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Turtles Talk to Each Other

Get this from Salon - A new study reveals that, in their own special way, turtles chat with each other!

"It was a great surprise to discover they not only vocalize but also do so very often, producing very funny sounds" Turtle

University of Zurich's Gabriel Jorgewich-Cohen is part of a team of international researchers who produced a landmark new study for the journal Nature Communications. Seeking to learn about the evolutionary origins of acoustic communication in vertebrates, the scientists recorded 53 species from four major clades — turtles, tuatara, caecilians and lungfish — to analyze what they heard. In the process, they learned that there are turtles, tuataras, and caecilians that engage in vocal communication, even though those clades had previously been perceived as non-vocal.

"When put in perspective, these findings show that vocal behavior is an evolutionary innovation that first appeared in the common ancestor of tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) and lungfish," Jorgewich-Cohen explained.

To be clear, this vocal behavior does not resemble anything as magnificent as a wolf howling or a bird tweeting. The Cayenne caecilian, in this journalist's opinion, produced sounds a bit like exaggerated yet strangely half-hearted armpit farts, while the mata mata turtle almost came across like a purring cat. Yet despite these seemingly alien vocalizations, the new study reveals that these creatures have much more in common with human beings than we had previously assumed. Rather than making these animals more exotic when compared to us, the new study discloses the extent to which we are part of the same family tree.


Secret Pet Memorial Christmas Tree in Central Park

As reported in Untapped Cities, there is a secret Christmas tree for departed pets in New York's Central Park.

Central-park-2022-secret-pet-memorial-christmas-tree-robyn-untapped-new-york4-768x1024Deep within the woods of Central Park’s Ramble, those in the know gather every December at a secret spot to pay their respects to long-lost pets. Untapped New York first heard rumors of a pet memorial in Central Park in 2013. Since we first set out to find the secret Christmas tree years ago, the tradition has become more and more popular and media coverage has increased. Still, the exact location of the quiet spot remains a lovingly guarded secret, shared only with those who wish to honor their dearly departed furry friends.

The branches of the secret Christmas tree in Central Park are filled with handmade memorials dedicated to lost pets, be they a dog or cat, or other beloved creature. The occasional bauble or pet toy can be found among many laminated photos tied to the tree with festive ribbons and bows. The photos on the ornaments often feature the pet’s name and a message of appreciation for their companionship.

It’s unclear how long this tradition has been going on and who first started it. The earliest coverage we found was dated 2010. Each year, the mysterious caretakers carefully remove all of the ornaments and then bring them back next year. An Untapped New York Insider, who makes a pilgrimage to the tree every year to honor her family’s cats, found a thank you note from a pair of dog owners who left a photo of their pooch on the tree one year and were surprised to return the next year to see that their memorial had been saved and put up once again.

A visit to this Christmas tree pet memorial in Central Park is bittersweet. While it’s sad to think about losing a pet, it is touching to see the outpouring of love and appreciation pet owners share. We hope this special tradition continues for many years to come!


Dogs Can Smell Your Stress, Study Finds

As any dog owner will attest, dogs can seem eerily attuned to human behavior. When humans yell or pick a fight, dogs often respond with anger and fear. Similarly, people with sedentary lifestyle may have seemingly sedentary pets: a 2021 study found a correlation between dog obesity and human obesity.

Now, a new study sheds light on the peculiar ways that dogs seem to be able to pick up on human vibes. Specifically, researchers found that when you are stressed, your body produces a distinct odor — and our canine friends can smell it. Read the rest from Matthew Rozsa.


Inside The Beagle Rescue

Many of us are aware of a massive rescue of 4,000 beagles who were bred for scientific experiments - a crime in itself but the treatment of these poor animals is especially criminal. The Washington Post researched the entire rescue operation. I cried while reading throughout this article. Here is an excerpt -

Profit, pain and puppies: Inside the rescue of nearly 4,000 beagles

How dogs being bred for research at Envigo became the target of the largest animal welfare seizure in the Humane Society’s history

 

CUMBERLAND, Va. — The first beagle out that day had brown eyes and a chunk missing from his left ear. His tail was a nub. It went from tan to white, then disappeared, maybe bitten off in a fight or caught in a cage door.

The 1-year-old had never been given a name — just an identification code, ‘CMG CKA,’ tattooed in blue-green on the flap of his left ear. Like the thousands of other beagles bred for research at Envigo, a sprawling complex tucked deep in rural Virginia, he’d spent his entire life in a cage surrounded by the relentless barking of other dogs.

Now, on a Thursday in late July, that was about to change.

Uno, as he was immediately dubbed by his rescuers, and 3,775 other beagles were being sprung from their misery in an unprecedented animal welfare seizure.

After years of alarm from animal rights advocates and state legislators, after U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors found maggot-infested kibble, 300 dead puppies and injured beagles being euthanized, after an undercover investigation by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and after a lawsuit filed against Envigo by the Justice Department, the Indianapolis-based company had reached a settlement with the federal government. It agreed to shut down the Virginia breeding operation — admitting no wrongdoing and receiving no punishment or fines — rather than make what the CEO of its parent company called “the required investments to improve the facility.”

In July, U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon approved the surrender of Envigo’s beagles to the Humane Society of the United States, giving the nonprofit group just weeks to organize the biggest rescue in its 67-year history. “There’s been nothing, ever, like this. Just the sheer volume of dogs, or really, any animal,” said Kitty Block, the Humane Society’s president and chief executive.

