CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 2007 |
The two break-in artists were caught in the act. Steve Searles had them cornered right outside the crime scene, high in the branches of a towering Jeffrey pine. "Bad bears!" he growled up at the 100-pound cubs, who peered back innocently. "What are you guys doing? Who do you think you are?" The yearlings had followed their mother through an open back window into an unattended condominium, where they'd ransacked the kitchen and living room, scattering packages of flour, pasta and honey crackers.
October 20, 2007 |
Even though corals do not possess eyes, their mating is stimulated by a romantic moonlit night, researchers reported Friday in the journal Science. The corals contain ancient proteins called cryptochromes, which react to light, especially blue light. Cryptochromes have also been found in mammals and insects where they affect the circadian clock that regulates the daily rhythms of life.
October 9, 2007 |
A stray kitten has found a new mother: a golden retriever. The hungry gray tabby, found in an old tire at a concrete plant in Stephens City, refused to drink from a bottle and her rescuers feared she would die. That's when Honey, the family dog who hadn't given birth in 18 months, stepped in with her motherly instincts. "She started licking her and loving her.
October 8, 2007 |
For months, Dr. Nicholas Dodman, head of the animal behavior clinic at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, has been in doggie heaven. Using brand-new genetic "chip" technology developed by researchers at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, where the entire dog genome was sequenced a couple of years ago, Dodman is finally poised to do the experiments he's been waiting years to do -- exploring the genetics of complex psychiatric problems in dogs.
August 19, 2007 |
What's the cost of dog love? A chew toy from PetSmart goes for about $5. An aromatherapy grooming session at Chateau Marmutt can run $150. An Italian leather rhinestone collar from Fifi and Romeo will set you back $164. But how much does it cost to let your dog do what it was put on Earth to do? The answer: $175 a month.
August 18, 2007 |
Confronted by a hungry rattlesnake, a California ground squirrel chucks pebbles and dirt at its enemy and menacingly waves its tail. Then it really turns on the heat. Using infrared cameras, scientists at UC Davis have found that ground squirrels warmed their tails as much as 12 degrees to silently warn rattlesnakes, which can detect the tiniest of temperature changes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 2007 |
Word to the whale-wise: Head south. Once a rare sight south of Santa Barbara, blue whales have in recent years come to favor Southern California waters. Whale watchers seeking a glimpse of the largest animals on Earth this summer will have the best chances off the coast of Orange and San Diego counties and northern Baja California, according to marine biologists. "Some ebb and flow is normal for animal populations in general," said Mike Bursk, a biologist with the Ocean Institute in Dana Point.
July 21, 2007 |
A queen bee needs to keep her subjects calm and quiet, and she does so by secreting a scent that prevents worker bees from learning, according to new research. The study, published Thursday in the journal Science, found that a component in the queen's pheromone inhibits the sterile worker bees' ability to learn from negative experiences. The active scent element is similar to the brain compound dopamine, which is involved in learning and memory in humans and insects.
July 7, 2007 |
They may have bird brains, but feathered flycatchers can and do learn, even from their competitors, according to research released Thursday. Every spring, pied and collared flycatchers arrive in the forests of Europe, looking for a good place to lay their eggs. Not knowing the territory well, they often look to resident birds for the best places to breed. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," said study author Janne-Tuomas Seppanen of the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland.
June 30, 2007 |
A good man is hard to find -- and for female Galapagos iguanas, the search for the sexiest mate is so exhausting that it may actually threaten their ability to survive, according to a study published Wednesday. Female iguanas on the equatorial island of Santa Fe spend about a month checking out the available males, some of whom maintain almost constant displays of masculine prowess.