8 Stories

Study Has Bad News for Reindeer

Reindeer populations experiencing rapid decline

(Newser) - The iconic reindeer is in peril, according to a new study analyzing population trends in China. While their numbers have been in decline for decades, dropping by at least 28% since the 1970s, the rate of decline has increased dramatically since 1998, reports UPI . The study, published in the Journal ... More »

2nd Giraffe May Be Killed by Danish Zoo

Jyllands Park's Marius could be put down if the zoo finds female for breeding

(Newser) - First Marius, now ... Marius? After a young male giraffe was shot, dissected, and fed to animals at the Copenhagen Zoo on Sunday over concerns of inbreeding, a second Danish zoo says its giraffe of the same name may face a similar fate. Jyllands Park has two male giraffes, and it'... More »

Zoo Shoots, Dissects Young Giraffe—Feeds It to Lions

Copenhagen Zoo kills 'surplus' male over inbreeding, gets pretty graphic

(Newser) - The Copenhagen Zoo is facing more than a little wrath today after it put down a healthy young male giraffe with a bolt pistol and fed its meat to zoo carnivores—all over concerns about inbreeding, reports the AP . Two-year-old Marius was considered "surplus," reports the BBC , because... More »

Scientists Unravel Mystery of Albino Gorilla

In a word: inbreeding

(Newser) - Snowflake, the only known albino gorilla who was also the star attraction at the Barcelona Zoo until his death in 2003, owed his white coloring to a genetic mutation—but that's not the whole story. The eye-catching primate was a result of inbreeding, say Spanish researchers, who sequenced his... More »

Royal Family's Inbreeding Reveals Marvel of Evolution

Researchers assert natural selection went to work to root out genetic mutations

(Newser) - Scientists have been able to study the effects of inbreeding on plants and animals in detail; when it comes to humans, not so much. As Nature explains, there isn't exactly endless data on generation after generation of inbred families—with at least one notable exception. A new study published... More »

The Strange Story of the Blue People of Kentucky

How scientists figured out the story of the Fugates

(Newser) - America is home to people of all colors: White, black, and… blue? Strange but true: ABC News this week unearthed a story from 1982 about a family of blue-skinned people that once lived deep in Kentucky. The blue people first came to the fore when a baby named Benjamin Stacy... More »

Cute Dog Craze Yields Dumber, Weaker Breeds

Shift from function to fashion impairs dog brains: study

(Newser) - Humans' quest for beautiful, quirky "leash candy" is making man's best friend dumber, weaker, and more introverted, reports the Times of London. Bred less and less to be hunters, guard dogs, and herders, current breeds can do little more than look pretty, a Swedish study of dog behavior has... More »

Researchers Let the Cats Out of the Bag

Feline genes reveal lessons of past, guidance for future

(Newser) - Cats don't talk, but their genes can tell a good story, and they're revealing plenty about the animal's 10,000-year history. DNA samples from more than 1,100 cats, from fancy show breeds to wild animals from around the world, are confirming earlier discoveries as well as refuting some claims,... More »

8 Stories