) night," wrote the authors. Cats are also very sensitive to movement, which will alert them or clue them in to the location or presence of objects, animals and people, Peterson noted.

The 13th Myth
Between dog lovers and cat lovers, one controversy remains supreme: Which animal is smarter? It's a myth to believe cats have a higher intelligence simply because they are thought to be manipulative and mysterious, just as it's not accurate to believe a dog's mind operates on a higher plane simply because he can be easily trained to perform and behave. The truth is, both animals display strong smarts in their selective areas of specialty. "It's just like with people - some are smarter, some are more intelligent and some have more common sense," Peterson said. "A dog is a dog, and a cat is a cat. It's like comparing apples and oranges. I think they're very different creatures, and we should appreciate what each species has to offer."


Do animals have souls?


One version:

Q. I know the Bible teaches that every human has an immortal soul. But do animals have souls?

A.  The English word “soul” derives from a number of different words in the Old and New Testaments and is used in the Bible in a variety of ways. First, it is employed as a synonym for a living, breathing person. Moses wrote: “All the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls” (Exodus 1:5; cf. Deuteronomy 10:22). In legal matters also, the word soul was used to denote any individual. The Lord told Moses: “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done’ ”

The word soul can be used to describe the physical form of life that both men and animals possess and that ceases to exist at death. In their Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, Brown, Driver, and Briggs noted that the word “soul” (Hebrew nephesh) often is employed to mean “life principle” (1907, p. 659). In Genesis 1:20,24,30, God spoke of the nephesh hayyah—literally “soul breathers” or “life breathers” (often translated as “living creatures” or “life”—cf. Leviticus 11:10). The writer of Proverbs observed in regard to animals: “A righteous man regardeth the life (nephesh) of his beast; but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel”

When the translators realized that the first meaning of nephesh is “breath,” and so Genesis 1:20,24,30 and Genesis 2:7 all fit together in understanding Moses as saying that all animals and man too are breathers. Breathers, coupled with hayyah, “living,” the translators thought, would be well translated, in the case of animals, as “living creatures,” and in the case of man as a “living being” (1995, 23[1]:87-88).

The question therefore becomes: Can the word “soul” be used correctly in referring to animals? The first definition obviously cannot apply to animals since animals are not persons. But the second definition most certainly would apply to animals. Compare the following passages. In Psalm 78:50 we find an example of the usage of “soul” as “life” when the writer said in speaking of the people of Egypt (who tried in vain to prevent the Israelites from leaving their country’s slavery) that God “spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence.” In this instance, the word “soul” (Hebrew nephesh) is used to denote the physical life of humans. But in Genesis 1:20,24, the identical Hebrew word is employed to speak of animals as “living creatures” (Hebrew nephesh hayyah). In this sense, then, yes, it is correct to say that animals have “souls”—since the word soul means only physical life. In responding to the question, “Do animals have souls?,” McCord wrote: “Yes, when the word soul, nephesh, only means ‘breath,’ as in Genesis 1:20 (ASV), ‘Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures,’ nephesh hayyah, literally, ‘living soul’”  by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. and Sam Estabrook


This is another person's take on " If animals have souls" as far as in Scriptures. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKKvdhTjInI

 10 Species Near Extinction

Many of the planet's most endangered animals are also its remarkable. Here are a few of nature's superstars from Asia, the Americas, the Pacific and elsewhere that may soon be no more.  Below is a Javan Rhinoceros Indonesia and Vietnam Number remaining: fewer than 60


To see the rest:

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1888702_1863780,00.html#ixzz1Rd76If6B


 Some Bird Facts


The Bird Classification Terms Nidifugous and Nidicolous

These specialist terms have very simple meanings: nidicolous (nest-attached) birds are those birds who keep their helpless, often featherless, chicks in the nest for several weeks and bring them food. Nidifugous birds are those whose chicks are born fully-feathered and alert. The chicks leave the nest as soon as they are dry after emerging from the egg.

Some Birds Carry their Young

Some nidifugous birds will lead their young away from the nest to better feeding grounds. This can mean dealing with obstacles such as walls and hedges. In such cases, Woodcocks and Redshanks are known to fly over the obstacle, carrying one chick at a time, clutched tightly between their legs. Another water bird, the Great Crested Grebe, on the other hand, becomes a floating nest, by carrying its chicks on its back for up to 3 weeks.

Bird That Fly Underwater

The Auk family of birds, which includes guillemots, murres and puffins, are flying seabirds that have short wings which must be moved rapidly for flight. However, when chasing prey in the water, this group of birds actually flap their wings to propel them through the water, whereas most sea-feeding birds either plunge from a height or use their webbed feet to dive.

The Woodpecker’s Long Tongue

The Woodpecker has a tongue that is five times the length of its beak, which means it can probe into holes for food as far as five inches. Where does it keep its tongue? The tongue is a portion of a flexible system of bones and tissues known as the hyoid. It starts at the top of the beak, and is anchored near its right nostril. From there it curls across the top of the woodpecker’s skull and down the back of the head, exiting as the tongue through the beak.

The Shape of Birds’ Eggs

It sounds odd to say that some eggs aren’t egg-shaped – that is, blunt at one end and slightly pointier at the other. In fact, eggs come in all shapes and sizes. The eggs of Swifts and Swallows are long with blunt ends while the eggs of owls and many other birds of prey are quite round. Some eggs are pear-shaped and, here, there seems to be a reason. The eggs of the Guillemot are laid on narrow rocky ledges with no nesting material to contain them. If set in motion, their pear-shaped eggs rotate around the narrow end, rather than roll straight over the edge.

Some Birds are Pirates

Traditionally, pirates plunder what others are carrying home. There are certain birds that do just that. Great Skuas lurk in the sky till they see an unfortunate gannet carrying a fish home, and several of them mob and hustle it until it regurgitates its fine treasure. Black-headed Gulls steal earthworms from Lapwings and Blackbirds steal worms from Song Thrushes. It is estimated that, in some seasons, the Thrushes lose 10% of their hard-earned food.


First Dogs

A home is not complete without a dog.  Including the White House.  Dogs have graced presidential homes starting with the first president, George Washington.  They ran and played on the White House grounds, ran through the hallways, terrorized staff, held press conferences, photo ops, and molded National policy.  Here are a few stories on some of the “First Friends”.

George Washington and his Super Dogs

George Washington bred hunting dogs.  His goal was to breed “a superior dog, one that had speed, sense and brains.”  He crossed the French Hound breed “Grand Bleu de Gascogne” (gifts from Marquis de Lafayette) with his own black and tan hounds and created the American Foxhound. One of these hounds named “Vulcan” was a especially formidable dog.  He was as big as a small pony, had powerful jaws, an insatiable appetite, and a taste for Virginia hams. It’s reported that Vulcan snuck into the Washington’s Mount Vernon kitchen, snatched a ham, and bolted.  Being the big and powerful dog he was, it was in everybody’s best interest to let Vulcan enjoy his meal. George Washington also recognized the importance of a dog being family.  He once ordered a cease fire during the Battle of Germantown to return a lost dog.  Engage in trying to contain British General Howe’s troops, a little terrier was seen wandering the the battlefield area.  It turns out that this little dog belonged to General Howe.  He was identified from its collar, and brought to George Washington. Instead of keeping the dog or turning him back loose to suffer through gun fire, he took the dog into his tent, fed him and had him brushed and cleaned. Then, to everyone’s surprise, Washington ordered a cease fire. The shooting stopped while soldiers on both sides waited and watched as one of Washington’s aides formally returned a little dog to the British commander under a flag of truce.

Abraham Lincoln and Fido. If Abraham Lincoln was alive today, he would be the strongest supporter of Dogs Deserve Better and Unchainyourdog.org considering how he felt about the family dog.  Read all about his dog Fido.

Theodore Roosevelt and HOW the Teddy Bear was invented.

Blame it on the dog.  In 1902, while hunting in Mississippi, one of Roosevelt’s dogs cornered a small bear cub and Roosevelt refused to shoot it. This act of mercy was published in the newspaper in cartoon form. A political cartoonist by the name of Clifford Berryman heard the story and drew a cartoon about it. After this famous cartoon appeared in the papers, a shopkeeper named Morris Michtom got a brilliant idea.  He sewed and stuffed two toy bears and asked for permission from President Theodore Roosevelt to call the toy bears “Teddy’s bears”.  The phrase caught on and Americans started ordering these stuffed bears.  Mr. Michtom’s store eventually became the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company. An American hunting dog called the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier was named in honor of the President, however Roosevelt never owned one nor was he instrumental in developing the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier. Theodore Roosevelt owned Pete a pit-bull terrier (his favorite), Sailor Boy the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Jack a terrier type dog, Manchu the spaniel, and Skip the mongrel.

Herbert Hoover and King Tut

Blame it on the dog again.  Herbert Hoover’s favorite dog helped get Hoover elected.  King Tut was a massive German Shepherd police dog and frequently accompanied Hoover during his campaign.  The photos of a man and his dog made Hoover appear warm and friendly and autographed pictures of the two were sent to thousands of voters. Once in the White House, King Tut remained in the public eye, every night patrolling the White House grounds or strutting back and forth between the residence and the executive offices. He was also a very friendly dog that spent time with the staff.  Once day Hoover observed King Tut hanging out with one of the White House guards.  Hoover whistled but King Tut ignored him, preferring to remain with the guard.  That annoyed Hoover so much he issued orders that very afternoon that none of the White House staff was permitted to play with any White House pets.  It’s rumored that these orders were one of the events that led to The Great Depression.

