Science Articles - PawNation

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WASHINGTON - A mild manner and a fondness for fatty treats like fish or meat scraps may have helped cats evolve into the tame yet independent-minded pets they are today, researchers said Monday. Credit: Getty Creative After that, it was people's preference for cats with certain appearances, like white paws, that played a key role in winnowing down the 38 species known today, said a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Using advanced genome sequencing technology, we were able to shed light on the genetic signatures of cats' unique biology and survival skills," said Wes Warren, associate professor of genetics at the Washington University School of...

PARIS - Brazenly, the down-covered baby penguin lookalike rolls in on four wheels for a huddle with real-life chicks, right under the noses of adult birds which seem to pay it no heed. Credit: Imgur The infiltration is for a good cause: the cute and fluffy robot is a remote-controlled spy designed by scientists wishing to monitor the skittish penguins without causing them stress. An international team tested the rover, with and without the fake chick addition, on king penguins on Possession Island in the Indian Ocean, and on Emperor penguins in Antarctica. They reported in the journal Nature Methods on Sunday that both versions caused much less alarm, measured by penguin heart rate and...

Endangered giant tortoises have staged a remarkable population comeback on Espanola Island in the Galapagos. Credit: Getty Creative A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE reports that giant tortoises on the island now number about 1,000 self-sustaining creatures, after nearly disappearing in the 1960s, when just 15 were counted. "The population is secure," said James P. Gibbs, professor of vertebrate conservation biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and lead author of the paper, in a press release. "It's a rare example of how biologists and managers can collaborate to recover a species from the brink of extinction." PHOTOS: Lonesome George and Animals...

WASHINGTON - Loss of habitat and prey are putting African lions in danger of extinction, and the majestic creatures need protection in order to save their species, the US government said Monday. Credit: Martin Pettitt/Flickr "Following a review of the best available scientific information, the US Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed listing the African lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act," the FWS said in a statement. "The agency's analysis found that lions are in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future." Such protection would allow US authorities to toughen enforcement and monitoring of imports and international trade, the FWS said. Listing an animal under...

Rare Beaked Whale Washes Up in Australia

SYDNEY - A rare beaked whale washed up in Australia Tuesday, exciting researchers who know little about an animal that spends much of its time diving at depth far from shore. Baird's Beaked Whale. Credit: Fred Hochstaedter/Flickr The three-to-four metre (10-13 feet) long whale was found dead at Redhead Beach, some 150 kilometres (93 miles) north of Sydney, with experts examining it and taking specimens before sending its head to the Australian Museum in Sydney. "It is sad but also exciting as we can learn so much more about the animal," Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia president Ronny Ling told AFP. "We don't know much about them, we rarely get to see...