Based on digital endocranial cast models the canine brain does not increase proportionally with body size. Researchers at ELTE Eötvös Loránd and Kaposvár University in Hungary reconstructed the surface morphology of 28 canine brains, including various dog breeds, wolves, coyotes, and jackals. The shortening of the facial skeleton greatly influences the ratio of certain brain regions, primarily the olfactory bulb and the frontal lobe. These changes might have profound implications for olfactory and problem-solving abilities.
A new and improved cat genome developed by the feline research teams at the University of Missouri and Texas A&M University has already proven to be a valuable tool for feline biomedical research by helping to confirm existing gene variants and new candidate genes underlying diseases in cats. The new findings are published October 22nd in PLOS Genetics.
Cows enjoy the sound of a human voice -- but are more relaxed by a face-to-face chat than when listening to a recorded voice through a loudspeaker. "Live" talking can be used to improve relationships between cattle and humans, therefore benefiting the animals' welfare.
One key feature of the dog's success is that they show attachment towards their owners. The origin of the ability to form these interspecific bonds is still unclear. It is widely accepted that the common ancestor of the dog and the grey wolf probably was a highly social species, that had an important role during domestication. By studying the dog's closest living relative, the grey wolf, we can have an insight how early domestication process of the dog was affected.
Dogs' personality changes over time, but these changes occur unevenly during the dogs' life, and each trait follows a distinct age trajectory. Researchers investigated the personality of 217 Border collies across a wide age range (from 6 months to 15 years) using a comprehensive test battery known as the Vienna Dog Personality Test (VIDOPET). The researchers also invited the owners and the dogs back to the lab four years later, and tested 37 subjects again.
A team of psychologists at the Universities of Sussex and Portsmouth have discovered a way for humans to bond with cats.
Researchers discovered striking similarities and differences in how dog and human brains process visual information about others. Faces are central to visual communication in humans, who possess a dedicated neural network for face processing. Although dogs also pay attention to faces, excel at eye contact and at reading facial emotion, they also rely on additional bodily signals to communicate. Are dog brains specialized for face processing like human brains?
Even though dogs gaze into man's eyes, dog brains may not process faces as human brains do. A new study from JNeurosci suggests that the canine visual system is organized differently: the face network found in primates may not extend to all mammals.
Brazilian researchers discover that caecilians, limbless amphibians resembling worms or snakes that emerged some 150 million years before the latter, can probably inject venom into their prey while biting.
European wildcats, thought to be extinct 50 years ago in the Jura mountains, have since recolonised part of their former territory. This resurgence in an area occupied by domestic cats has gone hand-in-hand with genetic crosses between the two species. A team of biologists from the University of Geneva modelled the interactions between the two species and predict that hybridisation will entail the irreversible genetic replacement of wildcats.