Do animals have emotions. Is there such a thing as emotional horses?
That’s something scientist have been debating for years and for just as long arguing with animal owners and lovers.
If you ask anyone who has a dog, cat, bird, or horse for that matter they will tell you yes their pets do have emotions; and a lot more going on in their tiny brains.
But scientists being scientists want empirical proof of such claims. Well as far as horses are concerned one group of scientist have done just that proven that horses have emotions and in fact can read our emotions.
Here’s a short story about Sussex University who have been experimenting with photographs of angry and happy faces and believe they have proven that horses do have emotions.
What about other animals
If after watching that story there’s another video that looks at the wider question of other animals emotions, like dogs cats and primates.
Kathy Cooper was tending to her cattle this week when she discovered another cow had been killed and mutilated — approximately one year from the first time it happened.
Cooper and her husband, John, have lost more than 20 cows on their 200-plus acre South Hall farm to a mysterious crime over the past year.
Despite their best efforts and help from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and the University of Georgia’s veterinary school, they are no closer to finding out who is killing their cows and removing only their udders and genitals.
“Detectives don’t have any clues what they do with these parts,” Cooper said. “It’s very obvious that’s what they’re after. That’s all they cut off.”
The 5-year-old cow Cooper discovered dead Monday exhibited the same surgically precise, almost spherical, incisions on its belly where its udders and milk bag had been cleanly removed.
Cooper found just one trace of whoever killed the cow left in the soft dirt caused by Monday’s rain, but no footprints leading anywhere.
“You could see where they went in there on their knees and elbows and lifted her tail up and just cut it off,” she said. “That’s the first sign of any kind.”
Cooper said the mutilated cows are typically found in a gully or wooded area rather than open pasture. The first week of May, seven cows were killed and mutilated on their property. Several more were killed last fall.
Cattle mutilations have been reported across the country with little explanation despite extensive studies. The mutilations are often attributed to a variety of causes, including everything from extraterrestrials and cults to natural predators and decomposition.
Col. Jeff Strickland of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office said investigators have been working on the case for the past year with little luck.
“This has been an ongoing investigation. At this time we don’t have any suspects in the case,” Strickland said.
“We’re going to continue to investigate the case and follow any leads.”
Strickland said there have been no other reports of cattle mutilations in the county.
“It is very bizarre and very unusual. We’ve had no incidents in the adjoining pastures owned by different people,” Strickland said.
Cooper said she is ready to catch whoever is behind this.
“It is a big thing to lose that many cows,” Cooper said. “That’s how we make our living.”
Cattle mutilations have been going on for decades all over the world.
Animal X is pleased to announce a new series of clips.
From the Cutting Room Floor is a series of clips we are producing that looks at some of the material that didn’t make it into the completed episodes.
Over the years we have shot a shed-load of interviews, sightings, artwork and other stuff that just wouldn’t fit into the programmes. After all you can only fit so much material into half an hour, or even an hour’s television.
We have video of all kinds of things including the latest sighting of the San Fransisco Bay Monster. UFO sightings and Bigfoot information and mysterious eyes and faces in the bush.
If you’re into cryptozoology, the supernatural, paranormal or just plane mysteries than make sure you join Animal X to be kept informed of new stories. Either by entering your email address in the box on the right, or through our YouTube channel, FaceBook or Twitter.
Here’s the first in the series. Spotlighting for Mothman, from Animal X Natural Mystery Unit episode 3. Mothman and other Winged Creatures.
In this clip from the cutting room floor Daniel and Natalie are out spotlighting looking for anything that could be mistaken as Mothman.
A giant squid provided a rare treat for onlookers in Toyama Bay when one swam into the harbour.
The 3.7m (12ft) cephalopod was much smaller than the 13m they can grow to.
It spent several hours in the harbour on Christmas Eve and was filmed by local divers.
Professional underwater cameraman Takayoshi Kojima told the BBC he rushed to the harbour when a marina manager called and he helped guide the squid to the exit to the sea, where it finally disappeared.
Japanese researchers took pictures of the elusive creature hunting 900m down, enveloping its prey by coiling its tentacles into a ball.
