- The Salukis stayed out.
An international team of scientists analyzing data on the genetic make-up of modern-day dogs has discovered that Basenjis, Salukis and Dingoes have a differing genetic signature than most other dogs, not because of some unique direct heritage to ancient dogs, but because these animals "were not part of the 19th Century Victorian-initiated Kennel Clubs" that blended lineages to create most of the breeds we know today. The scientists also note that their study also suggests that "keeping dogs as pets only began 2,000 years ago, and that until very recently, the vast majority of dogs were used to do specific jobs." Hat tip to Walter H. for the link!
- Winter time bomb for the East Coast and Midwest.
Warm weather all winter means ticks will be out early and in astounding numbers. You can expect the incidence of Lyme to soar. The good new is that prevention works (wash your dog with flea and tick shampoo every week) and Lyme is pretty easy and cheap to fix and no you don't need to see a vet. More about that here.
- Police K-9 Magazine.
A nice simple article on E-collar basics which defines a "working level" as when "the sensation is significant enough that the dog will pay attention to it and work to make it stop, but it is not so overwhelming that it actually detracts from the dog’s ability to problem-solve." No, for training purposes you do NOT turn the collar up to twelve. Try two or three.
- Are a lot of dead deer good for birds?
Maybe. The point has been made before and is made again in an op-ed in The New York Times by Daniel Cristol, professor of biology at William and Mary. Of course, blaming deer for a decline in some migratory bird populations is a little too facile. As I have noted in the past, the main factor is neo-tropical forest loss, loss of migratory resting spots, and forest fragmentation leading to a massive rise in cowbirds, raccoons, possums, crows, and other meso-preadots. Ironically, the simplest solution for both deer and meso-predator reduction may be more coyotes.
- How did the chicken conquer the world?
One cluck at a time starting 10,000 years ago in central Asia. The precipitating event may not have been dinner, but entertainment, i.e. cock fighting. The Athenian general Themistocles is said to have stopped by the side of the road around 5,000 B.C. and pointed to two roosters fighting: “Behold, these do not fight for their household gods, for the monuments of their ancestors, for glory, for liberty or the safety of their children, but only because one will not give way to the other.” Read the Smithsonian article; it's a winner!
- Miles Davis turned to Nancy Reagan and said...
Sorry, you are going to have to read the whole thing.
- Tea Party official attacks public lands deer hunting.
Wisconsin's deer trustee says, "Public game management is the last bastion of communism." This fellow just happens to own a 200-acre shoot-the-fed-deer place. In his world, hunting would only be for the rich and a dead deer would be guaranteed meat, same as a stocked lake for children. Sure, and why not bring back the monarchy while we are at it and replace public parks with Disney Land as well?
- 50 things to do before you are twelve.
A great idea and a hat tip to Chas at Southern Rockies Nature Blog for pointing to it.
- Kumare is my guru.
And after you watch this, he'll be yours too!