The Dingo Is Smarter Than Pet Dogs

Studies in the past have shown that wolves are smarter than domesticated dogs when it comes to solving spatial problems, and now new research has shown that dingoes also solve the problems well.The dingo is considered a “pure” prehistoric dog, which was brought to Australia tens of thousands of years ago by the Aborigines. While they have in the past been associated with humans, they have adapted to surviving “wild” in the Australian outback.

The dingo lies somewhere between the wolf, its ancient ancestor, and the domestic or pet dog, and has cognitive differences between the two. There has been little research done on dingoes, even though studies would aid in the understanding of the evolution of dogs, and it was unknown whether the dingo was more “wolf-like” or “dog-like”. Researchers in South Australia have now subjected the Australian dingo (Canis dingo) to the classic “detour task,” which has been used by previous researchers to assess the abilities of wolves (Canis lupus) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) to solve non-social, spatial problems.

The detour task involves placing a treat behind a transparent or wire mesh fence. The dog can see the food but cannot get to it directly and has to find its way along the fence and through a door and then double back to get the food. More

Snake Population On The Decline On Three Continents

Distinct populations of snake species on three continents have crashed over the last decade, raising fears that the reptiles may be in global decline, according to a study published recently.The pattern across the eight species monitored was alarmingly similar despite their geographical isolation, which points to a common cause such as climate change, the researchers said.

Other factors known to play a role include habitat loss, pollution, disease, lack of prey and over-exploitation, either for food or trade.The study showed that 11 of 17 snake populations in Britain, France, Italy, Nigeria and Australia dropped off sharply over a four-year period starting in the late 1990s.“Our data revealed an alarming trend,” the authors reported in the British Royal Society journal Biology Letters.
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'Babe' Piglet Lowrie Spared The Chop And Becomes A Facebook Hit

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A piglet called Lowrie has become a real life “Babe” and a Facebook hit after being spared the chop and adopted as a family pet in the Shetland Isles .The two week old piglet was the runt of his litter and had to be hand-reared indoors by his owner Heather Davidson, from Wester Quarff .

Lowrie has charmed his way away from the butchers as Mrs Davidson admitted she “could never eat him now”The diminutive piglet left his brothers and sisters in the pigsty and now enjoys the luxuries of Mrs Davidson’s sitting room in her croft.

The animal has now become an internet hit, garnering almost 3,000 fans on Facebook, the social networking site.
Mrs Davidson said she originally set up the Facebook fanpage for the piglet “for a laugh” so her friends could see him.
But as word of the piglet spread people signed up to the group from all over the world including Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
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Great White Sharks Now One Of The Most Endangered Creatures On Earth

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They are known as one of the deadliest creatures on Earth. But according to a shocking new study, great white sharks are also one of the most endangered. Wildlife experts say there are now fewer than 3,500 great whites left in the oceans, making them rarer than tigers.Yesterday, marine biologists called for an end to mankind’s long battle with sharks and demanded urgent action to prevent them going extinct.Great white sharks have a deserved reputation as ruthless and efficient killers, who use ambush techniques to attack fish, dolphins and seals from below.
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Frog Thought To Have Been Extinct For 30 Years Discovered In Australia

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A species of frog thought to have been extinct for 30 years has been discovered in rural Australian farmland. Frank Sartor, minister for environment and climate change, said the discovery of the yellow-spotted bell frog is a reminder of the need to protect natural habitats so “future generations can enjoy the noise and colour of our native animals.”

Luke Pearce, a local fisheries conservation officer, stumbled across one of the frogs in October 2008 while researching an endangered fish species in the southern Tablelands of New South Wales state. Mr Pearce said he had been walking along a stream trying to catch a southern pygmy perch when he spotted the frog next to the water.