President Herbert Hoover’s dogs also included Buckeye, a Belgian police dog, and Englehurst Gillette, a Gordon setter.

Harry S. Truman and Feller

Truman’s quote “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog” is one of the most famous and most quoted of all the dog quotes.  But Truman was not so receptive to a new friend when given a dog as an unsolicited gift as we found with Poor Little Feller, Washington’s most Unwanted Dog.

John F. Kennedy and Pushinka

Pushinka was a gift from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to President John F. Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline.  Pushinka was a descendant of Strelka, one of the first dogs sent to space that returned safely to earth. Since this exchange happened during the Cold War, Pushinka was checked for spying devices and hidden microphones when she arrived at the White House.

She…erhem…bonded with White House pup Charlie, a Welsh terrier. Together Pushinka and Charlie had four puppies, or “pupniks” as President Kennedy called them.  They were called Butterfly, White Tips, Blackie and Streaker, and given as gifts to family friends. The other dogs of “Camelot” included Clipper the German Shepherd, Shannon the Irish Cocker Spaniel, and Wolf the Irish Wolfhound.

Barack Obama and Bo

Our current “First Friend”.  During Obama’s campaign, he promised his daughters a dog if he got elected as President.  He kept that promise and added Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog into the family.  He came to the White House as a six-month-old puppy, a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy.

Although Obama stated his preference would be to get a shelter dog, his daughter Malia is allergic so a hypoallergenic breed was ultimately decided on.   This decision was a disappointment to animal advocates after Obama’s previous commitment to rescue a dog.  He was criticized by PETA, The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, and scores of other bloggers and animal rescuers. However, in a way, Bo was rescued.  He was originally purchased by a person unknown to the public, but things did not work out between Bo and his owners and Bo was eventually returned to the breeder.  He was introduced to the Obamas, the girls fell in love, the rest is history.

One thing is certain, Bo is a loved family member.  He behaves for the press, he races across the White House lawns, loves tomatoes, he gave Oprah a “high-five”, and even barked at Santa Claus.  He’s walked in the morning by First Lady Michelle, and at night by the President himself.  And that includes picking up the poop themselves.  There is no doggie waste team assigned to the White House bringing up the rear with pooper scoopers. I can’t write about all the Presidential Pups in one post, there are so many of them.  I’ll save some for next year.  For a complete list of Presidential Pets, visit Presidential Pet Museum.

For all the dogs of the White House, the Oval Office door has always been, and always will be, open.

To read more:http://fortheloveofthedogblog.com/news-updates/first-dogs

Maybe not so fun facts. Chaining Your Dog creates an unsocial, unstable, and lonely dog.


What is meant by "chaining" or "tethering" dogs? These terms refer to the practice of fastening a dog to a stationary objector stake, usually in the owner's backyard, as a means of keeping the animal under control. These terms do not refer to the periods when an animal is walked on a leash. Is there a problem with continuous chaining or tethering? Yes, the practice is both inhumane and a threat to the safety of the confined dog, other animals and humans.

How does tethering or chaining dogs pose a danger to humans? Dogs tethered for long periods can become highly aggressive. Dogs feel naturally protective of their territory; when confronted with a perceived threat, they respond according to their fight-or-flight instinct. A chained dog, unable to take flight, often feels forced to fight, attacking any unfamiliar animal or person who unwittingly wanders into his or her territory. Numerous attacks on people by tethered dogs have been documented. For example, a study published in the September 15, 2000, issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 17 percent of dogs involved in fatal attacks on humans between 1979 and 1998 were restrained on their owners' property at the time of the attack. Tragically, the victims of such attacks are often children who are unaware of the chained dog's presence until it is too late. Furthermore, a tethered dog who finally does get loose from his chains may remain aggressive, and is likely to chase and attack unsuspecting passersby and pets.

Why is tethering dangerous to dogs? In addition to the psychological damage wrought by continuous chaining,dogs forced to live on a chain make easy targets for other animals,humans, and biting insects. A chained animal may suffer harassment and teasing from insensitive humans, stinging bites from insects, and, in the worst cases, attacks by other animals. Chained dogs are also easy targets for thieves looking to steal animals for sale to research institutions or to be used as training fodder for organized animal fights. Finally, dogs' tethers can become entangled with other objects,which can choke or strangle the dogs to death.

Are these dogs dangerous to other animals? In some instances, yes. Any other animal that comes into their area of confinement is in jeopardy. Cats, rabbits, smaller dogs and others may enter the area when the tethered dog is asleep and then be fiercely attacked when the dog awakens.

Are tethered dogs otherwise treated well? Rarely does a chained or tethered dog receive sufficient care. Tethered dogs suffer from sporadic feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care, and extreme temperatures. During snow storms, these dogs often have no access to shelter. During periods of extreme heat,they may not receive adequate water or protection from the sun. What's more, because their often neurotic behavior makes them difficult to approach, chained dogs are rarely given even minimal affection.Tethered dogs may become "part of the scenery" and can be easily ignored by their owners. A chained animal is caught in a vicious cycle;frustrated by long periods of boredom and social isolation, he becomes a neurotic shell of his former self—further deterring human interaction and kindness. In the end, the helpless dog can only suffer the frustration of watching the world go by in isolation—a cruel fate for what is by nature a highly social animal. Any city, county, or state that bans this practice is a safer, more humane community.

This is food for thought. Very interesting take on Humans and Animals... What we can Learn from them...
By Ross Robertson, Enlighten Next magazine


One day when yoga instructor Kari Harendorf was practicing back bends, her dog Charlie padded over and started stretching out beneath her on the hardwood floor. In a flash of insight that may or may not recall some ancient yogic pioneer’s moment of inspiration for Downward and Upward Dog, the modern-day discipline of doga was born. Doga, or doggy yoga–”the path to enlightenment for humans and their pets”–is the subject of Animal Planet’s new show “K9 Karma,” co-hosted by Kari and Charlie; it’s also the topic of recent books like Bow Wow Yoga and Doga: Yoga for Dogs. “My relationship with Charlie is definitely special,” Harendorf says. “It’s intangible, and it goes beyond language, beyond a species barrier. He’s just … he holds my heart, and I hold his.” From man’s best friend to man’s soul mate and partner on the path of spiritual liberation?

If the picture of a New York City yoga studio full of people chanting “Om” to their pit bulls and Pomeranians seems both comical and slightly strange, consider for a moment that popular curiosity about animals’ spiritual status has never been higher. Nowadays, twice as many American households include pets as include children, and even mainstream religion is embracing questions like “Do animals have souls?” Animal souls? Actually, Americans are split down the middle on this one–of the 90-some percent who believe in heaven, roughly half think their pets will join them there.

Theologians are grappling with the question, too, rethinking whether or not Benji or Fido is going to make it through the Pearly Gates when he dies. And priests and ministers are doing their part to breathe new life into the phrase “pets are people too” by performing official blessings, burials, and even marriages for animals.
Wait a minute. Heaven in the next life and marriages in this one? What’s going on here? I’ve never been much of a pet person myself–too many dogs ran me down and bit me when I was a kid–but in spite of that, I can certainly appreciate the impulse to find meaning in animal relationships.

My brother and I used to love chasing after sandpipers on the beach, and I searched endlessly for crayfish in the streams near my house with my friends. As I got older, I spent more and more time in the mountains, trailing deer through the trees and keeping my eyes peeled for elusive black bears. But what has opened my eyes more than ever before to the mystery and beauty of our animal kin has been the enlightening onrush of stories that began, interestingly enough, with my research for this piece.
They came across my desk one after another, too fast to process, about all manner of animals and their relations–relations with their own kin, with individuals of different species, and, of course, with people too.

There were cutting-edge studies of animal cognition and moving descriptions of compassion in elephants and morality in coyotes. There were unbelievable tales of wolves who practiced aikido with a human master, stories of great apes instant-messaging each other on AOL, even astonishing reports of a telepathic parrot. Some stretched my mind in directions it had never been stretched before; some pulled unfamiliar strings in my heart; more than a few seemed completely outlandish. But through it all, there was the ever-deepening realization that I knew a lot less than I thought I did about the puzzle of life and evolution, about the soul’s elusive temperament, and, most of all, about the boundary lines between animal and man.


Many of the stories that surround the life of St. Francis deal with his love for animals, Nature and the environment.

Many of the stories that surround the life of St. Francis deal with his love for animals. Perhaps the most famous incident that illustrates the Saint's humility towards nature is recounted in the "Fioretti" ("Little Flowers"), a collection of legends and folklore that sprang up after the Saint's death. It is said that, one day, while Francis was traveling with some companions, they happened upon a place in the road where birds filled the trees on either side. Francis told his companions to "wait for me while I go to preach to my sisters the birds". The birds surrounded him, drawn by the power of his voice, and not one of them flew away. Francis spoke to them: My sister birds, you owe much to God, and you must always and in everyplace give praise to Him; for He has given you freedom to wing through the sky and He has clothed you... you neither sow nor reap, and God feeds you and gives you rivers and fountains for your thirst, and mountains and valleys for shelter, and tall trees for your nests. And although you neither know how to spin or weave, God dresses you and your children, for the Creator loves you greatly and He blesses you abundantly. Therefore... always seek to praise God.

