Scientists report that ring-tailed lemurs respond more strongly to the scents and sounds of female lemurs when the scent they smell and the voice they hear belong to the same female -- even when she's nowhere in sight. Linking a particular female's call with her unique aroma gives the lemurs a way to figure out if she is nearby, since the scents tend to linger.
Dog ownership decisions in families of children with autism have been studied in a new project. Researchers have found, regardless of whether they owned dogs, the parents of these children reported the benefits of dog ownership included companionship, stress relief and opportunities for their children to learn responsibility.
Hybridization of wolves with shepherd dogs in the Caucasus region might be more common, and more recent, than previously thought, according to new research. Scientists found recent hybrid ancestry in about ten percent of the dogs and wolves sampled. About two to three percent of the sampled wolves and dogs were identified as first-generation hybrids.
While many people have an opinion on whether animals can help to improve well-being and care for patients in hospitals, does anyone really know whether there are benefits both for the patients and the animals themselves? Not according to a team of researchers that has conducted a worldwide review of all studies looking at the impact of "animal interventions" in healthcare settings for children.
Don Juan, Napoleon, Gucci, Azur, and Marissa are very friendly and will rush to welcome anyone who enters their room, and that’s what makes them good blood donors. “I chose them for their hematological characteristics, but also for their good disposition. We didn’t want cats that would be stressed when handled or that needed excessive sedation,” said Dr. Marie-Claude Blais, Professor at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Where they are housed, the five cats (four males and one female) can climb to the top of their trapeze and out into the yard through a cat flap. They can lounge on a hammock all day long or play cat and mouse. What is more, the door to their room is never locked, so they can get their daily dose of hugs, a benefit not necessarily stipulated in their contract.