Mr Pearce returned in the same season in 2009 with experts who confirmed it was a colony of around 100 yellow-spotted bell frogs.Dave Hunter, threatened species officer with the Department of Climate Change and Water, said the find is very important.
“To have found this species that hasn’t been seen for 30 years and that professional researchers thought was extinct is great,” he said. “It gives us a lot of hope that a lot of other species that we thought were extinct aren’t actually extinct – we just haven’t found them.”
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ITV Fined £1,600 For Cruelty Over 'Rat Risotto'

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ITV has been fined £1,670 for cruelty to animals over an episode of “I’m A Celebrity.. ” which saw contestants kill and eat a rat, a spokesman said on Monday.The broadcaster was taken to court by the RSPCA in Australia in December after two of the reality show contestants caught a rat and killed it in a bid to feed their starving team mates.

Celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo and soap star Stuart Manning were both charged with animal cruelty after the stunt in which the creature was served up with rice and beans.D’Acampo, who went on to win the show, said: “I saw one of these rats running around. I got a knife, I got its throat, I picked it up.”The RSPCA said that killing a rat as part of a TV stunt was “not acceptable”.
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ITV Fined £1,600 For Cruelty Over 'Rat Risotto'

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ITV has been fined £1,670 for cruelty to animals over an episode of “I’m A Celebrity.. ” which saw contestants kill and eat a rat, a spokesman said on Monday.The broadcaster was taken to court by the RSPCA in Australia in December after two of the reality show contestants caught a rat and killed it in a bid to feed their starving team mates.

Celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo and soap star Stuart Manning were both charged with animal cruelty after the stunt in which the creature was served up with rice and beans.D’Acampo, who went on to win the show, said: “I saw one of these rats running around. I got a knife, I got its throat, I picked it up.”The RSPCA said that killing a rat as part of a TV stunt was “not acceptable”.
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The Golden Tabby Tiger

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The golden tiger has its white coat and gold patches due to an extremely rare colourvariation 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.

A golden tabby tiger is one with an extremely rare color variation caused by a recessive gene and is currently only found in captive tigers. Like the white tiger, it is a color form and not a separate species. In the case of the golden tiger, this is the wide band gene; while the white tiger is due to the color inhibitor (chinchilla) gene. There are currently believed to be fewer than 30 of these rare tigers in the world, but many more carriers of the gene.
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New Mommy Chihuahua Adopts Orphaned Kittens

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You might think Tinkerbell the tiny chihuahua is busy enough looking after her own brood of four puppies, let alone three kittens.But Tinkerbell, who is barely 10 inches high, has not only let the moggies on her turf, she has accepted them as her own and is happy to feed the cold and hungry newborns.

She went into labour last week and had a caesarean birth at the Hobart Animal Hospital in Australia.While her owner Angie Reynolds was at the chihuahua’s bedside, a man brought in three orphaned kittens.After learning that the kittens would most likely be put down, Ms Reynolds decided to take them home and hand-rear them until they were ready to go to new homes.

When she introduced the kittens to Tinkerbell it was puppy love at first sight.’Not only has Tinkerbell accepted them, she cleans and snuggles the kittens and gets frantic if I pick one up,’ Ms Reynolds said.


(source)

Cosmetic Surgery For Pooches …..Oh Yaa

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Remember when your Aunt got a little nip/tuck done on her face in hopes of snagging that nice man at the party ? Sometimes, getting a little work done really is necessary, and there’s no better example of that than Roland, an abandoned shar pei in Australia.

You see, Roland’s wrinkles actually caused his eyelashes to turn inward and scratch his eyes, a condition called entropion which can cause blindness, reports the Sydney Daily Telegraph. This is not an uncommon problem for the breed, but, fortunately, there’s a fix — a full face lift and double eye lift at a cost of nearly $1,000, which is exactly what the RSPCA did for the wrinkly canine.

Now, Roland is considerably more adoptable because potential owners aren’t facing that major financial burden upon taking the pup home, RSPCA chief vet Magdoline Awad tells the Telegraph. Paws crossed, this means Roland’s tail, erm, tale, will have a happy ending!


(source)

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