TIME animals

This Quadruple Amputee Rottweiler Looks So Happy Walking With His New Prosthetic Limbs

Fall in puppy love all over again

Here’s a story warming the hearts of dog lovers around the Internet. A Rottweiler named Brutus living in Loveland, Colo., had his paws removed because of a severe case of frostbite he got when a previous owner left him out in the cold as a puppy, according to a statement by Colorado State University. At two years old, he is now learning to walk again thanks to four prosthetic limbs from OrthoPets Denver and therapy from the school’s James L. Voss teaching hospital.

TIME animals

John Legend Will Sing at Your Next Dog Wedding

"That's love"

Musician John Legend stars in a music video in which he sings for two bulldogs getting hitched. After preparing an experience of a lifetime for these canines, he runs into wife and model Chrissy Teigen, who appears disgusted and confused at first, but then says she would run upstairs to get a dress.

The clip is a promotion for Omaze, a site that works like an online charity raffle, advertising an opportunity to have the Grammy winner perform at a private event. Fans who buy an entry will be donating to the Show Me Campaign’s effort to rebuild the auditorium at the former South High School in Springfield, Ohio—his hometown.

 

TIME spiders

Spiders Run Faster in Warm Weather, Study Shows

MEXICO-NATURE-TARANTULA
Yuri Cortez—AFP/Getty Images A worker of the Chapultepec Zoo shows a pink tarantula (Grammostola Rosea) on March 19, 2015 in Mexico City.

Looking forward to spring?

And now for the most terrifying science news of the day: a new study shows that tarantulas move faster in warmer weather.

A study published in The Journal of Experimental Biology tested Texas brown tarantulas’ speeds in a variety of temperatures, Science Magazine from AAAS reports. The hotter the temperature, the faster the spiders scuttled.

Speeds at the warmest temperature tested—40°C (104°F)—were 2.5 times faster than speeds at the coldest—15°C (59°F).

The reason for the spiders’ temperature sensitivity has to do with the fact that their eight legs are not controlled by muscles. Instead, a hydraulic fluid called hemolymph courses through the appendages to make them flex and extend, and the flow of the fluid is sensitive to temperature.

So arachnophobes, beware of the desert.

TIME animals

Watch 7 Really Cute Puppies Predict the NCAA Final Four Winner

They'd rather be napping

In anticipation of the NCAA Final Four, which starts April 4, Jimmy Fallon invited a team of seven puppies — who, let’s face it, would rather be napping — to pick a winner. The adorable fluffballs run toward bowls labeled with the four competing teams: Kentucky Wildcats, Wisconsin Badgers, Michigan State Spartans and Duke Blue Devils. It’s a vicious competition, but a clear winner eventually emerges.

The Tonight Show is clearly respecting the age-old tradition of employing totally under-qualified (albeit excessively adorable) animals to predict which team will win a sports championship.

Let’s hope that their predictions were more accurate than Teddy Bear the porcupine’s Super Bowl pick.

 

TIME animals

Some NYC Ants Like to Eat Junk Food, Study Finds

The study may indicate which ants could help humans clean up trash

Some of the ants crawling around New York City have developed a taste for junk food, according to a new study.

The study in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, which analyzed samples from more than 20 ant species in Manhattan, looked at levels of a type of carbon typically found in processed foods that humans eat.

Ants that lived on the sidewalk and other paved areas in the Big Apple tended to have carbon isotope levels more similar to humans, while ants that lived in parks had lower levels, the study found.

“Human foods clearly make up a significant portion of the diet in urban species,” said study author Clint Penick, a researcher at North Carolina State University, in a press release. “These are the ants eating our garbage, and this may explain why pavement ants are able to achieve such large populations in cities.”

The study may indicate which types of ants that could help humans clean up trash, Penick added.

TIME

Karl Lagerfeld Says His Cat Made $3 Million Last Year

'Corsa Karl Und Choupette' Vernissage
Franziska Krug—Getty Images Karl Lagerfeld and cat, Choupette

"She is the center of the world. If you saw her, you would understand"

Fashion designer and photographer Karl Lagerfeld loves little black dresses and a big white cat.

In an interview with New York magazine, Lagerfeld disclosed that his chic cat, named Choupette, isn’t just pretty — she’s apparently worth millions. In fact, Lagerfeld claims that she made $3.22 million last year from just two modeling gigs.

To famous feline insiders — we know you’re out there — who scoff at the figure when compared to Grumpy Cat’s reported $100 million in commercial deals, consider this: Between the media tours and the movies and the endorsements, Grumpy Cat is scheduled within an inch of her nine lives.

Choupette, on the other hand, would never demean herself to peddle Friskies. She can bring in millions by barely raising a paw.

“She did two jobs and made 3 million euros last year,” Lagerfeld said. “One was for cars in Germany and the other was for a Japanese beauty product. I don’t allow her to do foodstuffs and things like this. She’s too sophisticated for that.”

In Lagerfeld’s rarefied world, Choupette is a queen and treated accordingly.

“She hates other animals and she hates children,” Lagerfeld said. “She stays always with me and she has two personal maids. They play with her, they have to take care of her beautiful white hair, the beauty treatments for her eyes, and they entertain her. She is the center of the world. If you saw her, you would understand.”

