When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said -- those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences -- but also to other features of that speech -- the emotional tone and the speaker's gender, for instance. Now, a report provides some of the first evidence of how dogs also differentiate and process those various components of human speech.
If you've ever watched a dog drink water, you know that it can be a sloshy, spilly, splashy affair -- in other words, adorable. Behind all of the happy, wet messes, however, lies the mechanical logic of carnivorous compensation -- dogs splash when they drink because they have the cheeks of a predatory quadruped. By studying the drinking habits of various dog breeds and sizes, researchers have recently identified and modeled the fluid dynamics at play when dogs drink water.
Bacteria compete for resources in the environment by injecting deadly toxins into their rivals. Researcher have now discovered that many animals steal toxins from bacteria to fight unwanted microbes growing on them. Genes for these toxins have jumped from bacterial to animals. These genes are now permanently incorporated into the genomes of these animals. Deer ticks, which can carry Lyme disease, are one of the many diverse organisms in which toxin gene transfers from bacteria to animal has occurred.
Canines trained on pseudo-explosives could not reliably identify the genuine article (and vice versa). When it comes to teaching dogs how to sniff out explosives, there’s nothing quite like the real thing to make sure they’re trained right.
Biogeologists have shown how Gravettian people shared their food 30,000 years ago. Around 30,000 years ago Predmosti was inhabited by people of the pan-European Gravettian culture, who used the bones of more than 1000 mammoths to build their settlement and to ivory sculptures. Did prehistoric people collect this precious raw material from carcasses -- easy to spot on the big cold steppe -- or were they the direct result of hunting for food?