Discovery Articles - PawNation

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WASHINGTON - Dogs show jealousy when their owners spend time with what appears to be another dog, suggesting that the emotion may have survivalist roots, US researchers said Wednesday. Credit: Getty Creative Scientists tested 36 dogs and their owners with an experiment in which the owners were told to play with three separate objects in front of their dog. One of the objects was a toy dog that barked and wagged its tail when a button on it was pushed. The owners were told to play with it as if it were a real dog for one minute. They were told to do the same in the next phase of the experiment with a toy jack-o-lantern pail, acting as if it were a dog and playing with it. Finally, they...

Do Animals Cry?

Rescuers of a male elephant brutally abused for 50 years in India claim that after the chains and spikes were removed from elephant Raju's legs, tears streamed down his face, but were the tears due to an emotional outburst? Credit: Getty Editorial Certain animals may weep out of sorrow, similar to human baby cries, say animal behavior experts. In this case, the tears appear to reflect Raju's astonishment and relief. VIDEO: Chimps Face Death Like Humans Do "The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue," Pooja Binepal from Wildlife SOS UK, which transferred the elephant to a sanctuary, told The Independent. "We knew in our hearts he realized he was being...

An ancient reef that once teemed with primitive sea life has been unearthed in Africa. Credit: Getty Editorial The reef, which dates to 548 million years ago, is the oldest animal-built reef ever found. RELATED: Life in Australia's Great Barrier Reef The coral-like creatures, dubbed Cloudina, may have built the superstructures to protect themselves from predators or to soak up the nutrients from ocean currents, said study co-author Rachel Wood, a geologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. (See Images of the Ancient Reef Fossils) During the Ediacaran Period, which lasted from about 635 million to 542 million years ago, all life lived in the sea, and most creatures were...

Just as humans lament not pursuing a lover or bemoan having eaten that extra slice of chocolate cake, rats may experience feelings of regret, too, new research suggests. Credit: Getty Creative When rats were given the option of visiting rooms that contained different foods, and they skipped a good deal for a worse one, they glanced back at the former room, rushed through eating the snack and were more likely to tolerate longer wait times for what they considered the more desirable food , researchers found. PHOTOS: Rate the Subway Rat Furthermore, the rats' brain activity represented the missed opportunity, suggesting the animals were, in fact, experiencing regret over their choice. (7...

Human Albino Gene Found in Dogs

Dogs and people have more in common than a love of Frisbees and long walks on the beach. A new study finds that certain dogs, just like certain humans, carry a gene mutation that causes albinism - a condition that results in little or no pigment in the eyes, skin and hair. Credit: Flickr/Dimmerswitch The study by researchers at Michigan State University identifies the exact genetic mutation that leads to albinism in Doberman Pinschers, a discovery that has eluded veterinarians and dog breeders until now. Interestingly, the same mutated gene that causes albinism in this dog breed is also associated with a form of albinism in humans. "What we found was a gene mutation that results in a...

PARIS - Three-toed sloths have a unique abdominal design -- their innards fixed to their lower ribs to avoid squashing the lungs while hanging upside down, a study said Wednesday. Credit: Getty Creative The South and Central American forest dweller, also known as the brown-throated sloth, spends a large part of its life hanging from its hind legs to reach young, tender leaves growing on the tips of branches, as well as to groom. With its slow metabolism, it may take the sloth a month to digest a single leaf, and it can store a third of its bodyweight in urine and faeces -- which it deposits about once a week. "This means that the stomach and bowel contents make up a considerable...