Sorry to add onto your grumpiness, Grumpy Cat.

[NYMag]

TIME animals

Science Has Found Out What Music Your Cat Should Be Chilling to While Being Neutered

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Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, AC/DC is not it

During surgical operations, cats aren’t huge fans of adult contemporary ballads or fist-pumping rocks anthems. In fact, research has found that felines much prefer the lush sound of classical music when going under the knife.

In an experiment detailed this week in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, veterinary clinicians at the University of Lisbon studied how 12 female pet cats responded to different genres of music, while undergoing neutering.

To gauge the animals’ responses, the clinicians recorded their respiratory rates and pupil diameters, which are an indication of their depth of anesthesia.

During the experiment, the cats were fitted with headphones and then exposed to two minutes of silence — as a control — before listening to portions of Barber’s “Adagio for Strings (Opus 11),” Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.”

“The results showed that the cats were in a more relaxed state (as determined by their lower values for respiratory rate and pupil diameter) under the influence of classical music, with the pop music producing intermediate values,” reports Science Daily.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, listening to AC/DC while being spayed induced “a more stressful situation.”

[Science Daily]

TIME animals

This Drone Is Surprisingly Good at Herding Sheep

You're fired, Babe

Get ready to cash in your 401ks, sheepdogs, because you can retire now.

An ingenious Irish farmer has discovered the sheepdog of the future, and it doesn’t require kibble, a warm bed or even a pat on the head for a job well done. That’s because the sheepdog of the future isn’t a dog at all— it’s a drone.

In this video, filmed by Paul Brennan in Carlow, Ireland, the aptly named Shep the Drone flies above a flock of sheep, filming as it herds them from one field to another. It’s unclear why the drone is so good at the job (sheep pliancy induced by terror, perhaps?) but it is incredibly effective at moving the flock across fields with no training, breeding or Milk Bones required.

TIME public health

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria From Texan Cattle Yards Are Now Airborne, Study Finds

A herd of longhorn cattle stand as wildfire rages near on September 1, 2011 in Graford, Texas
Tom Pennington—Getty Images A herd of longhorn cattle stand as wildfire rages near on September 1, 2011 in Graford, Texas

Researchers say the bacteria are capable of "traveling for long distances"

A new study says the DNA from antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in American cattle yards has become airborne, creating a new pathway by which such bacteria can potentially spread to humans and hinder treatment of life-threatening infections.

Researchers gathered airborne particulate matter (PM) from around 10 commercial cattle yards within a 200 mile radius of Lubbock, Texas over a period of six-months. They found the air downwind of the yards contained antibiotics, bacteria and a “significantly greater” number of microbial communities containing antibiotic-resistant genes. That’s according to the study to be published in next month’s issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

“To our knowledge, this study is among the first to detect and quantify antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes…associated with airborne PM emitted from beef cattle feed yards,” said the authors, who are researchers in environmental toxicology at Texas Tech University and at a testing lab in Lubbock.

Co-author Phil Smith told the Texas Tribune that the bacteria could be active for a long time and “could be traveling for long distances.”

His colleague, molecular biologist Greg Mayer, told the paper that some of the study’s findings “made me not want to breathe.”

Because antibodies are poorly absorbed by cows they are released into the environment through excretion. Once in the environment, bacteria will undergo natural selection and genes that have acquired natural immunities will survive.

The genes that have gone airborne are contained in dried fecal matter that has become dust and gets picked up by winds as they whip through the stockyards.

The Texas Tribune reported that representatives from the Texas cattle industry (estimated to control around 14 million beef cows) criticized the study, saying it portrayed the airborne bacteria as overly hazardous to human health.

But the mass of PM2.5 particles (the kind that can be inhaled into lungs) released into the atmosphere is eye opening, with the study estimating the total amount released by cattle yards in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas exceeds 46,000 lbs.(21,000 kg) per day.

Antibiotic-resistant bacterial DNA is already known to be transferable to humans if ingested via water or meat.


TIME animals

Young Male Monkeys Prefer Spending Time With Daddy, Study Says

A rhesus macaque monkey grooms another on Cayo Santiago, known as Monkey Island off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, Tuesday, July 29, 2008.
Brennan Linsley—AP A rhesus macaque monkey grooms another on Cayo Santiago, known as Monkey Island off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, on July 29, 2008

Turns out quality father-son time is not just a human phenomenon

Male rhesus macaque monkeys prefer the company of their fathers, according to a new study, marking one of the first times gender partiality has been exhibited in primates before they leave the colony.

Rhesus macaques are generally found in Asia, but by studying a colony on the small Puerto Rican island of Cayo Santiago the team was able to identify individual moneys and document socialization patterns, according to the BBC, citing a report in the American Journal of Primatology.

Researchers discovered that infants and juveniles spent more time with their mothers, but as they developed into adulthood the role of the father (and his relatives) becomes increasingly important.

Scientists think this is because male monkeys eventually leave the colony, so young adults spend more time with their fathers to help them prepare for the challenges of a nomadic lifestyle.

While gender preference had been observed in primates before, the new study shows that parental bias begins before the males go off on their own — a departure from the previous idea that favoritism is the result of females forming strong bonds with their relatives by remaining in the group when the males leave.

[BBC]

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