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November 20, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Two fossilized, pregnant marine reptiles in a museum in Taiwan have provided the first evidence that the creatures gave birth to live offspring rather than laying eggs, Canadian researchers reported this week in Nature. The fossils of two sauropterygians, a large group of marine reptiles that lived from 250 million to 65 million years ago, each contain several embryos. The fossils show the embryos facing the wrong way, suggesting that the females died in childbirth.
November 17, 2004 | Richard C. Paddock, Times Staff Writer
For years, Trudy Richards searched the forests of Tasmania for the elusive creature with the head of a wolf, the pouch of a kangaroo and the stripes of a tiger. She put motion-sensor cameras and audio recorders in the forest. She built sand traps to capture a footprint. She trekked through the woods, her camera at the ready. She spent hours on stakeouts -- all in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the ancient thylacine. And then, she says, she finally saw one.
September 18, 2004 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
The European brown frog is one of the most thoroughly studied in the world, but researchers have found that it has a long-unsuspected reproduction strategy, one driven by the large excess of males in the population. In the higher altitudes of the Pyrenees where the study took place, on the border between France and Spain, male frogs outnumber females four- to tenfold.
August 25, 2004 | Amelia Neufeld, Times Staff Writer
A UC Davis medical research building was shut down this week after six research monkeys died of dehydration due to a heating malfunction in their room over the weekend, campus officials said. A seventh was later euthanized. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees inspection of animal research centers, has begun an investigation and will make an unannounced visit to the California National Primate Research Center soon, said USDA spokesman Larry Hawkins.
August 14, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Rats can become drug addicts. That's important to know, scientists say, and has taken a long time to prove. Now two studies by French and British researchers published in this week's issue of the journal Science show the animals exhibit the same compulsive drive for cocaine as people do once they're truly hooked.
July 12, 2004 | John-Thor Dahlburg, Times Staff Writer
In these warm, jade-colored waters two hours from the nearest port by fast catamaran, Ashley McCrea-Strub donned her black wetsuit and pink flippers. It was time to get back to her summer job as census taker of the sea. To perform her tasks, the fourth-year doctoral student in marine biology and fisheries carried a pencil and a sheet of waterproof paper.
July 2, 2004 | From Reuters
Charles River Laboratories International Inc., the world's biggest breeder of animals for drug research, said Thursday that it would acquire Inveresk Research Group Inc. in a deal valued at $1.4 billion to expand its drug testing business. Charles River, which raises rodents and other animals on behalf of drug and biotechnology companies, would pay cash and stock worth $35.89 a share. The boards of both companies have approved the deal. Shares of Cary, N.C.
June 28, 2004 | Stephanie Chavez, Times Staff Writer
Mitchell Lardner didn't pay much attention to an April 8 company memo alerting him and other employees of Sumitomo Corp. of America that they could be the targets of "home protests" from animal rights activists who believe the firm has ties to animal research. This won't affect him, Lardner reasoned. He's just a mid-level manager, and he believed it when his company said it had no such links.
December 1, 2003 | Julie Cart, Times Staff Writer
A study published last week affirms that what's true for humans may also be true for bears: A junk-food diet and sedentary lifestyle lead to obesity and profound life changes. A study of black bears in the Sierra Nevada found that those living in urban areas and gorging on garbage weigh as much as 30% more than bears in the wild and are about a third less active.
November 6, 2003 | Lynne Barnes, Times Staff Writer
Despite a monthlong sojourn in the trunk of a Redondo Beach couple's car, a special shark-tracking device and the valuable data stored on it appeared to be in fine shape, a Monterey Bay Aquarium spokesman said Wednesday. The 7-inch, microphone-shaped tag, designed to collect data on sharks' habitat and movements, arrived in Monterey on Wednesday, said spokesman Ken Peterson, adding that the information on it already had been downloaded.
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