Another legend from the Fioretti tells that in the city of Gubbio, where Francis lived for some time, was a wolf "terrifying and ferocious, who devoured men as well as animals". Francis had compassion upon the townsfolk, and went up into the hills to find the wolf.

Soon, fear of the animal had caused all his companions to flee, though the saint pressed on. When he found the wolf, he made the sign of the cross and commanded the wolf to come to him and hurt no one. Miraculously the wolf closed his jaws and lay down at the feet of St. Francis. "Brother Wolf, you do much harm in these parts and you have done great evil...", said Francis. "All these people accuse you and curse you... But brother wolf, I would like to make peace between you and the people". Then Francis led the wolf into the town, and surrounded by startled citizens made a pact between them and the wolf. Because the wolf had “done evil out of hunger”, the townsfolk were to feed the wolf regularly, and in return, the wolf would no longer prey upon them or their flocks. In this manner Gubbio was freed from the menace of the predator. Francis, ever the lover of animals, even made a pact on behalf of the town dogs, that they would not bother the wolf again. It is also said that Francis, to show the townspeople that they would not be harmed, blessed the wolf.

These legends exemplify the Franciscan mode of charity and poverty as well as the saint's love of the natural world. Part of his appreciation of the environment is expressed in his Canticle of the Sun, a poem written in Umbrian Italian in perhaps 1224 which expresses a love and appreciation of Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Mother Earth, Brother Fire, etc. and all of God's creations personified in their fundamental forms. In "Canticle of the Creatures," he wrote: "All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures. Francis's attitude towards the natural world, while poetically expressed, was conventionally Christian. He believed that the world was created good and beautiful by God but suffers a need for redemption because of the primordial sin of man. He preached to man and beast the universal ability and duty of all creatures to praise God (a common theme in the Psalms) and the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God's creation and as creatures ourselves.

Legend has it that St. Francis on his deathbed thanked his donkey for carrying and helping him throughout his life, and his donkey wept.


    All Facts About Dogs



A dog's whiskers are touch-sensitive hairs called vibrissae. They are found on the muzzle, above the eyes and below the jaws, and can actually sense tiny changes in airflow.
According to a recent survey, the most popular name for a dog is Max. Other popular names include Molly, Sam, Zach, and Maggie.
According to ancient Greek literature, when Odysseus arrived home after an absence of 20 years, disguised as a beggar, the only one to recognize him was his aged dog Argos, who wagged his tail at his master, and then died.
An American Animal Hospital Association poll showed that 33 percent of dog owners admit that they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on an answering machine while away.
An estimated 1 million dogs in the United States have been named the primary beneficiary in their owner's will.
At the end of the Beatles' song "A Day in the Life", an ultrasonic whistle, audible only to dogs, was recorded by Paul McCartney for his Shetland sheepdog.
Barbara Bush's book about her English Springer Spaniel, Millie's book, was on the bestseller list for 29 weeks. Millie was the most popular "First Dog" in history.
Before the enactment of the 1978 law that made it mandatory for dog owners in New York City to clean up after their pets, approximately 40 million pounds of dog excrement were deposited on the streets every year.
Cats have better memories than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that while a dogs memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's can last as long as 16 hours - exceeding even that of monkeys and orangutans.
Cats have more than one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
Cats, not dogs, are the most common pets in America. There are approximately 66 million cats to 58 million dogs, with Parakeets a distant third at 14 million.
Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not sweat by salivating. They sweat through the pads of their feet.
Dachshunds are the smallest breed of dog used for hunting. They are low to the ground, which allows them to enter and maneuver through tunnels easily.
Developed in Egypt about 5,000 years ago, the greyhound breed was known before the ninth century in England, where it was bred by aristocrats to hunt such small game as hares.
Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible.
Dogs can hear sounds that are too faint for us to hear, and also can hear noises at a much higher frequency than we can. Their hearing is so good that they probably rely more on sound than on sight to navigate their world.
Dogs' eyes have large pupils and a wide field of vision, making them really good at following moving objects. Dogs also see well in fairly low light.
Dogs have far fewer taste buds than people -- probably fewer than 2,000. It is the smell that initially attracts them to a particular food.
Dogs in monuments: The dog is placed at the feet of women in monuments to symbolise affection and fidelity, as a lion is placed at the feet of men to signify courage and magnanimity. Many of the Crusaders are represented with their feet on a dog, to show that they followed the standard of the Lord as faithfully as a dog follows the footsteps of his master.
Dogs may not have as many taste buds as we do (they have about 1,700 on their tongues, while we humans have about 9,000), but that doesn't mean they're not discriminating eaters. They have over 200 million scent receptors in their noses (we have only 5 million) so it's important that their food smells good and tastes good.
Each day in the US, animal shelters are forced to destroy 30,000 dogs and cats.
Every known dog except the chow has a pink tongue - the chow's tongue is jet black.
Every year, $1.5 billion is spent on pet food. This is four times the amount spent on baby food.
For Stephen King's "Cujo" (1983), five St. Bernards were used, one mechanical head, and an actor in a dog costume to play the title character.
French poodles did not originate in France. Poodles were originally used as hunting dogs in Europe. The dogs' thick coats were a hindrance in water and thick brush, so hunters sheared the hindquarters, with cuffs left around the ankles and hips to protect against rheumatism. Each hunter marked his dogs' heads with a ribbon of his own color, allowing groups of hunters to tell their dogs apart.
Inbreeding causes 3 out of every 10 Dalmatian dogs to suffer from hearing disability.
It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.
Korea's poshintang - dog meat soup - is a popular item on summertime menus, despite outcry from other nations. The soup is believed to cure summer heat ailments, improve male virility, and improve women's complexions.
Lassie was played by several male dogs, despite the female name, because male collies were thought to look better on camera. The main "actor" was named Pal.
Lassie, the TV collie, first appeared in a 1930s short novel titled Lassie Come-Home written by Eric Mowbray Knight. The dog in the novel was based on Knight's real life collie, Toots.
Marie Antoinette's dog was a spaniel named Thisbe.
Most pet owners (94 percent) say their pet makes them smile more than once a day.
Pekingese dogs were sacred to the emperors of China for more than 2,000 years. They are one of the oldest breeds of dogs in the world.
Prairie dogs are not dogs. A prairie dog is a kind of rodent.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's most famous canine companion was his Scottish Terrier, Fala, who is part of the Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. But during Roosevelt's 12 years and one month as president, 11 dogs lived in the White House. They included a Bullmastiff, two red setters, a retriever, a Bulldog, a Llewellin Setter, a Scotch Terrier, a Great Dane, a Sheepdog, and a German Shepherd who tried to rip the pants off the British Prime Minister.
Researchers studying what dogs like to eat have found that the appetite of pet dogs is affected by the taste, texture and smell of the food, and also by the owners' food preferences, their perception of their pet, and the physical environment in which the dog is eating.
Scientists have discovered that dogs can smell the presence of autism in children.
'Seizure Alert' dogs can alert their owners up to an hour before the onset of an epileptic seizure.
Seventy percent of people sign their pet's name on greeting cards and 58 percent include their pets in family and holiday portraits, according to a survey done by the American Animal Hospital Association.
Small dogs are rapidly gaining popularity, according to American Kennel Club registration statistics. Three toys breeds are among the top 10 in popularity on the most recent list: the Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, and Shih Tzu rank sixth, ninth, and 10th, respectively. A decade ago, no toy breeds were in the top 10.
Some 39 percent of pet owners say they have more photos of their pet than of their spouse or significant other. Only 21 percent say they have more photos of their spouse or significant other than of their pet.
The calories burned daily by the sled dogs running in Alaska's annual Iditarod race average 10,000. The 1,149-mile race commemorates the 1925 "Race for Life" when 20 volunteer mushers relayed medicine from Anchorage to Nome to battle a children's diphtheria epidemic.
The Canary Islands were not named for a bird called a canary. They were named after a breed of large dogs. The Latin name was Canariae insulae - "Island of Dogs."
The common belief that dogs are color blind is false. Dogs can see color, but it is not as vivid a color scheme as we see. They distinguish between blue, yellow, and gray, but probably do not see red and green. This is much like our vision at twilight.
The dachshund is one of the oldest dog breeds in history (dating back to ancient Egypt.) The name comes from one of its earliest uses - hunting badgers. In German, Dachs means "badger," Hund is "hound."
The English Romantic poet Lord Byron was so devastated upon the death of his beloved Newfoundland, whose name was Boatswain, that he had inscribed upon the dog's gravestone the following: "Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices."
The expression "three dog night" originated with the Eskimos and means a very cold night - so cold that you have to bed down with three dogs to keep warm.
The first dog to star in an American movie was Jean the Vitagraph Dog, a Border Collie mix, who made his first film in 1910.
The first dogs to hunt in packs and the first small companion breeds were probably bred in ancient China. Written records more than 4,000 years old from China show that dog trainers were held in high esteem and that kennel masters raised and looked after large numbers of dog.
The first seeing-eye dog was presented to a blind person on April 25, 1938.
The largest and the smallest dogs to live in the White House where both there during the tenure of president James Buchanan. The president had a Newfoundland named Lara. And his niece, Harriet Lane (who served as White House hostess because the president was unmarried), had a tiny toy terrier named Punch.
The last member of the famous Bonaparte family, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, died in 1945, of injuries sustained from tripping over his dog's leash.
The name of the dog from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" is Max.
The name of the dog on the Cracker Jack box is Bingo.
The only dog to ever appear in a Shakespearean play was Crab in The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The phrase "raining cats and dogs" originated in 17th Century England. During heavy downpours of rain, many of these poor animals unfortunately drowned and their bodies would be seen floating in the rain torrents that raced through the streets. The situation gave the appearance that it had literally rained "cats and dogs" and led to the current expression.
The smallest breed of dog recognized by the American Kennel Club is the Chihuahua, which stands six to nine inches at the top of the shoulders and weighs two to six pounds. The largest is the Irish Wolfhound, which stands 30 to 35 inches at the top of the shoulders and weighs 105 to 125 pounds.
The smallest of the recognized dog breeds, the Chihuahua, is also the one that usually lives the longest. Named for the region of Mexico where they were first discovered in the mid-19th century, the Chihuahua can live anywhere between 11-18 years.
The term "dog days" has nothing to do with dogs. It dates back to Roman times, when it was believed that Sirius, the Dog Star, added its heat to that of the sun from July3 to August 11, creating exceptionally high temperatures. The Romans called the period dies caniculares, or "days of the dog."
The theobromine in chocolate that stimulates the cardiac and nervous systems is too much for dogs, especially smaller pups. A chocolate bar is poisonous to dogs and can even be lethal.
There are 701 types of pure breed dogs.
There are more than 100 million dogs and cats in the United States. Americans spend more than 5.4 billion dollars on their pets each year.
Though human noses have an impressive 5 million olfactory cells with which to smell, sheepdogs have 220 million, enabling them to smell 44 times better than man.
Using their swiveling ears like radar dishes, experiments have shown that dogs can locate the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second.
Walt Disney's family dog was named Lady. She was a poodle.
While small dogs are gaining in popularity, the top dogs are still the big ones. The Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, and German Shepherd Dog are first, second, and third on list of the American Kennel Club's most popular breeds.
Who first thought of using dogs to guide blind people? At the end of World War I, the German government trained the first guide dogs to assist blind war veterans.