The images show giant squid, known as Architeuthis, are more vigorous hunters than has been supposed.
The images, captured in the Pacific Ocean, appear in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Documentary companies have invested millions of dollars trying to film adult giant squid in their natural environment. These efforts have met with little success – though one team has managed to capture a juvenile on film.
Japanese fishermen have taken snaps of an adult at the surface but, until now, no one had obtained images of the animal in its deep-sea hunting grounds.
In their efforts to photograph the huge cephalopod, Tsunemi Kubodera and Kyoichi Mori, have been using a camera and depth recorder attached to a long-line, which they lower into the sea from their research vessel.
Below the camera, they suspend a weighted jig – a set of ganged hooks to snag the squid – along with a single Japanese common squid as bait and an odour lure consisting of chopped-up shrimps.
At 0915 local time on 30 September 2004, they struck lucky. At a depth close to 1km in waters off Japan’s Ogasawara Islands, an 8m-long Architeuthis wrapped its long tentacles around the bait, snagging one of them on the jig.
Kubodera and Mori took more than 550 images of the giant squid as it made repeated attempts to detach itself.
The pictures show the squid spreading its arms, enveloping the long-line and swimming away in its efforts to struggle free.
Finally, four hours and 13 minutes after it was first snagged, the attached tentacle broke off, allowing the squid to escape. The researchers retrieved a 5.5m portion with the line.
“It was exciting to get a live Architeuthis tentacle. It was still functioning when we got it on the boat,” Dr Kubodera told BBC News.
giant squid tentacle
The large suckers repeatedly gripped the boat deck – and Dr Kubodera’s fingers when he prodded the severed appendage.
“The grip wasn’t as strong as I expected; it felt sticky,” he explained.
But while other researchers have suggested that Architeuthis is a rather sluggish creature, the images show it is in fact an energetic predator.
Dr Steve O’Shea, of the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, told the BBC News website that he was extremely pleased for the researchers.
Kubodera, he said, had “ever-so-quietly been working away in the background on this for a number of years”.
And Dr O’Shea, a world renowned expert on giant squid, added: “From the point of view of the public, who believe this squid is the largest, the meanest, most aggressive squid that we have – it is hugely significant.”
The Auckland-based researcher said now that the squid had been caught on camera, researchers could focus on other, lesser known squid species and on conservation.
Bottom-trawling by fisheries is destroying squid egg masses on the seabed, Dr O’Shea claimed. Evidence for this comes from an efficient squid predator – the sperm whale.
“Five of the species of squid that were staple in the diet of the sperm whale are recognised in New Zealand as threatened solely as a consequence of the effects of deep-sea bottom-trawling.”
“[Sperm whales] are returning from the Antarctic on their historic migratory route to one of the richest regions on Earth in terms of squid diversity. But the larder is bare and the poor things are washing up on the beaches here starved.”
The giant squid is by no means the largest known. Several other species, including the colossal squid Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, are thought to grow larger.
World’s first IVF puppies born to surrogate mother dog
By Helen Briggs
World’s first surrogate puppy
The world’s first “test tube” puppies have been born after years of attempts, say scientists in the US.
The in-vitro fertilisation success paves the way for conserving endangered breeds and could help in the fight against human and animal diseases, say researchers at Cornell University.
The seven beagle and cross-bred beagle-spaniel puppies were born to a surrogate mother.
They were from the same litter but have three sets of parents.
Frozen embryos were implanted in a female dog using techniques similar to those used in human fertility clinics.
Problems with freezing embryos have caused difficulties in the past, but the group say they have perfected this and other techniques.
Lead researcher Dr Alex Travis, from Cornell’s college of veterinary medicine, said: “We have seven normal happy healthy puppies.”
He added: “Since the mid-1970s, people have been trying to do this in a dog and have been unsuccessful.
“Now we can use this technique to conserve the genetics of endangered species.”
The researchers say IVF is a powerful tool to help endangered species of dog such as the African wild dog.
It could also be used in the study of inherited human and dog diseases.
Dogs share many similar diseases with humans – almost twice as many as for any other species.
Dr Travis said the work was an important milestone.