What followed was two months of beagle mania, as people across the country showered the Humane Society with $2.2 million in donations and clamored to adopt the dogs. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took in a beagle. So did the governor of New Jersey and the chief meteorologist at a Virginia news station. But the beagle emancipation was cloaked in secrecy. Almost no one was allowed to see the dogs leave Envigo.

Here is a link to the full story.


The Most Pet Friendly Cities

With National Homeless Animals Day approaching and over 90.5 million U.S. pet-owning households having spent $123.6 billion last year on their animal companions, the personal finance website WalletHub today released an in-depth report on 2022’s Most Pet-Friendly Cities, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.

In order to determine where Americans’ animal companions can enjoy the best quality of life without breaking the bank, WalletHub compared the creature-friendliness of the 100 largest cities across 23 key metrics. The data set ranges from minimum pet-care provider rate per visit to pet businesses per capita to walkability.
 

Most Pet-Friendly Cities Least Pet-Friendly Cities
1. Scottsdale, AZ 91. Fresno, CA
2. Tampa, FL 92. Fremont, CA
3. Portland, OR 93. Chandler, AZ
4. St. Louis, MO 94. Chula Vista, CA
5. Cincinnati, OH 95. Detroit, MI
6. St. Petersburg, FL 96. Chicago, IL
7. Lexington-Fayette, KY 97. New York, NY
8. Las Vegas, NV 98. Honolulu, HI
9. Colorado Springs, CO 99. Baltimore, MD
10. Raleigh, NC 100. Santa Ana, CA

 
Key Stats

  • Columbus, Ohio, has the lowest average veterinary care costs (annual exam), $38.42, which is 2.5 times lower than in Plano, Texas, the city with the highest at $97.65. 
     
  • Miami has the most veterinarians (per square root of the population), 0.3446, which is 90.7 times more than in Newark, New Jersey, the city with the fewest at 0.0038.  
     
  • Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana, have the lowest monthly dog-insurance premium, $39.75, which is 2.5 times lower than in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, the cities with the highest at $97.46.  
     
  • Reno, Nevada, has the most pet businesses (per square root of the population), 0.4791, which is 9.4 times more than in Newark, New Jersey, the city with the fewest at 0.0509.


To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit: 
https://wallethub.com/edu/most-pet-friendly-cities/5562




The Ten Most Popular Dog Breeds on TikTok

Do you ever wonder which dog breeds are the most popular on TikTok? We were curious. Puppy Hero recently revealed the top ten dog breeds on TikToc and generously shared their results with us.

Dogs are extremely popular on the social media app TikTok, where the hashtag ‘#dog’ has amassed 244.8 billion views. Interested in which breeds are the most popular on TikTok, PuppyHero.com analysed 218 dog breeds to see which ones generated the most views. 

The 10 most popular dog breeds on TikTok

Rank

Dog Breed

Hashtag

Views (Billion)

1

Golden Retriever

#goldenretriever

21.2 

2

German Shepherd Dog

#germanshepherd

9.1 

3

Rottweiler

#Rottweiler

8.0 

4

Pug

#pug

6.7 

5

French Bulldog

#frenchbulldog

5.4

6

Labrador Retriever

#labrador

5.3 

7

Bulldog

#bulldog

5.2 

8

Pomeranian

#pomeranian

5.0 

9

Poodle

#poodle

3.4 

10

Border Collie

#bordercollie

2.9 

 

#1 Golden Retriever 

The Golden Retriever is the most popular breed on TikTok, with the hashtag #goldenretriever gathering a whopping 21.2 billion views. It’s not hard to see why this dog is number one, golden retrievers have a friendly and intelligent disposition, which makes them perfect family pets and excellent guide dogs. 

#2 German Shepherd

German Shepherds,  as also known as Alsatian dogs, are the second most popular dog breed on TikTok, with the hashtag #germanshepherd gaining 9.1 billion views. This dog breed is favoured by police units around the world for its loyal and courageous temperament. With  its wolf-like appearance, this breed is certainly striking. 

#3 Rottweiler 

Rottweilers are the third most popular dog breed, with the hashtag #Rottweiler gaining 8 billion views on TikTok. Originally bred for herding, Rottweilers are now often used as guard dogs  due to their sturdy frame and fearless temperament. 

Credit: Shutterstock/ Hollysdogs

Credit: Shutterstock/Happy Monkey

Methodology:

1: PuppyHero.com were interested in which dog breeds are most likely to become TikTok famous.

2: PuppyHero.com collated a seedlist of 222 recognized dog breeds from The Kennel Club

3: PuppyHero.com then searched TikTok using the relevant hashtag per breed. 

4: The seedlist was reduced to 218, as the sub-breeds of long haired and smooth face Pyrenean Sheepdog were lumped into ‘Pyrenean Sheepdog’ and all sizes of Mexican Hairless dogs lumped into ‘Mexican Hairless dog’ due to lack of data.

5:The views per hashtag were then gathered and ranked. 

6: This data was collected on the 28th of April 2022 and is accurate as of then. 


Plant Safety Tips for Pets

Luke Strauss sent us this valuable chart that might be a good guide to the safest plants to have around pets. He says:

Plants and pets have been proven to reduce stress and improve cognitive ability, but can you safely have both in your home? To help reap the many benefits of both furry friends and potted plants, my team created a guide that lists 27 non-toxic plants as well as tips on how to keep your pets safe around toxic ones.

My favorite tip is to hang plants where pets can't reach — my dangling snake plant keeps me company at work without compromising my dog Angie's safety!

Plant safety tips