Puzzling Mice – City mice are better problem solvers

What’s your strategy for completing a jigsaw puzzle? Puzzles and games require problem solving and strategy. Animals also need to problem-solve to overcome challenges in their environment, but it’s not all fun and games for them. Human disturbance and constant change in cities can make for really challenging conditions for city animals, such as mice. City and county striped field mice will have to prove their problem-solving wit by sliding, lifting, carrying, and digging their way through eight obstacles.

Read more

Cats and Dogs: Canine Distemper Virus and the Endangered Amur Tiger

Canine Distemper Virus, commonly found in domesticated dogs, in increasingly common in Amur tigers, which are the least numerous of the major tiger subspecies. Recent research challenges long-held ideas about CDV transmission, and present new strategies to counteract CDVs deadly effects on endangered Amur tigers.

Read more

Cat-agorizing Cat Owners to Reduce Environmental Harm caused by Domestic House Cats

According to conservationists, domestic cats belong indoors for their safety and the safety of other animals. But, some cat owners disagree, causing rifts between pro-outdoor and pro-indoor cat parents. In a new study, researchers interviewed cat owners across the United Kingdom and cat-agorized cat owners into six distinct groups. Depending on the cat owner’s views , conservationists may have a larger impact if they target their message towards the emotional connection owners have with their feline friends.

Read more

Stop Copying Me! – Spiders that buzz like wasps

Buzzzzzz. It’s a wasp. It’s a bee. No, it’s a spider! Did you know that some spiders can make a sound? Palpimanus spiders can produce a wasp-like buzz by rubbing their front appendages against their mouthparts. Many animals have learned not to eat anything that buzzes for fear of being stung. To avoid being eaten, Palpimanus spiders have copied this sound even though they are entirely harmless. Stop by to find out what all of the spider buzz is about!

Read more

Clues to the Past – What fossils tell us about ancient animal behavior

Hundreds of millions of years ago, Earth was teeming with life. Since humans weren’t around back then, we have to rely on fossils for snapshots into that world. Fossils give clues on how animals and their behaviors have evolved throughout geological time and can help with today’s conservation efforts. But what can fossils tell us about animal behavior, and when were some of the earliest behaviors? That’s a mystery worth digging into!

Read more

Can a meme save a species?

Memes are everywhere. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; the world of social media is bursting with amusing images embellished with a witty caption. Memes stay on the pulse of changing cultures and reflect social ideas and current events. But can they also help encourage the protection of species that don’t commonly garner media headlines?

Read more

Bats Can Chat! Bats use echolocation to identify group members

Halloween has passed, but we can still have fun talking about bats! Bats use echolocation to find food, but could there be more hiding in these calls? Social bats search for prey together to reduce the time and energy it takes to find food. Besides, teamwork makes the dream work! Bats need to identify group members to know who is searching and where they have been. Echolocation calls are distinct between individuals allowing bats to discriminate among groupmates.

Read more

Does wearing a face mask make humans less scary to tree sparrows?

Environmental conditions can change quite quickly. In this case, due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 we’ve all been wearing masks when we venture outside. How might this sudden change in our appearance affect animals that frequently live amongst us? Find out how Eurasian tree sparrows responded to wearing masks in two provinces of Sichuan, China.

Read more