Discovery Articles - Page 2 - PawNation

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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 Th...

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 miss...

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 proporti...

The paw prints and hoof prints of a few meddlesome animals have been preserved for posterity on ancient Roman tiles recently discovered by archaeologists in England. Credit: Getty Editorial "They are beautiful finds, as they represent a snapshot, a single moment in history," said Nick Daffern, a senior project manager with Wardell Armstrong Archaeology. "It is lovely to imagine some irate person chasing a dog or some other animal away from their freshly made tiles." The artifacts, which could be nearly 2,000 years old, were found in the Blackfriars area of Leicester, the English city where the long-lost bones of King Richard III were discovered under a parking lot in 2012. Wardell Armstro...

Why Zebras Have Stripes

PARIS - Zebras have stripes to deter the tsetse and other blood-sucking flies, according to a fresh bid to settle a debate that has raged among biologists for over 140 years. Credit: Thinkstock Since the 1870s, in a dispute sparked by the founders of evolutionary theory Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, scientists have squabbled over how the zebra got its trademark look. Are its stripes for camouflage, protecting the zebra with a "motion dazzle confusion effect" against hyenas, lions and other predators in the savannah? Do the stripes radiate heat to keep the zebra cool? Or do they have a social role -- for group identity, perhaps, or mating? But a new study, published in the j...

Meet the "Chicken from Hell," a recently identified bird-like dinosaur that roamed the Dakotas with T. rex 66 million years ago. Credit: Associated Press The beaked dinosaur, Anzu wyliei, is described in the latest issue of the journal PLoS ONE. The dino was tall, measured 11.5 feet long, weighed 500 pounds and had very sharp claws. RELATED: Dinosaur Feathers Found in Amber "It was a giant raptor, but with a chicken-like head and presumably feathers," co-author Emma Schachner of the University of Utah, said in a press release. "The animal stood about 10 feet tall, so it would be scary as well as absurd to encounter." Lead author Matt Lamanna of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History add...