  All Facts About Cats




95% of cat owners admit they talk to their cats.
A cat can be either right-pawed or left-pawed.
A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.
A cat can spend five or more hours a day grooming himself.
A cat can sprint at about thirty-one miles per hour.
A cat cannot see directly under its nose. This is why the cat cannot seem to find tidbits on the floor.
A cat has 230 bones in its body. A human only has 206 bones.
A cat has four rows of whiskers.
A cat in a hurry can sprint at about thirty-one miles per hour.
A cat is pregnant for about 58-65 days.
A cat sees about six times better than a human at night because of the tapetum lucidum , a layer of extra reflecting cells which absorb light.
A cat that bites you for rubbing his stomach is often biting from pleasure, not anger.
A cat uses its whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through. The whiskers act as feelers or antennae, helping the animal to judge the precise width of any passage.
A cat will almost never meow at another cat. Cats use this sound for humans.
A cat will clean itself with paw and tongue after a dangerous experience or when it has fought with another cat. This is believed to be an attempt by the animal to soothe its nerves by doing something natural and instinctive.
A cat will never break a sweat because it has no sweat glands.
A cat will spend nearly 30% of its life grooming itself.
A cat will tremble or shiver when it is extreme pain.
A cat's arching back is part of a complex body language system, usually associated with feeling threatened. The arch is able to get so high because the cat's spine contains nearly 60 vertebrae which fit loosely together. Humans have only 34 vertebrae.
A cat's brain is more similar to a human's brain than that of a dog.
A cat's brain is more similar to a man's brain than that of a dog.
A cat's ear pivots 180 degrees.
A cat’s field of vision is about 185 degrees.
A cat's hearing rates as one of the top in the animal kingdom. Cats can hear sounds as high-pitched as 65 kHz; a human's hearing stops at just 20 kHz.
A cat's heart beats at 110 to 140 beats per minute, twice as fast as a human heart.
A cat's jaws cannot move sideways.
A cat's normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees F (38.6 C).
A cat's sense of taste is keener than a dog's sense of taste.
A cat's tail held high means happiness. A twitching tail is a warning sign, and a tail tucked in close to the body is a sure sign of insecurity.
A cat's tail plays a vital part in the cat's balance and in the "righting reflex" that allows it to land on its feet after falling from a height.
A cat's tongue is scratchy because it's lined with papillae—tiny elevated backwards hooks that help to hold prey in place.
A cat's whiskers, called vibrissae, grow on the cat's face and on the back of its forelegs. The whiskers are thought to be a kind of sensor to help a cat gauge the space it wants to go through.
A female cat can begin mating when she is between 5 and 9 months old.
A fifteen year old cat has probably spent ten years of its life sleeping.
A form of AIDS exists in cats.
A frightened cat can run at speeds of up to 31 mph, slightly faster than a human sprinter.
A group of adult cats is called a clowder.
A group of kittens is called a kindle.
A happy cat holds her tail high and steady.
A large majority of white cats with blue eyes are deaf. White cats with only one blue eye are deaf only in the ear closest to the blue eye.
A male cat can begin mating when he is between 7 and 10 months old.
A polecat is not a cat. It is a nocturnal European weasel.
A quarter of cat owners blow dry their cats after bathing them.
A queen (female cat) can begin mating when she is between 5 and 9 months old.
A steady diet of dog food may cause blindness in your cat - it lacks taurine.
A tomcat (male cat) can begin mating when he is between 7 and 10 months old.
A tortoiseshell is black with red or orange markings and a calico is white with patches of red, orange and black.
Abraham Lincoln loved cats. He had four of them while he lived in the White House. Abraham Lincoln's cat, Tabby, was the first of several White House cats.
According to one legend, the "M" marking on the forehead of the Tabby Cat was created by the prophet Mohammed as he rested his hand lightly on the brow of his favorite cat, a Tabby.
Adult cats with no health problems are in deep sleep 15 percent of their lives. They are in light sleep 50 percent of the time.
After being handled, cats lick themselves to smooth their fur and get rid of the "human" smell. Licking is also thought to produce a calming effect.
Ailurophobia is the fear of cats. Julius Caesar, Henry II, Charles XI, and Napoleon all suffered from this and would nearly faint in the presence of a cat.
All cats are born with blue eyes.
All cats are members of the family Felidea. Interestingly enough, the cat family split from the other mammals at least 40,000,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families.
All cats have three sets of long hairs that are sensitive to pressure - whiskers, eyebrows,and the hairs between their paw pads.
Almost 10% of a cat's bones are in its tail, and the tail is used to maintain balance.
Americans spend more on cat food than on baby food.
Americans spend more than 5.4 billion dollars on their pets each year.
An adult cat has thirty teeth and around twelve whiskers.
Ancient Egyptians believed that "Bast" was the mother of all cats on Earth. They also believed that cats were sacred animals.
At night a cat can gather into the extra-large corneas and lenses of its eyes more than six times the amount of light than humans can. Seeing far better than humans do at night time and tending to focus best at a distance of eight to twenty feet makes cats excellent night time hunters.
Besides smelling with their nose, cats can smell with an additional organ called the Jacobson's organ, located in the upper surface of the mouth.
Black cat superstitions originated in America. In Asia and England, a black cat is considered lucky.
Both humans and cats have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion.
Calico cats are nearly always female.
Cardinal Richelieu was so fond of cats that he shared his home with 14 of them. Specially appointed attendants cared for them, and upon his death, the Cardinal left all his worldly wealth to his feline companions.
Cat families usually play best in even numbers. Cats and kittens should be acquired in pairs whenever possible.
Cat scratch disease, a benign but sometimes painful disease of short duration, is caused by a bacillus. Despite its name, the disease can be transmitted by many kinds of scratches besides those of cats.
Cat urine glows under a black light.
Catnip can affect lions and tigers as well as house cats. It excites them because it contains a chemical that resembles an excretion of the dominant female's urine.
Cats are attracted to automobile antifreeze because of its sweet taste.
Cats are sometimes born with extra toes. This is called polydactyl.
Cats are subject to gum disease and to dental caries. They should have their teeth cleaned by the vet or the cat dentist once a year.
Cats are the only domestic animals that walk directly on their claws, not on their paws. This method of walking is called "digitigrade." When cats scratch furniture, it isn't an act of malice. They are actually tearing off the ragged edges of the sheaths of their talons to expose the new sharp ones beneath
Cats average 16 hours of sleep a day, more than any other mammal.
Cats bury their feces to cover their trails from predators.
Cats can be taught to walk on a leash, but a lot of time and patience is required to teach them. The younger the cat is, the easier it will be for them to learn.
Cats can donate blood to other cats.
Cats can get "age spots". These are black spots on the skin that are often seen around the lips, eyes, and nose; and usually start when the cat is three to five years of age.
Cats can get bored. They show their boredom by excessive licking, chewing, or biting.
Cats can get tapeworms from eating fleas. These worms live inside the cat forever, or until they are removed with medication. They reproduce by shedding a link from the end of their long bodies. This link crawls out the cat's anus, and sheds hundreds of eggs. These eggs are injested by flea larvae, and the cycles continues. Humans may get these tapeworms too, but only if they eat infected fleas. Cats with tapeworms should be dewormed by a veterinarian
Cats can get tapeworms from eating mice. If your cat catches a mouse it is best to take the prize away from it.
Cats can have freckles. They can appear anywhere on a cat's skin and even in its mouth.
Cats can learn tricks. They just sometimes choose not to.
Cats can predict earthquakes. We humans are not 100% sure how they do it. There are several different theories.
Cats can see color. Studies have shown that cats can distinguish between red and green; red and blue; red and gray; green and blue; green and gray; blue and gray; yellow and blue, and yellow and gray.
Cats can see up to 120 feet away. Their peripheral vision is about 285 degrees.
Cats can't taste sweets.
Cats have 13 ribs
Cats have 30 teeth (12 incisors, 10 premolars, 4 canines, and 4 molars), while dogs have 42. Kittens have baby teeth, which are replaced by permanent teeth around the age of 7 months.
Cats have 30 vertebrae--5 more than humans have.
Cats have 32 muscles that control the outer ear (compared to human's 6 muscles each). A cat can rotate its ears independently 180 degrees, and can turn in the direction of sound 10 times faster than those of the best watchdog.
Cats have a full inner-eyelid, or nictitating membrane. This inner-eyelid serves to help protect the eyes from dryness and damage. When the cat is ill, the inner-eyelid will frequently close partially, making it visible to the observer
Cats have a homing ability that uses its biological clock, the angle of the sun, and the Earth's magnetic field.
Cats have a third eyelid, called a haw, that is rarely visible. If it can be seen, it could be an indication of ill healt
Cats have AB blood groups just like people.
Cats have about 100 different vocalization sounds. In comparison, dogs have about 10.
Cats have amazing hearing ability. A cat's ear has 30 muscles that control the outer ear (by comparison, human ears only have six muscles). These muscles rotate 180 degrees, so the cat can hear in all directions without moving its head.
Cats have an average of 24 whiskers, arranged in four horizontal rows on each side
Cats have been domesticated for half as long as dogs have been.
Cats have better memories than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that while a dogs memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's can last as long as 16 hours - exceeding even that of monkeys and orangutans.
Cats have carpal pads on their front paws that help to prevent them from sliding on a slippery surface when jumping.
Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw
Cats have individual preferences for scratching surfaces and angles. Some are horizontal scratchers while others exercise their claws vertically.
Cats have true fur, in that they have both an undercoat and an outer coat.
Cats have true fur, meaning that they have both an undercoat and an outer coat
Cats' hearing stops at 65 khz (kilohertz); humans' hearing stops at 20 khz.
Cats lack a true collarbone and can generally squeeze their bodies through any space they can get their heads through
Cats love to hear the sound of their own name and your voice, so talk to them often.
Cats must have fat in their diet, because they can't produce it on their own. Never feed your cat dog food, because cats need five times more protein than dogs do.
Cats only need a sixth the amount of light that humans do to see. However, their daytime vision is only fair compared to that of humans.
Cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, the same frequency as an idling diesel engine.
Cats respond better to women than to men, probably due to the fact that women's voices have a higher pitc
Cats respond most readily to names that end in an "ee" sound.
Cats scratch to shed the sheaths of their old claws.
Cats sleep 16 to 18 hours per day. When cats are asleep, they are still alert to incoming stimuli. If you poke the tail of a sleeping cat, it will respond accordingly.
Cats step with both left legs, then both right legs when they walk or run. The only other animals to do this are the giraffe and the camel.
Cats take between 20-40 breaths per minute.
Cats that live together sometimes rub each others heads to show that they have no intention of fighting. Young cats do this more often, especially when they are excited.
Cats use more than 500 muscles to leap, jump, and sprint.
Cats with long, lean bodies are more likely to be outgoing, and more protective and vocal than those with a stocky build
Cats with white fur and skin on their ears are very prone to sunburn.
Cats, especially older cats, do get cancer. Many times this disease can be treated successfully.
Cats, just like people, are subject to asthma. Dust, smoke, and other forms of air pullution in your cat's environment can be troublesome sources of irritation.
Cats, not dogs, are the most common pets in America. There are approximately 66 million cats to 58 million dogs, with Parakeets a distant third at 14 million.
Contrary to popular belief, the cat is a social animal. A pet cat will respond and answer to speech , and seems to enjoy human companionship.
