animals

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Study Answers Age-Old Question: Are Dogs or Cats Smarter?

Dogs win, at least in cortical neurons, say researchers

(Newser) - It's not likely to be the last word on the subject, but researchers at Vanderbilt University have come up with an answer to the age-old question of whether dogs or cats are smarter. And it's a win for dog lovers. Study author Suzana Herculano-Houzel explains neurons in the... More »

Crab Is Seen Hunting a Bird in 'Gruesome' First

Coconut crabs were previously thought to be scavengers

(Newser) - Seabirds apparently have a surprising new predator to worry about. A researcher who worked on the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean in 2016 says he witnessed a large coconut crab attack a sleeping seabird, which then became dinner. Mark Laidre of Dartmouth College says he first spotted a crab... More »

It Was a Wolf-Sized Otter, but With Jaws Like a Bear

Modern otters wouldn't stand a chance against Siamogale melilutra

(Newser) - Modern-day sea otters would prove no match for their 6-million-year-old, wolf-sized ancestors , who didn't need rocks to smash open mollusks. They could do that, and perhaps rip into tougher and larger prey, with a single bite from surprisingly powerful jaws, according to new research. In the latest study of... More »

Baby Dolphin Dies After People Can't Stop Touching It

It was dead by the time a rescue group arrived

(Newser) - A baby dolphin that beached itself on the shores of Mojacar in southeastern Spain was quickly surrounded by a mob of curious beachgoers, many out for a good selfie, reports Newsweek . The calf was likely sick or had become separated from its mother, and someone called the local emergency number.... More »

Fishermen Threw Away a 'One-in-a-Billion' Catch

Conjoined twin porpoises found for first time

(Newser) - In all the time humans have been exploring the ocean, there have until now been just nine recorded sightings of conjoined aquatic mammals. That's only partly why the Washington Post calls a recent catch in the North Sea "a one-in-a-billion discovery." Dutch trawlers on May 30 discovered... More »

There's a Simple Reason Blue Whales Got So Huge

They pigged out on fish: study

(Newser) - Scientists think they've figured out why the biggest whales—those of the baleen variety, including blue whales—got so big. As they explain in a study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B , the researchers found that these behemoths didn't really become behemoths until about 4.5 million... More »

Lawmaker Ruffled by Duck Ramp Told to 'Duck Off'

Rep. Mark Walker's complaint about government waste wasn't well received

(Newser) - The president of a non-profit that helps animals in Washington, DC, calls it a lifesaving measure. Rep. Mark Walker calls it a waste of government funds. Such is the debate raging over a simple duck ramp installed by government officials at the Capitol Reflecting Pool, which is drawing quite a... More »

It Looked Like a Trash Bag, but Was More Like a Miracle

Blind labrador retriever, 12, missing week in mountains is found

(Newser) - She is old, blind, and was lost for a week in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but the labrador retriever Sage has been found and reunited with her family. Sage, 12, who lost her sight to glaucoma, was mistakenly left outside on the night of Feb. 24 and wandered into woods... More »

Euthanasia Chemical Found in Dog Food

Evanger's recalls Hunk of Beef Au Jus product

(Newser) - Pet food maker Evanger's is recalling some of its dog food because it may contain a chemical used in the euthanization of animals, as well as in lethal injection. The chemical, pentobarbital , can cause dizziness, nausea, and death, and was detected in a single lot of Evanger's Hunk... More »

Vet Couldn't Bear to Kill Them, but Couldn't Bear Not To

Taiwanese veterinarian kills herself with animal euthanasia drug; a year later, a law

(Newser) - The BBC notes that Chien Chih-cheng may have been "in the wrong job at the wrong time." That might be debatable, but what isn't is the fact that the Taiwanese veterinarian and animal lover met an awful fate last May when she killed herself, using the drug... More »

Meet the Marten That Shut Down the Hadron Collider

You'll find him in Rotterdam's unique 'Dead Animal Tales' exhibit

(Newser) - The Large Hadron Collider facilitated the discovery of the Higgs boson , but it's not yet immune to animal troubles. Following a similar incident last April, a stone marten jumped a fence at the $7 billion site in Switzerland on Nov. 20 and came into contact with a transformer, causing... More »

300K Plead for Closure of 'Soul-Destroying' Zoo

Bandung Zoo maintains its animals have enough to eat

(Newser) - Video shot at Indonesia's Bandung Zoo in May shows sun bears begging for food , their ribs visible, though the zoo says thin bears aren't necessarily unhealthy. Another bear was filmed apparently consuming its own feces in what one expert says may signal "extreme boredom"; Gabriella Fredriksson of... More »

'Apocalypse': Tenn. Wildfires Force Aquarium to Leave 10K Animals

Flames threaten Ripley's, Dollywood as much-needed rain finally falls

(Newser) - One of at least 14 wildfires raging in Gatlinburg, Tenn., is threatening thousands of animals at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Flames engulfed at least 30 buildings in the area late Monday—including a 16-story hotel outside the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge—leading aquarium employees to be... More »

Man on Trial After Escaped Python Killed 2 Boys as They Slept

African rock python escaped, asphyxiated 2 young boys at sleepover

(Newser) - A Canadian man is facing trial three years after an exotic python escaped from its enclosure and killed two young boys sleeping in his apartment. Jean-Claude Savoie, 39, faces one charge of criminal negligence causing death, the CBC reports. The charge stems from the 2013 deaths of Connor Barthe, 6,... More »

Pet Pot: Medical Marijuana Finds a Market With Furkids

Sick pets are said to be benefiting from it

(Newser) - As medical marijuana becomes more accepted within American society, some people are starting to experiment with using the drug to medicate their sick pets—and they're seeing surprising results, reports the New York Times in a look at the trend. Although the FDA says there's no proof marijuana... More »

2 Activists Free Penguin, May Have Doomed Him

Park officials in South African say Buddy won't survive in the wild

(Newser) - Two South African students may have gotten in over their heads when they "liberated" a penguin from a South African marine park, the BBC reports. Surveillance video showed two still-unidentified students breaking into the enclosure at Bayworld marine park, grabbing the penguin, and driving it to the nearby shoreline,... More »

Grumpy Cat? There May Be an Easy Fix

Food puzzles make cats less needy, more active: study

(Newser) - Cat owners, prepare to be stunned: A new study suggests your cat isn't really a crabby jerk—he's just bored. And there may be a simple way to improve his mood, even his health: challenge him. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley say food puzzles—think... More »

First Mass Extinction Likely Caused by 'Utterly Weird' Animals

Animals shaped like 'Frisbees and lumpy mattresses' may have killed early Ediacarans

(Newser) - New fossil evidence dug up in Namibia lends credence to the theory that we should blame "ecosystem engineers" for the world's first mass extinction, and that's not a euphemism for man, asteroids, or aliens. Instead, per a Vanderbilt University study published in the October issue of the... More »

Your Fish Might Recognize You

Archerfish shown to distinguish between human faces

(Newser) - Be careful who you call "fishbrain." The insult might actually be a compliment, based on a new study in Scientific Reports . For the first time, scientists have discovered that a species of fish can distinguish between human faces—something once thought possible only among primates with large, complex... More »

America Is Getting Another National Animal

Bald eagles, make way for the bison

(Newser) - The bald eagle's 234-year reign as the sole symbolic animal of the US is about to come to an end. The National Bison Legacy Act passed by Congress—and expected to pass the Senate next week, per CNN —denotes the bison as America's national mammal and a... More »

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