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Posts Tagged "cats"

But Seriously...

Cats, Children, and the Box of the Future

Box of the Future

Children are quite a bit like cats. No matter how much you spend on gifts for them, inevitably it is the box – which had contained the gift – that seems to provide the most raucous and satisfying entertainment for them. Enter Exhibit A: And Exhibit B: It was a glorious Christmas. For Exhibit C, [...]

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Compound Eye

Thrifty Thursday: The Mighty Cupcake

cupcake1f

Thrifty Thursdays feature photographs taken with equipment costing less than $500. [iPhone 4S - $330] Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Alex is phoning it in today and posting a cat. And you’d be right. Sort of. I have reasons for featuring Cupcake on Thrifty Thursday, though. This photograph could not have been taken with my [...]

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Compound Eye

Thrifty Thursday: Cat Scans on a Budget

catscan1f

Thrifty Thursdays feature photographs taken with equipment costing less than $500. [HP deskjet F4280 printer/scanner - $99] Looking for inspiration? Or do you just enjoy medical-feline crossover puns? Either way, you can amuse yourself and your cat companion by arranging your pet on a regular desktop scanner. For more, see the Cat Scan tumblr. Some of [...]

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Culturing Science

Managing Wild Cats: Additional Reading

That post about stray cat management sure set off a firestorm, both here and at Salon, where it was syndicated. It ended up being a story people either loved or hated, which didn’t entirely surprise me. As I said in the post, “The people in favor of euthanizing cats think that ecosystem health is more [...]

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Culturing Science

Cats Are Ruthless Killers. Should They Be Killed?

cat-eating-bird-200px

Syndicated on Salon as Death to the house cat!; Featured on The Browser and BBC Future Every few months, the fact that domestic cats are ruthless killers hits the news. This past summer it was the Kitty Cam, memorably explained by webcomic The Oatmeal, which saw nearly one-third of cats kill 2 animals each week [...]

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Dog Spies

Anthrozoology: Not a Study of Ants

Anthrozoology_Dog Spies_Square

Never seen the word “Anthrozoology” before? That’s okay. If you looked at the word and focused on the “ant” part, then try again. Instead, “Anthro” and “Zoology” are the interesting bits, and broadly speaking anthrozoology is the study of human-animal interactions and relationships. This is how it’s pronounced, along with a brief primer: As the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Gulf Coast Jaguarundi

jaguarundi

These endangered wild cats, with their distinctively short ears and long tails, aren’t much bigger than your average housecat. Although they have been protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act since 1976, they have not been confirmed in this country since 1986. Species name: The Gulf Coast jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi cacomitli) Where found: Eastern Mexico [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Beautiful but Rarely Seen Cat Species Photographed in Borneo [Video]

bay cat

Every once in a while, scientists working in some remote corner of the globe catch sight of a creature so rare, so elusive and so amazing that you just need to sit up and say “whoa.” This is one of those times. The little-known and rarely studied bay cat (Pardofelis badia) of Borneo has only [...]

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Extinction Countdown

After 13-Year Quest, Clouded Leopards Confirmed Extinct in Taiwan

formosan clouded leopard

Thirteen years, 1,500 infrared cameras, hundreds of catnip-baited hair traps and an almost incalculable number of hours in the field have confirmed what scientists have long feared: the Formosan clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura) is in all likelihood extinct. The subspecies, endemic to Taiwan, was wiped out by poaching, trade in its pelts during the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

The 6 Most Endangered Feline Species

Iberian lynx

Poaching, habitat loss, inbreeding and hybridization. These are just a few of the threats faced by many wild feline species around the globe. Here are six of the world’s most endangered feline species and subspecies—some of which may not survive into the next century. 1. Amur leopards Let’s start with the good news: The population [...]

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Extinction Countdown

3,000 Feral Cats Killed to Protect Rare Australian Bilbies

greater bilby

Australia has a feral cat problem. Cats and other invasive predators have driven dozens of the country’s native bird, reptile and small mammal species into extinction, and continue to threaten several others. So many feral felines roam the country that the government often traps, shoots or poisons the animals in order to control populations. Most [...]

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Extinction Countdown

DNA Test Could Help Save Scottish Wildcat from Extinction—If It Still Exists

Scotland is home to a least a hundred thousand feral cats. Unfortunately, the cats that now live in the Scottish Highlands are not native to the country, and they have helped push the already squeezed native felines closer toward extinction. The native group—the Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia), also known as the Highland tiger—isn’t much [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Good News for 2 Rare Leopard Species [Video]

snow leopard

Conservation groups are reporting better than expected news on two rare leopard species, the critically endangered Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) in Russia and the endangered snow leopard (P. uncia) in Afghanistan. First up, the Amur leopard, of which there are fewer than 50 animals left in the wild. But those weak numbers might be [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Deadly Rabbit Disease May Have Doomed Iberian Lynx

Iberian lynx

The 1988 arrival of viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD) in Spain devastated that country’s European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) population and, in the process, possibly doomed the local species most adapted to hunt rabbit, the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus). The wildcat is now critically endangered, with an estimated 100 to 200 animals remaining in the wild. That [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Rare African kittens bred from frozen eggs and sperm

One of the risks in writing about endangered species is concentrating too much on the cute ones. But I couldn’t skip covering the African black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) and the scientific breakthrough that could give this rare species an extra chance at survival. The African black-footed cat is one of the world’s smallest and rarest [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Poaching, habitat loss taking toll on Bornean clouded leopard

When the Bornean clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) was first identified as its own species in 2006, it was almost instantly added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as “vulnerable” to extinction. Just four years later evidence out of Brunei, one of the three countries [...]

