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

China To Train Pandas To Survive In Wild

China plans to build a center where giant pandas born in captivity will be trained to survive in the wild, state media reported Thursday.The $8.8 million (60 million yuan) center will be located in Sichuan province’s Dujiangyan city, according to Zhang Zhihe, the head of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The facility is expected to house three to five giant pandas when it is completed within five years. The center will include 21.5 acres (8.7 hectares) of an experimental zone, along with 2,800 acres (1,128 hectares) of woodlands, Zhang said.Groundbreaking for the new center starts at the end of the month, Xinhua said.

Giant pandas are among the world’s most endangered species. Some 1,600 pandas live in the wild, while more than 300 pandas are raised in captivity in China.
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Supercats That May Still Be Too Wild For A Family Home

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Supercats” closely descended from wild animals represent a danger to other pets and even small children, animal welfare groups fear. Mild-mannered moggies are increasingly being replaced by new breeds in which African or South American wildcats have been crossbred with domestic cats.Despite price-tags of up to £6,000 for new kittens, breeders report waiting lists of up to six months. The savannah, the most popular, is bred from a serval, a cheetah-like wildcat found in Africa. It can grow three times larger than a domestic cat and can jump 7ft vertically.

Another breed to have arrived in Britain is the safari, produced by mating a domestic cat with a South American Geoffroy’s Cat. There are also plans by breeders to import the caracat, descended from a caracal, a lynx-like wildcat found in the Middle East and Africa. The savannah is banned in some US states and in Australia, where there were concerns it could kill koalas.

In Britain, the “first generation” of savannah and safari cats descended from wildcats can only be kept under licence and in outdoor cages, in accordance with the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (DWAA). Subsequent generations, however, can be kept as normal pets.

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Taronga Zoo Hand-Rears A Wombat

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Just today (Australia time) the Taronga Zoo unveiled their newest baby wombat. Baby Matari will be hand-reared at the zoo. In the wild, wombat moms are professional diggers and rarely take maternity leave. For this reason they have backwards facing pouches (unlike most other marsupials) to protect their young from flying dirt and rocks.

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Baby White Rhino Born At Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

white baby-rhino

Just like you, we’re suckers for adorable baby animals, and the new baby white rhinoceros at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida, more than fits the bill. Just look at those big feet! She’s not even as big as her mama’s head!

The 100-pound (yowza!) baby was born last Wednesday, November 11, to Mlaleni and Tambo. This rhino pair’s first calf, Malaika, was born in 2004 and was the first white rhino birth in Busch Gardens’ history. The newborn female is their fourth calf and brings the park’s total black and white rhino population to a total of 12 (nine white and three black).

The baby has yet to be named, but a spokesperson for Busch Gardens tells us that this is totally normal: “Names for baby animals are traditionally chosen after they reach 30 days of age. This allows the animal care team time to see the animal’s growth and character traits.”
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Largest Wild Animal In Britain Is 300lb, 9ft Stag

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Measuring 9ft tall, weighing in at 300lbs and known as the Exmoor Emperor, this stag is thought to be the largest wild animal in Britain. The annual mating season for deer is on and the wild stag has been spotted near the Devon-Somerset border.

Weighing in at more than 300 lbs – and standing nearly nine feet from hoof to antler-tip – the stag has been identified by a local authority on wild deer as a “truly magnificent” example of the species. “Red deer stags are the biggest indigenous land animal left in these islands, so it’s possible that this is the largest wild animal in the country today,” commented Dulverton’s Peter Donnelly, who has many years’ experience in deer management.
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Super Size Meeeeeee-oooow

WILD CAT

Because having just a plain old cat won’t do, Brits are now breeding super cats.

What’s a Super Cat you ask? Take your average domestic cat, breed it with a wild exotic like a Savannah or a Geoffrey and you get a 35 lb. super-duper cat with claws, teeth and jaw muscles to match its hefty weight, reports the Daily Mail.Beyond the fact that a half-exotic could cause some serious harm to a child or small animal, you’d need a litter box the size of a sandbox!

Despite safety and litter box concerns, some breeders boast a six-month long waiting list and a price tag of almost $9,000 for a super kitten. Thankfully these cats are illegal in several U.S. states and Australia reports the Daily Mail.
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