Researchers at the University of California, Davis, recently investigated levels of methylmercury in a small sampling of commercial dog foods and found good news for dog owners. Of the 24 diets tested, only three were positive for low concentrations of total mercury, and only one of those contained detectable methylmercury.
Pets help older adults cope with mental and physical health issues, according to a new national poll. But pets can also bring concerns, and some people may even put their animals' needs ahead of their own health, the poll finds. Three-quarters of pet owners aged 50 to 80 say their animals reduce their stress and give them a sense of purpose. But 18 percent also said having one puts a strain on their budget.
Dogs that receive omega-3 fatty acid supplements or have hypothyroidism may be less likely to develop T-zone lymphoma (TZL). Those are two findings from Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at Colorado State University, who studied associations of environment and health history of the disease among golden retrievers. They published their results in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
German scientists have discovered two new species of giant stick insect on Madagascar, whose males become dazzling blue or multicolored at sexual maturity. Writing in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, the researchers describe their rare and exciting findings, and wonder at the reproductive success of the least stick-like stick insects on the planet.
While information about the conservation status of the tiger gecko species is largely missing, these Asian lizards are already particularly vulnerable to extinction. A study, published in the open-access journal Nature Conservation, provides an overview of their domestic and international trade with a focus on species native to Vietnam. By providing further knowledge about the species abundance and threats for the Vietnamese Cat Ba tiger gecko, the research team urges for strict conservation measures.
Hairlessness in dogs can be the result of deliberate breeding or, in certain breeds, a defect. A recent study completed at the University of Helsinki describes a gene variant in the SGK3 gene, which causes hairlessness in Scottish deerhounds. The gene defect results in puppies born with thin fur that lose all of their hair in a few weeks. SGK3 is also a candidate for association with non-hormonal baldness in humans.
Cows always lie on their chests so that their digestion is not impaired. Rodents sometimes rest sitting down, while kangaroos sometimes lie on their backs. The larger the animal, the less often it lies down, and when it does, it is more likely to lie on its side - but there are exceptions. A team from UZH investigated the resting postures of mammals.
Elk roam the winter range that straddles the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park with little regard for wolves, according to a new study illustrating how elk can tolerate living in close proximity to the large predator.
The dramatic difference in gonad size between honey bee queens and their female workers in response to their distinct diets requires the switching on of a specific genetic program, according to a new study publishing March 21 in open-access journal PLOS Biology by Annika Roth and Martin Beye of Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf and colleagues. The finding may aid analysis of the interplay of genes and nutrition that drive caste dimorphism in honey bees.
A growing number of pet owners is interested in feeding their pets plant-based diets.