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Observations

How China’s Pet Dogs Might Save Wild Tigers

tiger

On the streets of Beijing, little old ladies coax even littler dogs to do their business. Some even bear the little plastic bags carried by civically conscious urbanite pet-lovers everywhere. Yet in cities across China one can also still find dog on the menu, as I can personally attest. This divide between a growing middle [...]

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Observations

Fractal Kitties Illustrate the Endless Possibilities for Julia Sets

For decades, scientists have been trying to solve a tough question: if the Internet runs out of cat pictures, can we generate more using advanced mathematics?* A paper posted on the arxiv earlier this month by mathematicians Kathryn Lindsey and the late William Thurston calms fears about “peak cat.” In the paper, they describe a [...]

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Observations

Colorado Cat Missing for 5 Years Found in Manhattan

Still of calico cat from Today show

Or maybe I should have titled this post as “Colorado Cat Becomes Big Star in New York, Goes Home to Rural Life Anyway.” After all, she made it to NBC’s Today show this morning (video), and several media outlets picked up the Associated Press story about how she went missing at a time when most [...]

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Running Ponies

Rare rusty-spotted cat kittens born in Berlin

Seriously. Look at this guy. It doesn’t get any better than that. Berlin Zoo has announced the birth of its first rusty-spotted cat kittens since it opened 168 years ago. Nicknamed ‘the hummingbirds of the cat family’, rusty spotted cats (Prionailurus rubiginosus) rival the black-footed cats (Felis nigripes) of southern Africa for the title of [...]

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Running Ponies

A cat that can never be tamed

This lovely little kitten with a head that looks just slightly too big for its face is a Scottish wildcat, a very rare type of wildcat that has dwindled to about 400 individuals living in Britain, mostly restricted to the Highlands of Scotland. It’s also one of the two kittens, named Merida and Brave, born [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Mystery big cat skulls from the Peruvian Amazon not so mysterious anymore

Skulls and accompanying life restorations of (A) the Peruvian 'Anomalous jaguar' and (B) 'Peruvian tiger'; image by Gustavo Sanchez.

Scientific projects are very often years in the making. Within the past few days, I’ve had a new paper appear in the open-access journal PeerJ. It’s co-written with Manabu Sakamoto, Peter Hocking and Gustavo Sanchez. Therein, we examine and, we think, resolve the previously vexing identity of two big cat skulls obtained in the Peruvian [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

A lynx, shot dead in England in c. 1903

For over 100 years, a potentially significant dead cat has been sat in storage in a British museum. Specifically, the specimen – the lynx Ab4458 – has been at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery ever since it was added to the collections there in February 1903, and what makes it significant is that it was [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Another meeting with the Hayling Island Jungle cat

Over the weekend I (with others) visited the Hampshire County Museum Service store at Chilcomb House, Winchester. Lots of fossils, preserved insects, and also taxiderm birds and mammals. I especially enjoy going there because it’s the repository of the famous Hayling Island Jungle cat (or Hayling Island Swamp cat). Here’s a photo of me and [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

The Man-Eater of Mfuwe

Matt Wedel kindly passed on the photos you see here. They show the Man-eater of Mfuwe, an enormous male lion Panthera leo that terrorised the small town of Mfuwe (and the surrounds) in the Luangwa River Valley of eastern Zambia. The photos were taken in Chicago’s Field Museum where the specimen has been on display [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Williams and Lang’s Australian Big Cats: do pumas, giant feral cats and mystery marsupials stalk the Australian outback?

Virtually all people interested in animals are aware of the so-called ‘mystery big cat’ phenomenon. Large, often black, cats are reported with apparent frequency from the eastern USA and the UK. But the phenomenon isn’t unique to those two areas. Here, we’re going to look specifically at the ‘mystery big cat’ phenomenon in Australia. The [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Insights into the mind of a cat

Apparently when something interests you, the best way to figure it out is to smack it really hard, and repeatedly. If you’re a cat, at least. h/t @ferrisjabr

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The Thoughtful Animal

Monday Pets: Where Did Cats Come From?

ResearchBlogging.org

Why were cats domesticated in the first place? And how? Given their relatively poor ability to socially engage with humans, it isn’t exactly clear why or how they were domesticated, or how they came to play such a significant role in human culture.

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