Animal Life news stories

Mussel gloop can be used to make wounds knit without any scars
17th May 2017 | newscientist.com | Animal Life, Tech

The humble mussel could soon help us prevent scarring. A sticky substance naturally secreted by the marine animal is one element of a glue that closes skin wounds seamlessly in rats. The glue could be used to prevent unsightly scars after accidental cuts or surgical operations.

Rare White Wolf Killed in Yellowstone Park Was Shot Illegally
17th May 2017 | nytimes.com | Animal Life

She was the only white wolf living in the park, though there had been two others before her. She was 12 years old when she was killed, twice the average age of wolves in Yellowstone.

Polar bears shift from seals to bird eggs as Arctic ice melts
17th May 2017 | newscientist.com | Animal Life

Polar bears are ditching seafood in favour of scrambled eggs, as the heat rises in the Arctic melting the sea ice. A changing coastline has made it harder for the predators to catch the seals they favour and is pushing them towards poaching goose eggs.


Related: Never Before Seen: Deer Spotted Eating Human Bones

Long lost monitor lizard ‘re-discovered’ on Papua New Guinean island
14th May 2017 phys.org | Animal Life

Scientists have recently found and re-described a monitor lizard species from the island of New Ireland in northern Papua New Guinea. It is the only large-growing animal endemic to the island that has survived until modern times


Related: Three new sub-species of snow leopard discovered

Natural disasters pose grave threat to planet’s last Javan rhinos
14th May 2017 phys.org | Animal Life

The world’s only population of Javan rhinoceros, already under severe threat from poaching, could go extinct in the future due to natural disasters, including volcanic eruptions and tsunamis

Lions face same threats as extinct Ice Age cats – study
14th May 2017 | bbc.com | Animal Life

Two big cats – the African lion and the Sunda clouded leopard – are most at risk from extinction caused by loss of prey, according to a new analysis.

Pet dogs help kids feel less stressed
13th May 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Animal Life, Humans

Pet dogs provide valuable social support for kids when they’re stressed, according to a study by researchers, who were among the first to document stress-buffering effects of pets for children.

Can a ‘Poop Transplant’ Change Your Weight?
13th May 2017 | livescience.com | Animal Life, Humans

Studies in mice have garnered attention for a remarkable result: When the feces of one mouse was transplanted to another mouse, the recipient mouse either gained or lost weight.

But can these transplants — which doctors call “fecal microbiota transplantations,” or FMTs, and which everyone else calls “poop transplants” — have the same effects in humans?

Cancer cells shown to co-opt DNA ‘repair crew’
12th May 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Animal Life, Humans

In experiments with human colon cancer cells and mice, a team led by scientists say they have evidence that cancer arises when a normal part of cells’ machinery generally used to repair DNA damage is diverted from its usual task.

Bumblebees: Pesticide ‘reduces queen egg development’
12th May 2017 | bbc.com | Animal Life

Use of a common pesticide in spring could have an impact on wild bumblebees by interfering with their life cycle, a UK study suggests.

The team, who looked at wild bumblebees caught in the English countryside, say the insecticide, thiamethoxam, reduces egg development in queen bees.

The Language of Dolphins Could Be Translated by 2021
11th May 2017 futurism.com | Animal Life, Tech

Swedish startup Gavagai AB, a language technology company, will be using its AI capabilities to decipher the language of dolphins.

This latest application of AI will have implications for zoology, business, and maybe even space exploration.

Wild dolphins’ immune systems are failing because of ocean pollution
11th May 2017 | ibtimes.co.uk | Animal Life

Waste and contamination in the oceans is piling pressure on dolphins’ immune systems, the first study comparing the immune health of wild and captive dolphins finds.

France bans captive breeding of dolphins and killer whales
11th May 2017 | bbc.com | Animal Life

France has banned the breeding in captivity of dolphins and killer whales, in a move hailed by campaigners as a major victory.

The government also banned the keeping of all whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity, except for orcas and bottlenose dolphins already held.

Are These Birds Too Sexy to Survive?
11th May 2017 | nytimes.com | Animal Life

In a mossy forest in the western Andes of Ecuador, a small, cocoa-brown bird with a red crown sings from a slim perch. Bip-Bip-WANNGG! It sounds like feedback from an elfin electric guitar.

This is an evolutionary innovation — a whole new way to sing. But the evolutionary mechanism behind this novelty is not adaptation by natural selection, in which only those who survive pass on their genes, allowing the species to become better adapted to its environment over time. Rather, it is sexual selection by mate choice


Related: Heroin chick: Vancouver pigeon uses syringes left behind by drug addicts to build a nest for its eggs in startling image posted by a police officer
Related: Birds choose their neighbours based on personality

A Grand Unified Theory of Pooping
11th May 2017 | smithsonianmag.com | Animal Life

The ancient Chinese practiced copromancy, the diagnosis of health based on the shape, size and texture of feces. So did the Egyptians, the Greeks and nearly every ancient culture. Even today, your doctor may ask when you last had a bowel movement and to describe it in exquisite detail.

How dog DNA could be used to improve the health of our pets — and us
11th May 2017 | theverge.com | Animal Life

Hundreds of different dog breeds exist today — one for everyone’s taste. I love big dogs like German Shepherds and Goldendoodles, but I’m not a big fan of Chihuahuas and Shih Tzus. But where did all these breeds come from in the first place? How were they created and when? A new study tries to answer all these questions.


Related: Researchers map the evolution of dog breeds
Related: Human Emotions Found Contagious In Dogs: Pups Can Read Human Faces Via Emotional Intelligence

Denmark Now Has A Wild Wolf Pack Again — For The First Time In 200 Years
11th May 2017 | npr.org | Animal Life

It’s been an awfully long time since a wolf pack has called Denmark home — roughly two centuries, in fact.

“Wolves were exterminated in Denmark because of intense persecution

News stories covering Animal Science, bacterial life, DNA.