“In vitro fertilisation is a really powerful tool to help preserve endangered species of dog,” he told the BBC.
“IVF is also important for the health of our pets because it opens up the possibility that we could identify certain genes that cause disease and then fix those.”
The puppies were born in the summer.
Their existence was kept secret until the findings were formally announced to the scientific world this week.
They have reportedly been named Ivy, Cannon, Beaker, Buddy, Nelly, Red and Green, and all but one has gone to a new home.
The research, published in the journal PLoS One, has been described as a “major step forward” in medicine.
Prof David Argyle, head of the school of veterinary medicine at the University of Edinburgh, which was not part of the study, said the new techniques would help understanding of inherited diseases in both dogs and people.
“Importantly, it is becoming apparent that dogs and humans share many common biology, diseases and syndromes, and it is likely that these new techniques could have significant benefit for the study of human diseases as well as canine diseases,” he added.
The discovery was made two weeks into the thermal scanning project
Egypt pyramids scan finds mystery heat spots
From the BBC
An international team of architects and scientists have observed “thermal anomalies” in the pyramids of Giza, Egyptian antiquities officials say.
Thermal cameras detected higher temperatures in three adjacent stones at the bottom of the Great Pyramid.
Officials said possible causes included the existence of empty areas inside the pyramid, internal air currents, or the use of different building materials.
It comes as experts search for hidden chambers within the pyramids.
The tombs of the pharaohs Khufu (Kheops), Khafre (Khephren) and Menkaure (Mycerinus) were built in the Fourth Dynasty, about 2613-2494BC.
A team of architects and scientists from Egypt, France, Canada and Japan used infrared thermography to survey the pyramids during sunrise, as the sun heats the limestone structures from the outside, as well as at sunset when they cool down.
Cameras detected higher temperatures in three stones at the bottom of the Great Pyramid
In a statement, the Egyptian antiquities ministry said the experts had “concluded the existence of several thermal anomalies that were observed on all monuments during the heating-up or the cooling-down phases”.
“To explain such anomalies, a lot of hypotheses and possibilities could be drawn up: presence of voids behind the surface, internal air currents,” it added.
An “particularly impressive” anomaly was found at ground level on the eastern side of the Great Pyramid, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, the statement said.
Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damati (left) presented the findings on Monday
“The first row of the pyramid’s stones are all uniform, then we come here and find that there’s a difference in the formation,” Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damati said as he showed reporters the three stones showing higher temperatures.
Other thermal anomalies were detected in the upper half of the Great Pyramid.
The structure will be the subject of further investigation during the Operation Scan Pyramids project, which began on 25 October and is expected to last until the end of 2016.
Animal X knows that there are some ancient and scary cults in Egypt. There’s the ancient Cat cult and the scary creature known as the Salaawa, a werewolf type creature.
People around the world have observed a rare celestial event, as a lunar eclipse coincided with a so-called “supermoon”.
A supermoon occurs when the Moon is in the closest part of its orbit to Earth, meaning it appears larger in the sky.
The eclipse – which made the Moon appear red – has been visible in North America, South America, West Africa and Western Europe.
This phenomenon was last observed in 1982 and will not be back before 2033.
But the definition of a supermoon is debated among astronomers.
The supermoon from Belgium
The view at Glastonbury in western England
A plane flies in front of the supermoon over Geneva, Switzerland
The partially eclipsed supermoon over the US city of Las Vegas
Skywatchers in the western half of North America, the rest of Europe and Africa, the Middle East and South Asia saw a partial eclipse.
From the UK, observers watched the Moon pass through the Earth’s shadow in the early hours of Monday morning. In North and South America the eclipse was seen on Sunday evening.
The supermoon, where Earth’s satellite is near its minimum distance from our planet, means that the Moon appears 7-8% larger in the sky
The moon looks rust-coloured during a total lunar eclipse – giving rise to its nickname Blood Moon. This is because the Earth’s atmosphere scatters blue light more strongly than red light, and it is this red light that reaches the lunar surface
During the eclipse, the Moon lies in front of the stars of the constellation Pisces
In a total lunar eclipse, the Earth, Sun and Moon are almost exactly in line and the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun.
