Dolphin Plays With iPad — In The Name Of Science

People are still scrambling to get their hands on this year’s must-have gadget, the i Pad, but one lucky dolphin in Mexico is already a step ahead. Merlin, the 2-year-old bottlenose who resides at Dolphin Discovery’s swim facility in Puerto Aventuras, became the first of his kind to get face time – literally! – with Apple’s latest release.The dolphin has been learning to communicate and identify objects through visual cues on the iPad as part of a project led by dolphin research scientist Jack Kassewitz. Friendly and full of spirit, Merlin was the perfect pupil to test the device because “he’s fairly dominant … But he’s really playful. He likes to play,” says Kassewitz.

The Miami-based scientist, who’s studied language acquisition in dolphins for more than a decade, has worked with Merlin the past two years — ever since the dolphin planted himself in front of Kassewitz and his camera, vocalizing for more than 25 minutes. But until the iPad, Kassewitz was troubled that he could not understand what the dolphin was trying to say.

Now, by touching the screen with his rostrum (or beak), Merlin can get his point across. For one task, Merlin is charged with identifying the yellow duck within a set of pictures including a ball, flowerpot and hula-hoop. “He got proficient with that very quickly,” Kassewitz says.
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Q: Is it Dangerous for Dogs to Eat Apples?

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A: It is not dangerous for dogs to eat apples. In fact, I give my dogs an apple whenever I eat one and they love it. Apple seeds, however, contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. But do not be alarmed if your dog ingests a few apple seeds or even an entire apple — your animal would need to ingest a very large amount of seeds for it to be a danger.

In general, dogs can safely consume most fruit with the exception of grapes and raisins. Though the reasons are unknown, ingestion of grapes and raisins can cause renal damage in dogs. Note though that some dogs can eat all the grapes they want and see no negative effects while others get sick. Some reports have also shown the consumption of star fruit to be problematic for dogs. If your dogs eats any of these fruits, be sure to consult your vet to be safe.
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Healthy Fruits And Vegetables For Dogs

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* Preparation suggestions: Many veggies can be served raw, lightly steamed or in juice form. For most vegetables such as broccoli and carrots, it is far better to steam them instead of serving raw for improved digestibility and nutritional value. Also, since dogs have small digestive tracts, you can puree vegetables to enable your pet to digest more. If you use canned vegetables, get the salt-free kinds.

* Organically grown benefits: Due to their smaller size and more compact body systems, pets can be more prone to the toxic effects of pesticide contamination than are people. So it is best to feed them produce that is organically certified, which also has higher nutritional value for everyone.

* Apples (they contain potassium, which stimulates the immune system, and pepsin, which helps the stomach)
* Broccoli (rich in vitamins)
* Carrots (rich in vitamins, great treats to substitute for biscuits)
* Cabbage (rich in vitamins, good for digestive system and skin)
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