Declawing a cat is the same as cutting a human's fingers off at the knuckle. There are several alternatives to a complete declawing, including trimming or a less radical (though more involved) surgery to remove the claws. Preferably, try to train your cat to use a scratching post.
Despite its reputation for being finicky, the average cat consumes about 127,750 calories a year, nearly 28 times its own weight in food and the same amount again in liquids. In case you were wondering, cats cannot survive on a vegetarian diet.
Each day in the US, animal shelters are forced to destroy 30,000 dogs and cats.
Ear furnishings are the hairs that grow inside a cat's ears.
Ernest Hemingway once had some 30 cats at his home in Havana.
Felix the Cat is the first cartoon character to ever have been made into a balloon for a parade.
Florence Nightingale owned more than 60 cats in her lifetime.
Has your cat ever brought its prey to your door? Cats do that because they regard their owners as their "kittens." The cats are teaching their "kittens" how to hunt by bringing them food. Most people aren't too delighted when a pet brings in their kill. Instead of punishing your cat, praise it for its efforts, accept the prey, and then secretly throw it away.
Human painkillers such acetaminophen (Tylenol) are toxic to cats. Chocolate is also poisonous to cats.
If a male cat is both orange and black it is ( besides being extremely rare ) sterile. To have both the orange and the black coat colors, the male cat must have all or part of both female X chromosomes. This unusual sex chromosome combination will render the male cat sterile.
If left to her own devices, a female cat may have three to seven kittens every four months. This is why population control using spaying and neutering is so important.
If your cat is in the habit of rolling over and exposing his stomach, you can be sure he feels perfectly safe with you. It's also a way of demonstrating his pleasure in your company.
If your cat snores, or rolls over on his back to expose his belly, it means he trusts you.
In 1888, an estimated 300,000 mummified cats were found at Beni Hassan, Egypt. They were sold at $18.43 per ton, and shipped to England to be ground up and used for fertilizer.
In addition to using their noses, cats can smell with the Jacobson's organ which is located in the upper surface of the mouth.
In ancient Egypt, the entire family would shave their eyebrows off as a sign of mourning when the family cat died.
In cats, the calico and tortoiseshell coats are sex-linked traits. All cats displaying these coats are female... or occasionally sterile males
In general, cats live longer than most dogs. An average life span might be 12 to 14 years. Some cats are reaching 20 or more. A cat's longevity depends on feeding, genetics, environment, veterinary care and some other factors. It is also important whether or not the cat lives indoors or is allowed outdoors (outdoor cats live an average of eight years). The general consensus is that at about age seven the cat can be considered as "middle-aged", and at age 10 and beyond - old.
In relation to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.
In relation to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.
In the 9th century, King Henry I of Saxony decreed that the fine for killing a cat should be sixty bushels of corn.
In the Middle Ages, during the Festival of Saint John, cats were burned alive in town squares.
In the midst of building the Grand Coulee Dam in the state of Washington, engineers were stymied by the problem of threading a cable through a pipeline until an anonymous cat saved the day. Harnessed to the cable, this unknown hero crawled through the pipeline maze to successfully finish the job.
It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.
It has been scientifically proven that stroking a cat can lower one's blood pressure.
It is a common belief that cats are color blind; but recent studies have shown that cats can see blue, green, and red.
It is estimated that cats can make over 60 different sounds.
Jaguars are the only big cats that don't roar.
Julius Caesar, Henri II, Charles XI, and Napoleon had aelurophobia, the fear of cats.
Kittens can clock an amazing 31 mile per hour at full speed, and can cover about three times their body length per leap.
Kittens remain with their mother till the age of 9 weeks.
Like birds, cats have a homing ability that uses its biological clock, the angle of the sun, and the Earth's magnetic field. A cat taken far from its home can return to it. But if a cat's owners move far from its home, the cat can't find them.
Lucy Webb Hayes, wife of Rutherford Hayes, is the first person recorded to own a Siamese in the U.S.
Many cats are unable to properly digest cow's milk. Milk and milk products give them diarrhea.
Many of a cat's bones are found in its tail.
Many people fear catching a protozoan disease, Toxoplasmosis, from cats. This disease can cause illness in the human, but more seriously, can cause birth defects in the unborn. Toxoplasmosis is a common disease, sometimes spread through the feces of cats. It is caused most often from eating raw or rare beef. Pregnant women and people with a depressed immune system should not touch the cat litter box. Other than that, there is no reason that these people have to avoid cats.
More than 30 percent of American households have a cat as part of the family
Morris, the 9-Lives cat, was discovered at an animal shelter in New England.
Most cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
Most cats have no eyelashes.
Mother cats teach their kittens to use the litter box.
Neutering a cat extends its life span by two or three years.
Never pick a kitten up by the neck. Only a mother cat may do this safely.
Newborn kittens have closed ear canals that don't begin to open for nine days.
Normal body temperature for a cat is 102 degrees F.
Nostradamus, the French Astrologer, 1503-1566, had a cat named Grimalkin.
Not every cat gets "high" from catnip. Whether or not a cat responds to it depends upon a recessive gene: no gene, no joy.
Of all the species of cats, the domestic cat is the only species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All species of wild cats hold their talk horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking.
One litter box per cat, plus an extra box, is the best formula for a multi-cat household.
Orange and lemon rinds are offensive to cats. A light rubbing of orange peel on furniture will discourage your cat from using it as a scratching post.
People who are allergic to cats are actually allergic to cat saliva or cat dander. If the cat is bathed regularly, allergic people have better tolerance to it.
Perhaps the oldest known female cat was Ma, from Devon, who was 34 when she died in 1957.
Purring is part of every cat's repertoire of social communication, apparently created by the movement of air in spasms through contractions of the diaphragm. Interestingly, purring is sometimes heard in cats who are severely ill or anxious, perhaps as a self-comforting vocalization. But, more typically, it is a sign of contentment, first heard in kittens as they suckle milk from their mother.
Retractable claws are a physical phenomenon that sets cats apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. I n the cat family, only cheetahs cannot retract their claws.
Siamese cats originated in Siam—modern day Thailand. Legend has it that they were the companions of kings and priests and that they guarded temples. Some trace Siamese origins to Egypt and Burma, but many dispute this idea. Siamese were first brought to England in the late 1800s.
Siamese kittens are born white because of the heat inside the mother's uterus before birth. This heat keeps the kittens' hair from darkening on the points.
Sir Isaac Newton, who first described the principle of gravity, also invented the swinging cat door for the convenience of his many cats.
Some common houseplants poisonous to cats include: English Ivy, iris, mistletoe, philodendron, and yew.
Tests done by the Behavioral Department of the Musuem of Natural History conclude that while a dog's memory lasts about 5 minutes, a cat's recall can last as long as 16 hours.
The ancestor of all domestic cats is the African Wild Cat, which still exists today.
The Ancient Egyptian word for cat was mau, which means "to see".
The average canned or dry cat meal is the nutritional equivalent of eating five mice.
The cat family split from the other mammals at least 40 million years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families.
The cat has 500 skeletal muscles (humans have 650).
The cat is the only animal that walks on its claws, not the pads of its feet.
The cat lover is an ailurophile, while a cat hater is an ailurophobe.
The cat was domesticated over 4,000 years ago. Today's house cats are descended from wildcats in Africa and Europe.
The catgut formerly used as strings in tennis rackets and musical instruments does not come from cats. Catgut actually comes from sheep, hogs, and horses.
The catnip plant contains an oil called hepetalactone which does for cats what marijuana does to some people. Not all cats react to it those that do appear to enter a trancelike state. A positive reaction takes the form of the cat sniffing the catnip, then licking, biting, chewing it, rub & rolling on it repeatedly, purring, meowing & even leaping in the air.
The cat's footpads absorb the shocks of the landing when the cat jumps.
The cheetah is the only cat in the world that can't retract its claws.
The color of the points in Siamese cats is heat related. Cool areas are darker. In fact, Siamese kittens are born white because of the heat inside the mother's uterus before birth. This heat keeps the kittens hair from darkening on the points.
The declawing of a pet cat involves surgery called an onychectomy, in which the entire claw and end bone of each toe of the animal are amputated.
The different types of tabby patterns that are seen in domestic cats also occur in wild cats.
The domestic cat is the only cat species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking. A tail held high means happiness; a twitching tail is a warning sign; and a tucked tail is a sign of insecurity.
The first cat show was in 1871 at the Crystal Palace in London.
The giraffe, camel, and cat are the only animals that walk by both their left feet, then both their right feet when walking.
The heaviest cat ever recorded weighed 46 lbs.
The Maine Coon is 4 to 5 times larger than the Singapura, the smallest breed of cat.
The Maine Coon is the only native American long haired breed.
The more cats are spoken to, the more they will speak back. The normal temperature of a cat is 101.5 degrees.
The only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible is the cat.
The penalty for killing a cat, 4,000 years ago in Egypt, was death.
The Persian cat has the longest and thickest fur of all domestic cats. The topcoat may be up to 5 inches long.
The phenomenon of cats finding their owners in a place where they have never been before is scientifically known as Psi-trailing. Many well-documented stories tell of cats that have walked hundreds, even thousands of miles to find their owners.
The phrase "raining cats and dogs" originated in 17th Century England. During heavy downpours of rain, many of these poor animals unfortunately drowned and their bodies would be seen floating in the rain torrents that raced through the streets. The situation gave the appearance that it had literally rained "cats and dogs" and led to the current expression.
The red tabby cat is a Sarman.
The silver tabby cat is a Teku.
The Turkish Van, a very old rare breed that originated in Turkey, is quite different from other breeds because of its unusual love of water. Known as "the swimming cat," the Van is strong, quick and agile. He makes a devoted and loyal companion--on land or at sea.
There are more than 100 million dogs and cats in the United States.
There are more than 500 million domestic cats, with either 35 different breeds (according to The Cat Fanciers Association, the world's largest cat registry), or 38 breeds (as recognized by The International Cat Association, the second largest registry).
There is a species of cat smaller than the average housecat. It is native to Africa and it is the Black-footed cat (Felis nigripes). Its top weight is 5.5 pounds.
Those dark lines connecting to a cat's eyes are called mascara lines.
Though rare, cats can contract canine heart worms.
To drink, a cat laps liquid from the underside of its tongue, rather than the top.
When you find your cat glued to the window intently watching a bird, making a strange chattering noise and clicking his or her jaws oddly, your cat is merely acting on instinct. What your cat is doing is directly related to the killing bite that all cats (both domestic and wild cats) use to dispatch their prey.
When your cats rubs up against you, she is actually marking you as "hers" with her scent. If your cat pushes his face against your head, it is a sign of acceptance and affection.
Winston Churchill, adored cats. Churchill used to refer to his cat, "Jock", as his special assistant. "Jock" was reported to be on the bed with his master on the day the great British statesman died.
You can tell a cat's mood by looking into its eyes. A frightened or excited cat will have large, round pupils. An angry cat will have narrow pupils. The pupil size is related as much to the cat's emotions as to the degree of light.
You check your cats pulse on the inside of the back thigh, where the leg joins to the body. Normal for cats: 110-170 beats per minute.
Young cats can distinguish between two identical sounds that are just 18 inches apart at a distance of up to 60 feet.