As the full Moon moves into our planet’s shadow, it dims dramatically but usually remains visible, lit by sunlight that passes through the Earth’s atmosphere.
As this light travels through our planet’s gaseous envelope, the green to violet portions get filtered out more than the red portion, with the result that light reaching the lunar surface is predominantly red in colour.
Observers on Earth may see a Moon that is brick-coloured, rusty, blood red or sometimes dark grey, depending on terrestrial conditions.
Dr Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society, told BBC News that the eclipse is an “incredibly beautiful event”.
A supermoon occurs when a full or new moon coincides with a Moon that is nearing its minimum distance (perigee) to Earth.
The Moon takes an elliptical orbit around Earth, which means that its average distance changes from as far as 405,000km (its apogee) to as close as 363,000km at the perigee.
The coincidence between a supermoon and an eclipse means that Earth’s lone companion is expected to look 7-8% bigger. But Dr Massey added: “The definition of ‘supermoon’ is slightly problematic.
“Is a supermoon taking place at the perigee, the day before, the day after? Does a supermoon have to be a particularly close perigee, or can it be a bit further out? It’s not very well defined.”
He said a supermoon was to some extent a moveable feast compared with an eclipse, where the timing can be measured precisely.
As a result, Dr Massey explained, claims of the extreme rarity of a supermoon coinciding with an eclipse were overstated.
The supermoon should also not be confused with the Moon Illusion, which causes the Moon to appear larger near the horizon than it does higher up in the sky.
The eclipse began at 00:11 GMT, when the Moon entered the lightest part of the Earth’s shadow, known as the penumbra, and adopted a yellowish colour. At 02:11 GMT the Moon completely entered the umbra – the inner dark corpus of our planet’s shadow.
The point of greatest eclipse occurred at 02:47 GMT, when the Moon was closest to the centre of the umbra, with the eclipse ending at 05:22 GMT.
The Royal Astronomical Society says that unlike the solar equivalent, a total lunar eclipse event is safe to watch and needs no special equipment.
This clip from the BBC looks at our exploration of the stars.
At the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, scientists are engaged in one of the most important quests of modern astronomy. They’re scanning the universe for new planets.
Planets that might support life now or in the future. Planets that might be like earth. Our desire to reach out into space is a compulsion.
The more we soar, the greater that compulsion. In the 1970s, after decades of careful planning, 4 probes, Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager One, and Voyager 2 were sent on missions to the outer limits of our solar system. Their journeys would last almost 30 years, and cover more than 8 billion miles. These probes brought mankind astonishing images of the planets in our solar system. Mankinds first giant leap was made with hot air in balloons. Tied to balloons, man could leave the ground and travel higher than ever before.
In 1960, a balloon carrying US airforce captain Joe Kittinger ascended to the edge of space, some 100,000 feet off the ground. Then he jumped out. In 4 minutes, Kittinger reached the speed of sound.
Mars lost much of its atmosphere over time. Where did the atmosphere–and the water–go? The MAVEN mission’s hunt for answers will help us understand when and for how long Mars might have had an environment that could have supported microbial life in its ancient past.
Beware the Mars Hoax
From NASA Science News
There’s a rumor about Mars going around the internet. Here are some snippets from a widely-circulated email message:
“The Red Planet is about to be spectacular.”
“Earth is catching up with Mars [for] the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history.”
“On August 27th … Mars will look as large as the full moon.”
And finally, “NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN.”
Only the first sentence is true. The Red Planet is about to be spectacular. The rest is a hoax.
Here are the facts: Earth and Mars are converging for a close encounter this year on October 30th at 0319 Universal Time. Distance: 69 million kilometers. To the unaided eye, Mars will look like a bright red star, a pinprick of light, certainly not as wide as the full Moon.
Disappointed? Don’t be. If Mars did come close enough to rival the Moon, its gravity would alter Earth’s orbit and raise terrible tides.
Sixty-nine million km is good. At that distance, Mars shines brighter than anything else in the sky except the Sun, the Moon and Venus. The visual magnitude of Mars on Oct. 30, 2005, will be -2.3. Even inattentive sky watchers will notice it, rising at sundown and soaring overhead at midnight.
