The World’s Rarest Cats

The 21st century is marked not only by new technologies but also by an ever growing number of extinct and endangered animals. Apart from the extinct animals we will never see, these rare felines are so few since they are either threatened by loss of habitat or they have suffered from rare color mutation. Take a look at the rarest animals in the world!

The Maltese Tiger

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The Blue tiger was reported mostly from the Fujian Province of China, being characterized by a bluish fur with dark stripes. The Maltese tigers have been reported as a subspecies of the South Chinese tiger, that is critically endangered. A blue tiger cub was born in 1964, in the Oklahoma Zoo, but died in its infancy. There are no blue tigers in zoos or private collections, and no known blue tiger pelts.

The Golden Tabby Tiger
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The golden tiger has its white coat and gold patches due to an extremely rare colour variation caused by a recessive gene. Around 30 tigers are believed to exist in the world but many more are carriers of the gene. Records of the golden or strawberry tiger date back to the 1900s, in India. The first golden tiger cub born in captivity was in 1983 and this came from standard colored Bengal tigers.
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Cat Owners More Educated Than Dog Owners

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Cats have long been thought to be cleverer than dogs – and now it seems the same is true of their owners. People with cats are more likely to have university degrees than those with dogs, according to a scientific survey of pet ownership.The study also revealed that the combined cat and dog population of Britain is more than 20.8 million – 50 per cent higher than previously thought. Researchers at the University of Bristol say that the superior intelligence of cat owners is unlikely to be caused by their exposure to the famously cunning and selfish pets.

Rather, more educated people tend to work longer hours and choose a pet to fit their lifestyles. Unlike dogs, cats require no walking and can manage with little human company.Dr Jane Murray, Cats Protection Lecturer in Feline Epidemiology, who led the study, said: “We don’t think it is associated with income because that was one of the variables we looked at, and there was little difference.

“Cats require less time per day than a dog, so they are more popular with educated people who work late and have long commutes.”Homes with degree-holders were 1.36 times more likely to have a cat than other households. The same homes were less likely to have a dog than households where no-one went to university.
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Man Operated On His Own Dog Because Vet Too Expensive

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A man who claimed he could not afford medical care for his dog has been charged with illegally operating on the pet. Alan MacQuattie, from Barrington, in the north-eastern state of Rhode Island, removed a cyst from the leg of his 14-year-old yellow labrador-mix .But professional veterinarians had to operate again after an infection developed following the first surgery.

E.J. Finocchio, a veterinarian and president of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, called the surgery a “heinous crime”.Court records show that Mr MacQuattie pleaded no contest last week to misdemeanour charges of animal cruelty and unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine.But he told television station WPRI, which first reported on the surgery, that he did not think there was anything cruel about what he had done.

(source)

Monarch Butterflies Reveal A Novel Way In Which Animals Sense Earth’s Magnetic Field

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Building on prior investigation into the biological mechanisms through which monarch butterflies are able to migrate up to 2,000 miles from eastern North America to a particular forest in Mexico each year, neurobiologists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have linked two related photoreceptor proteins found in butterflies to animal navigation using the Earth’s magnetic field.

The work by Steven Reppert, MD, professor and chair of neurobiology at UMMS; Robert Gegear, PhD, research assistant professor of neurobiology; Lauren Foley, BS; and Amy Casselman, PhD, was recently described in the journal Nature.

The research team used fruit flies engineered to lack their own Cryptochrome (Cry1) molecule, a UV/blue-light photoreceptor already known to be involved in the insects’ light-dependent magnetic sense. By inserting into those deficient flies butterfly Cry1, a homolog of the fly protein, or the related butterfly protein Cry2, the researchers found that either form can restore the flies’ magnetic sense in a light-dependent manner, illustrating a role for both Cry types in magnetoreception. “Because the butterfly Cry2 protein is closely related to the one in vertebrates, like that found in birds which use the Earth’s magnetic field to aid migration,” states Dr. Reppert, “the finding provides the first genetic evidence that a vertebrate-like Cry can function as a magnetoreceptor.”
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