8 Animals That Know How to Farm Their Own Food

8 Animals That Know How to Farm Their Own Food

Animals that grow their own food. From leaf cutter ants cultivating underground fungi farms to fish harvesting crops of algae, check out these eight amazing animal agriculturists.

1. Ants

Photo credit: Hans Hillewaert


When it comes to the king of gardeners, nobody can rival the leaf cutter ant. Collecting leaves to use as manure for their complex underground fungi farms, leaf cutter ants have been growing their own food for as long as 50 million years. Specialized workers called mediae forage around for plant material (they have been known to strip a citrus tree clean in a single day) which they lug back to the nest and hand to the minims who chew them up, compost them and feed to the fungi in one of the most elaborate forms of insect agriculture ever documented.

2. Bowerbirds

Photo credit: Peter_Australis

Bowerbirds and their potato bushes are the first known example of the cultivation of a nonfood plant by a nonhuman species. They construct elaborate nests, also known as bowers, from twigs which they then decorate with various objects to attract the females. One of the most desired object by females is the purple berry of the potato bush; the more berries the male features on his bower, the better his mating success. As males don’t tend to build their nests in areas where the berries grow, they throw the disheveled berries outside the nest and by the time the bower is a year old they usually have a few dozen bushes growing nearby, giving them more opportunity to impress the ladies.

3. Ambrosia Beetles

Photo credit: Obsidian Soul

Carving tunnels into decaying tree trunks, the ambrosia beetle carries fungi in special receptacles on their bodies and deposits the spores into handbuilt chambers where the fungi grows by drawing nutrients from the wood. The beetles carefully tend to their crops and once their larvae are fully grown, they fly off to bore into new trees and restart the process.

4. Termites

Photo credit: Gnilenkov Aleksey

Termites are famous for having one of the most complex social systems in the animal kingdom. While they may be incredibly small animals, colonies are able to work together to create huge nests which are amazingly precise fungus growing farms. They create chambers which have the perfect amount of heat and airflow required to grow fungus, which is their primary food source.

5. Damselfish

Photo Credit: San Diego Shooter

As the only known fish to engage in agriculture, the damselfish are extremely protective over their gardens. Growing a variety of algae which is notoriously weak compared to other species, and one that only seems to survive within the territories of the damselfish, these loyal tillers work hard to ensure their favored food is kept for them and them alone. These feisty fish have been known to attack other creatures that dare to swim too close, including human divers.

6. Marsh Snails

Photo Credit: Royal Olive

Marsh snails are another fungus farming animal who have developed a way of ensuring that a readily available food source is never far away. Living in abundance in the Southeastern United States, these small mollusks encourage fungal growth on dead cordgrass leaves by cutting grooves into them with their radula. Having created the perfect growing environment for their favorite fungi, some marsh snails have also been observed fertilizing the leaves with their feces.

