According to research published Thursday in Communications Biology, the stealthiest stinging strategy belongs to Cassiopea xamachana, a species of upside-down jellyfish found in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and warm parts of the Western Atlantic like the Florida Keys. When disturbed, this creature acts like a space-movie mother ship — it emits tiny balls of stinging cells that then swim around on their own, zapping anything in their path. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/13/science/jellyfish-stingers-floating.html
The discovery of two dead dolphins with grisly gunshot or stab wounds in Florida in recent weeks has prompted a plea for help by federal authorities, who have offered a reward for information about whoever killed the animals. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/12/us/dolphins-shot-stabbed-florida.html
Buying and selling horse meat is effectively illegal in the U.S., but slaughter had been on the minds of many in the Central Florida horse community lately. In the span of a couple of weeks, horses in three counties had been stolen, killed and butchered, ravaged bodies or severed heads left behind. The news rattled owners and caretakers who feared they’d be next.
Mohammad Saud and Nadeem Shehzad have sacrificed everything for Wildlife Rescue since founding it 20 years ago. Sacrificed everything for the black kite, a bird that is neither endangered nor particularly attractive and, in New Delhi, is about as unloved as the pigeon. “It’s some kind of sense of duty,” Shehzad said, with a shrug. “If not us, then nobody’s going to take care of them.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/science/kites-birds-conservation-india.html
A law banning the sale of cats and dogs at pet shops in Maryland was upheld as a federal judge ruled the No More Puppy- and Kitten-Mills Act passed by the General Assembly last year does not violate the U.S. Constitution.
Recently, Derek Johnson posted 17 seconds of his pet, Ben Afquack, drumming with his webbed feet on a snare. The video got a million views overnight on Facebook. It’s now up to 3 million, with tens of thousands of comments and shares, and more on other platforms.
The dog, a blue-nosed pocket pit bull, developed his own form of PTSD after being caught in the trauma of a law enforcement raid on a former owner's home. Named by Christy after her favorite player on the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL team, Marc Andre Fleury, the dog was hit by beanbag rounds and brutalized during the bust, which occurred when he was about 1½ years old.
Scientists trained dogs to sniff out a crop disease called citrus greening that has hit orange, lemon and grapefruit orchards in Florida, California and Texas. The dogs can detect it weeks to years before it shows up on tree leaves and roots, the researchers report.
Across the country, there is less accountability for veterinarians than there is for practitioners who treat people. While courts award multimillion-dollar judgments for negligence in hospitals, states treat companion animals as a form of property, and owners have little opportunity to sue for damages beyond the cost of a replacement. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/03/us/vets-daniel-koller-pets.html
Fireflies use their special glowing powers in courtship: Males light up to signal availability and females respond with patterned flashes to show that they’re in the mood. But bright light from billboards, streetlights and houses is interfering and blocking potential firefly couples from pairing up. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/03/climate/fireflies-mating-light-pollution.html
Dog adoptions was the goal when a Bradenton brewery teamed up with Manatee County Animal Services and Shelter Manatee to feature some shelter dogs on its four packs of canned beer. It looks like the effort will reunite a Minnesota woman with her dog who went missing in 2017.
Pet owners have long turned to classical music and cable’s Animal Planet to distract overactive canines and bored kittens. But with the proliferation of streaming services, entertaining furry companions has gone high tech. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/02/style/cat-tv-amazon-dogs.html
The Karoo region contains huge volcanic flood basalts that chronicle the final epoch of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana before it broke apart about 180 million years ago during a period of tectonic and volcanic catastrophe. Geologists have been studying it for decades to understand this major change in the layout of Earth’s landmasses, which coincided with a mass extinction event. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/29/science/dinosars-tracks-firewalkers.html