Posts Tagged ‘Mammals’

Cat Adoption: Summer-time is Prime-time

Posted by admin on August 7, 2012  |   No Comments »

The Oregon Humane Society (OHS), like most shelters, faces a huge influx of young cats each spring and summer. “August is the height of kitten season,” according to shelter spokesperson David Lytle.  “Because of this, OHS, during August, offers two cats for a single adoption fee. The regular $55.00 adoption fee includes spaying, first round of vaccinations, an  identifying microchip, a collar and ID tag, a free first vet exam, and one free month of health insurance.

Tiva
Credit: Oregon Humane Society

Tiva, a four-year-old domestic shorthair is one of the adoptable cats at  OHS.  This svelte 8-pound kitty is a funny, playful eye-catcher. Although she loves to snuggle and cuddle, shelter behavioral specialists caution that Tiva needs a home with older children, as she does enjoy some quiet time.

Petfinder.com, a website that directs potential adoptive families to animals available from local shelters,  also provides information on  finding the right cat to adopt. Petfinder’s advice is to consider an older cat. While kittens are adorable, their care requires an extraordinary amount of time. In addition, older cats have well-formed personalities and have reached their adult size, giving you a look at your cat’s personality as he or she will likely be day-to-day. A young adult, like Tiva, is often a very good choice and has a long life ahead of her.

During August, your OHS adoption fee also includes a second cat at no additional cost. OHS  always encourages people to adopt two cats. “Felines crave attention and stimulation, so when left alone they can be naughty,” says Lytle. “If you adopt a pair of cats that are compatible, they’ll keep each other entertained and out of trouble.” Petfinder’s library of articles emphasizes the importance of having space to adopt two cats and ensuring that the two felines are compatible. Reviewing these articles, you’ll learn more about cats, whether you’re a beginner or a veteran.

Adopting the right cat for you.

 

If you feel you need to justify your adoption, consider this: Pet companionship is a powerful force for comfort and stability in a world that seems a bit upside down.  Studies show that the simple act of petting your devoted companion lowers your blood pressure and stress hormones.

The Mayo Clinic on pets and health.

 

Why Elephants Have Trunks

Posted by admin on June 1, 2012  |   No Comments »
Packy’s huge trunk. Credit: Oregon Zoo

Packy’s huge trunk. Credit: Oregon Zoo

Evolving larger takes ten times more generations than becoming smaller, according to research published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Biologists estimate elephant-sized mammal requires 10 million generations to evolve from rabbit-sized one.

This new research adds to our knowledge about why elephants have trunks. While children’s stories offer different explanations, scientists remain firm in their conviction that elephants evolved from much smaller animals possibly with smaller trunks—similar to a tapir.

Trunks evolved to stay in contact with ground

As the elephant ancestors’ size increased, their trunks evolved to stay in contact with the ground. In a 10-13 foot tall animal, either the neck has to be long enough to, or there needs to be another approach. Because elephants’ teeth and jaws became massive to be equal to the task of grinding the branches and thorns of acacia trees, their heads were too heavy to be supported by anything but a short, thick neck.

Snorkel?

An alternative theory, still under consideration and awaiting more study of fossil evidence, is that elephants may be related to manatees and dugongs. In other words, a common ancestor of manatees and elephants could have used a trunk as a snorkel.

From 55 million years of evolutionary data, we know that two or three species remain of the 164 elephant relations that lived in the past. The extinct forms ranged from deserts to mountaintops, on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. What scientists are looking through the fossil record for is more information on how and when elephants developed their infrasonic call. Most of this research is based on inferences from comparisons of extinct” proboscidean”  structures and our living elephant forms.
p>From 55 million years of evolutionary data, we know that two or three species remain of the 164 elephant relations that lived in the past. The extinct forms ranged from deserts to mountaintops, on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. What scientists are looking through the fossil record for is more information on how and when elephants developed their infrasonic call. Most of this research is based on inferences from comparisons of extinct” proboscidean”  structures and our living elephant forms.

Riddle
Why do elephants have trunks?…..They have too much luggage for a glove compartment!

Video: Ram Rumble

Posted by admin on June 1, 2012  |   No Comments »

You may have seen rams butting heads in cartoons, but here’s the real deal: these big-horned sheep battle for mating rights with 40-lb. horns.  Watch the video from National Geographic below.

Family Dogs Mean More Active Children

Posted by admin on May 25, 2012  |   No Comments »

Having a dog can increase a child’s activity rates and decrease the odds of childhood obesity, according to recent studies.  Furthermore, a canine companion can mean “11 minutes less (562 altogether) in sedentary behaviour each day [and] 360 more steps”.  Read about how these small steps make the difference here.

YMCA to Offer Workouts with Your Dog

Posted by admin on May 25, 2012  |   No Comments »

The Power of Pets program is coming soon to select cities in the US, and will encourage people and their pets to benefit from physical activity through walking challenges, obstacle courses, and ‘doga’ (that’s yoga with your pet pooch).  Gear up for it by checking out our Pets and Steps program!

Nervous Dogs and Thunder

Posted by admin on May 25, 2012  |   No Comments »

Just in time for the Fourth of July: A study recently showed that holding or comforting a dog during loud noises such as a thunderstorm does not relieve their anxiety, although the company of other dogs may do the trick.  Read about pet panic here.

Costumed Scientists Release Pandas

Posted by admin on May 25, 2012  |   No Comments »

Eager to keep captivity-bred pandas as wild as possible, scientists at China’s Wolong Giant Panda Reserve Center have taken to dressing themselves up as giant pandas during interactions with the soon-to-be-released cubs.  Their goal is to prevent any exposure to humans and allow the pandas to survive as long as possible on their own.  See the pictures here.