7. Spotted Jellyfish

Photo Credit: Serenae

The spotted jellyfish is an expert algae farmer which uses its own body tissues as the growth chamber. During the daylight hours, they spend the vast majority of their time orientating themselves in the best way to catch the most amount of sunlight. The photosynthetic crop flourishes inside their internal gardens, giving the jellyfish an unlimited supply of fresh algae to consume.

8. Yeti Crab


: Thurber A

Not everyone needs a garden to grow their own grub. Yeti crabs choose to farm their food on their own arms! Video taken by submarine revealed the crabs dining on bacteria dwelling on their arms by using highly specialized hairy mouth appendages. Known for waving their claws slowly and rhythmically, scientists first thought this behavior was a tactic employed to keep others at a distance, but we now know that the claw swaying helps to wash nutrients over the bacteria, essentially fertilizing them.

Did You Know ? ... There Are Lots And Lots...

These facts are brought to you by:
  • When a dolphin is sick or injured, its cries of distress summon immediate aid from other dolphins, who try to support it to the surface so that it can breathe.

    The Albatross has a wing span of up to 14 feet and only needs to land once every couple of years to breed. They can travel hundreds of thousands of miles each flight.
    Certain Chinese and American alligators can survive the winter by freezing their heads in ice, leaving their nose out to breath for months on end.
    Sea Otters use so much energy that they need to eat as much as one-third of their weight each day.
    The biggest bird in the world is the ostrich, which can grow up to nine feet tall.
    According to hospital figures, dogs bite an average of 1 million Americans a year.
    The sailfish, the swordfish and the mako shark have all been clocked at swimming over 50mph.
    Montana mountain goats will butt heads so hard their hooves fall off.
    It takes around 10 dump-truck loads of wood to make a proper funeral pyre for a full-size elephant.
    The notion that cats and dogs are natural enemies (suggested by the phrase,"fighting like cats and dogs") is overstated, if not simply false. Generally speaking, cats and dogs get along better than cats and cats or dogs and dogs.
    The last animal in the dictionary is the Zyzzyva, a tropical weevil.
    Honeybees have hair on their eyes.
    The only continent without reptiles or snakes is Antarctica.
    There's a "meow" in the middle of "homeowner."
    According to a survey by the American Animal Hospital Association, 53 percent of pet owners vacation or travel with their pets.
    The Dalmatian breed of dog originates from the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.
    Surveys show that 62 percent of dog owners admit that their dog owns a sweater, winter coat or raincoat.
    Cats prefer to eat their food at 86º F, which is why they don't immediately gulp down the half-eaten can of food from the refrigerator.
    In 1987, cats overtook dogs as the number one pet in America.
    A frightened dog puts it's tail between it's legs because it covers thescent glands in the anal area. Since the anal glands carry personals cents that identify individual dogs, the tail-between the-legs behavior is the canine equivalent of insecure humans hiding their faces.
    At least 63% of dog owners admitted to kissing their dogs. Of these, some 45% kissed them on the nose, 19% on the neck, 7% on the back, 5% on the stomach and 2% on the legs. An additional 29% listed the place they kiss their dog as other!
    The frog was an ancient Egyptian symbol, later adopted by the conquering Romans. The Frog-headed goddess Hekt was the goddess of birth and fertility, and later also of resurrection.
    The study of ants is called Myrmecology.
    One in 5,000 North Atlantic lobsters are born bright blue.
    The biggest ant colony was found on the Ishikari Coast of Hokkaido: 306million worker ants and 1 million queens lived in 45,000 interconnected nests over an area of 2.7 square kilometers (1,7 square miles). A worker ant will live for up to 5 years; while a Queen will live up to25 years.
    Newfoundland dogs are strong swimmers due to their webbed feet.
    Some ribbon worms will eat themselves if they can’t find any food.
    The fingerprints of koala bears are virtually indistinguishable from those of humans, so much so that they could be confused at a crime scene.
    Fleas have changed history. More human deaths have been attributed to fleas than all the wars ever fought. As carriers of the bubonic plague, fleas were responsible for killing one-third of the population of Europe in the 14th century.
    The Dalmatian is the only dog that gets gout.
    A tiger's paw prints are called pug marks.
    A dog was once the King of Norway for 3 years during the 11th century AD.
    Rabbits love licorice.
    Emus have double-plumed feathers, and they lay emerald/forest green eggs.
    The tallest dog on record was named Shamgret Danzas. He was 42 inches tall (at the shoulder!) and weighed 238 lbs.
    To figure out your "true dog's age" in human terms, count the first full year as 15 years, the second full year as 10 yeas and all the following years as 3 years. In other words, a 5 year old dog would be:15+10+3+3+3=34 years old.
    Great Danes can eat up to 8 1/2 pounds of food a day.
    Slugs have 4 noses.
    The first dog show was held in England in 1859.
    A cheetah can reach a top speed approaching 70 mph.
    Greyhounds can jump a distance of 27 feet.
    More than 5 million puppies are born in the United States each year.
    As of 2001, there are around 44 million sheep in New Zealand, a country of around 4 million people.
    Dolphins sleep with one half of the brain at a time, and one eye closed.
    Cat whiskers are found on the face and on the back of the forelegs as well.
    A hippo can run faster than man.
    In North America, a black cat crossing your path is thought to bring bad luck. In Great Britain, a black cat crossing your path is thought to bring good luck.
    A white cat sleeping outside your home on your wedding day is said to bring lasting happiness.
    The Rottweiler makes an excellent family pet. They are especially good with children and a fantastic guard dog.
    The average cow produces 40 glasses of milk each day.
    The membranes in a dog's nose, if unfolded and laid out, would be larger than the dog itself.
    Sir Isaac Newton invented the cat door.
    Current domestic cats were the result of genetic mutation so that they would be tame at birth.
    A Panda's diet is 99% bamboo.
    When two dogs approach each other, the dog which wags its tail very slowly is in charge.
    Some lions can mate over 50 times a day.
    If you lift a Kangaroo's tail off the ground it can't hop - they use their tails for balance.
    For every person there are rougly 200 million insects.
    Polar bears can swim 60 miles without pausing for a rest.
    The leech has 32 brains.
    The Galpagos Tortoise has a potential life span of 200 years.
    At the end of the Beatles' song 'A Day in the Life,' an ultrasonic whistle, only audible to dogs, was recorded by Paul McCartney for his Shetland sheepdog.
    The praying mantis only has one ear.
    A purring cat doesn't always mean a contented cat. Cats will also purr if they are in pain.
    Dachshunds were bred to fight badgers in their dens.
    A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
    You are more likely to be killed by a Champagne cork than by a poisonous spider.
    On average, people fear spiders more than they do death.
    Elephants are the only animals that can't jump.
    Small dogs usually live longer than larger breeds.
    40% of all cats are ambidextrous. The other 60% are either "right-pawed" or "left-pawed".
    The Chihuahua is the oldest breed of dog native to North America.
    Many cat lovers believe cats are intuitive. That's because they are right-brain dominant.
    Cats spend 30% of their waking hours grooming themselves.
    Cat's can't taste sweets.
    The smallest dog in history was a tiny Yorkie from Blackburn, England. At two years of age and fully grown he was only 2.5 inches tall by 3.75inches long and weighed only 4 ounces.
    Not all dogs eyes reflect green in the dark, some reflect orange or red.
    White cats with blue eyes are usually deaf.
    Cats rarely meow at each other. Meowing is reserved for "speaking" with humans.
    The only dog in the world that cannot bark is the Basenji, an African wolf dog.
    The membranes in a dog's nose, if unfolded and laid out, would be larger than the dog itself.
    About 600 species of plants are carnivorous. Most eat insects but also on the menu are frogs, birds and even small monkeys.
    If you bring a raccoon's head to the Henniker, New Hampshire town hall, you are entitled to receive $.10 from the town.
    A group of owls is called a parliament.
    Dogs and humans are the only animals with prostates.
    A flea expert is a pullicologist.
    A pig is a hog -- hog is a generic name for all swine -- but a hog is not a pig. In the terminology of hog raising, a pig is a baby hog less than ten weeks old.
    Ancient Romans ate flamingo tongues and considered them a delicacy.
    All elephants walk on tip-toe, because the back portion of their foot is made up of all fat and no bone.
    A rhinoceros's horn is made of hair.
    Camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand.
    Elephants have been found swimming miles from shore in the Indian Ocean.
    The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off.
    "Eat like a bird?" Many birds eat twice their weight a day.
    Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions, most of them made with the ears.
    Many hamsters only blink one eye at a time.
    All swans and all sturgeons in England are property of the Queen. Messing with them is a serious offense.
    Kiwi birds are blind, they hunt by smell.
    Rhinos are in the same family as horses, and are thought to have inspired the myth of the unicorn.
    Studies show that if a cat falls off the seventh floor of a building it has about thirty percent less chance of surviving than a cat that falls off the twentieth floor. It supposedly takes about eight floors for the cat to realize what is occuring, relax and correct itself. At about that height it hits maximum speed and when it hits the ground it's rib cage absorbs most of the impact.
    The Honey Badger can withstand hundreds of African bee stings that would kill any other animal.
    Giraffes have no vocal cords.
    The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.
    During World War II, Americans tried to train bats to drop bombs.
    Roosters can't crow if they can't fully extend their necks.
    The leg bones of a bat are so thin that no bat can walk.
    When opossums are playing opossum, they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror.
    The placement of a donkey's eyes in its head enables it to see all four feet at all times.
    A full-grown bear can run as fast as a horse.
    If NASA sent birds into space they would soon die, as they need gravity to swallow.
    A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won't.
    The penguins that inhabit the tip of South America are called jackass penguins.
    Goat's eyes have rectangular pupils.
    Human birth control pills work on gorillas.
    A flamingo can eat only when its head is upside down.
    A dolphin's hearing is so acute that it can pick up an underwater sound from fifteen miles away.
    Chickens absorb vitamin-D through their combs from sunshine.
    The common goldfish is the only animal that can see both infra-red and ultra-violet light.
    Blue Whales weigh as much as 30 elephants and are as long as three Greyhound buses.
    Butterflies taste with their hind feet.
    Birds do not sleep in their nests. They may occasionally nap in them, but they actually sleep in other places.
    A snail can sleep for three years.
    More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes.
    Lobsters can live up to 50 years.
    Male flies only gather at the base of bright lights when they are having a mating assembly.
    In 1939, a shower of tiny frogs fell on the English town of Trowbridge.Strong winds had carried them aloft from streams and ponds.
    Bees have five eyes. There are 3 small eyes on the top of a bee's head and 2 larger ones in front.
    The fruit flys DNA sequence is 180 million bases long, whilst a humans is three billion.
    In the last 4000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
    Cows do not have upper front teeth.
    A female oyster over her lifetime may produce over 100 million young.
    Mosquitoes are attracted to the color blue twice as much as to any other color.
    Spider web filaments were used in gun sights as the 'cross hairs' until the early 1960's.
    No two zebras have the same markings.
    Some male songbirds sing more than 2000 times each day.
    There are more chickens than people in the world.
    The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds.
    Killer Whales (Orcas) kill sharks by torpedoing up into the shark's stomach from underneath, causing the shark to explode.
    Hippos have killed more than 400 people in Africa - more than any other wild animal.
    A baby elephant calf can weigh up to 260 pounds when it is born.
    Pandas in China have been given Viagra to help them mate.
    Polar bears are the only mammal with hair on the soles of its feet.
    We share 98.4% of our DNA with a chimp - and 70% with a slug.
    Oysters can change from one gender to another and back again depending on which is best for mating.
    A dragonfly has a lifespan of 24 hours.
    A bee must visit 4,000 flowers in order to make one tablespoon of honey.
    The common Black Ants and Wood Ants have no sting, but they can squirt a spray of formic acid. Some birds put ants in their feathers because the ants squirt formic acid which gets rid of the parasites.
    The wingspan of the Indonesian fruit bat equals the height of film star Sylvester Stallone.
    Ticks are second only to the mosquito as the most dangerous parasites to humans.
    By swallowing water, the Puffer fish becomes too big for other fish to swallow.
    According to one study, plant and animal species are becoming extinct at the rate of 17 per hour.
    The larva of the polyphemus moth consumes 86,000 times its birth weight in its first 56 days.
    Mayflies live for a year or more as larvae; but as adults they live for only a few hours.
    Great White Sharks can go as long as three months without eating.
    Mexico's the world's pig tapeworm capital with estimates that about 4 percent of all Mexicans have the adult tapeworm in their intestine.
    A bee can see the colors green, blue and ultra-violet - but red looks like black.
    Shrimps' hearts are in their heads.
    It takes 3000 cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year's supply of American Footballs.
    Bats always turn left when leaving a cave.
    Polar Bears cannot be detected by infrared cameras, due to their transparent fur.
    An elephant herd can move fifty miles in a day.
    The biggest shark species has the smallest teeth. The 12 metre long whale shark has more than 4,000 teeth, each only 3mm long.
    Asa general rule in the animal kingdom, the more complex or relativelybig the eye in relation to the body, then the smaller the rest of thebrain.
    A large swarm of locusts can eat 80,000 tons of corn in a day.
    The female lion is a much more efficient hunter than the male.
    Giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands weigh up to 225 kilos and can live for over 150 years.
    Most elephants weigh less than the tongue of a blue whale.
    A newborn giant panda is only the size of a stick of butter.
    An Animal Hospital Association survey revealed that 62 percent of dog owners sign letter or cards from themselves and their dogs.
    The hydra - a close relative of jellyfish and sea anemones, can regenerate or grow back if it's cut in half.
    Coyotes are a close cousin of all pet dogs. The coyote's scientific name (Canis Latrans) means 'barking dog'.
    The Dodo was first discovered in 1507 - 100 years later it was hunted to extinction.
    Female fleas consume fifteen times their weight daily.
    Mosquitoes have been found to prefer biting people with smelly feet.
    Arhinoceros beetle can support up to 850 times its own weight on it's back. That would be the equivalent of a man carrying 76 family-size cars around on his back.
    The silkworm moth has eleven brains.
    Americans spend more money on dog food each year then they do on baby food.
    The Australian Sea Wasp or Box Jellyfish which is found off the coast of Queensland causes death within 3 minutes if medical aid is not administered.
    When a giraffe's baby is born it falls from a height of six feet, normally without being hurt.
    A dragonfly can spot an insect moving 33 feet away.
    Giraffes can clean their ears with their half meter long tongue.
    There are an estimated five million, trillion, trillion bacteria on Earth.
    The world's smallest winged insect, the Tanzanian parasitic wasp, is smaller than the eye of a housefly.
    In breeding causes 3 out of every 10 Dalmation dogs to suffer from hearing disability.
    When a flea jumps, the rate of acceleration is 20 times that of the space shuttle during launch.
    Over 10,000 birds a year die from smashing into windows.
    Despite its reputation for being finicky, the average cat consumes about127,750 calories a year, nearly 28 times its own weight in food and the same amount again in liquids. In case you were wondering, cats cannot survive on a vegetarian diet.
    The remains of diatoms, algae with hard shells, are used in making pet litter, cosmetics, pool filters and tooth polish.
    When a queen bee lays the fertilized eggs that will develop into new queens,only one of the newly laid queens actually survives. The first new queen that emerges from her cell destroys all other queens in their cells and, thereafter, reigns alone.
    The cat was domesticated over 4,000 years ago. Today's house cats are descended from wildcats in Africa and Europe.
    Many fish can change sex during the course of their lives. Others,especially rare deep-sea fish, have both male and female sex organs.
    Cats step with both left legs, then both right legs when they walk or run.The only other animals to do this are the giraffe and the camel.
    The stuff (allergens) that people are allergic to in cats is a protein in cat saliva. When the cat grooms and the saliva dries it can become airborn. This protein is 1/3 the weight of ordinary house dust, so it can travel farther. You can find this allergen where cats have never been.
    An adult lion's roar can be heard up to five miles away, and warns off intruders or reunites scattered members of the pride.
    The oar fish, Regalecus glesne, is the longest bony fish in the world. With its snakelike body_sporting a magnificent red fin along its 50-foot length_horselike face and blue gills, it accounts for many sea-serpent sightings.
    Camel milk does not curdle.
    Australian termites have been known to build mounds twenty feet high and at least 100 feet wide.
    The first house rats recorded in America appeared in Boston in 1775.
    A father sea catfish keeps the eggs of his young in his mouth until theyare ready to hatch. He will not eat until his young are born, which may take several weeks.
    Animal gestation periods: the shortest is the American opossum, which bears its young 12 to 13 daysafter conception; the longest is the Asiatic elephant, taking 608 days,or just over 20 months.
    A cat sees about six time better than a human at night because of the tapetum lucidum , a layer of extra reflecting cells which absorb light.
    The Pacific Giant Octopus, the largest octopus in the world, grows from the size of pea to a 150 pound behemoth potentially 30 feet across in only two years, its entire life-span.
    Horseshoe crabs have existed in essentially the same form for the past 135 million years.Their blood provides a valuable test for the toxins that cause septic shock, which previously led to half of all hospital-acquired infections and one-fifth of all hospital deaths.
    Cats respond better to women than men. One reason this might be is that women have higher pitched voices than men.
    The cat's brain needs so much energy to function that over twenty percent of blood that the heart pumps goes immediately to it.
    The male penguin incubates the single egg laid by his mate. During the two month period he does not eat, and will lose up to 40% of his bodyweight.
    A Holstein's spots are like a fingerprint or snowflake. No two cows have exactly the same pattern of spots.
    A group of herring is called a seige. A group of jelly fish is called a smack.
    The domestic cat is the only species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. Wild cats hold their tail horizontally, or tucked between their legs while walking.
    The cat gut formerly used as strings in tennis rackets and musical instruments does not come from cats. Catgut actually comes from sheep, hogs, and horses.
    Penguins "fly" underwater at up to 25 miles per hour.
    The oceans contain 99 percent of the living space on the planet.
    Both humans and cats have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion.
    According to experts, whale songs rhyme.
    Electric light or light from your TV set will make your cat shed her fur.

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