You might remember another encounter with Mars, about two years ago, on August 27, 2003. That was the closest in recorded history, by a whisker, and millions of people watched as the distance between Mars and Earth shrunk to 56 million km. This October’s encounter, at 69 million km, is similar. To casual observers, Mars will seem about as bright and beautiful in 2005 as it was in 2003.
Although closest approach is still months away, Mars is already conspicuous in the early morning. Before the sun comes up, it’s the brightest object in the eastern sky, really eye-catching. If you have a telescope, even a small one, point it at Mars. You can see the bright icy South Polar Cap and strange dark markings on the planet’s surface.
Above: Painted green by a flashlight, astronomer Dennis Mammana of California points out Mars to onlookers on Aug. 26, 2003, the last time Mars was so close to Earth. Photo credit: Thad V’Soske.
One day people will walk among those dark markings, exploring and prospecting, possibly mining ice from the polar caps to supply their settlements. It’s a key goal of NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration: to return to the Moon, to visit Mars and to go beyond.
Every day the view improves. Mars is coming–and that’s no hoax.
Author: Dr. Tony Phillips | Production Editor: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA
10 Need-to-Know Things About Mars
If the sun were as tall as a typical front door, Earth would be the size of a nickel, and Mars would be about as big as an aspirin tablet.
Mars orbits our sun, a star. Mars is the fourth planet from the sun at a distance of about 228 million km (142 million miles) or 1.52 AU.
One day on Mars takes just a little over 24 hours (the time it takes for Mars to rotate or spin once). Mars makes a complete orbit around the sun (a year in Martian time) in 687 Earth days.
Mars is a rocky planet, also known as a terrestrial planet. Mars’ solid surface has been altered by volcanoes, impacts, crustal movement, and atmospheric effects such as dust storms.
Mars has a thin atmosphere made up mostly of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar).
Mars has two moons named Phobos and Deimos.
There are no rings around Mars.
More than 40 spacecraft have been launched for Mars, from flybys and orbiters to rovers and landers that touched surface of the Red Planet. The first true Mars mission success was Mariner 4 in 1965.
At this time in the planet’s history, Mars’ surface cannot support life as we know it. A key science goal is determining Mars’ past and future potential for life.
Mars is known as the Red Planet because iron minerals in the Martian soil oxidize, or rust, causing the soil — and the dusty atmosphere — to look red.
Prof. Metin Sett at Harvard University is look at animals for ways to best get about on Mars. It’s called bio inspiration and he has come up with some amazing findings.
Balancing rocks trace history of ‘jumping’ earthquakes
By Jonathan WebbScience reporter, BBC News
The researchers spent 10 years collecting measurements of balancing rocks
US scientists say they have solved the riddle of why a collection of balancing rocks near the San Andreas fault has never been toppled by earthquakes.
Their decade-long study concludes that quakes can stop or “jump” due to interactions between the San Andreas and the neighbouring San Jacinto fault.
Models show that these interactions sent the biggest vibrations around the rock stacks, leaving them intact.
But the connected nature of the faults has implications for quake planning.
The study of precariously balanced rocks was begun in the 1990s by Jim Brune, now an emeritus professor at the University of Nevada and a co-author of the new paper.
“He realised that [these rocks] could be a check on seismic hazard maps, and give long-term indications of ground shaking,” said the study’s lead author Prof Lisa Grant Ludwig, from the University of California, Irvine.
“They are kind of natural seismoscopes – but you have to read them indirectly.
“They don’t tell you an earthquake happened, they tell you ‘an earthquake strong enough to knock me down did not happen’.”
Generally, balancing rocks are not seen within 15km of major faults. But 10 years ago Prof Brune and his colleagues found two sizeable collections of such stones just 7-10km from the San Andreas and San Jacinto faults, in the San Bernardino mountains of California.
The teetering rocks sit less than 10km from two major faults
In the new study, due to be published in the journal Seismological Research Letters, these rocks were carefully catalogued and measured.
Importantly, the team calculated how much force it would take to tip each of the rocks over.
“There are two methods of doing that, one of which is actually trying to tip the thing,” Prof Ludwig said. This meant some nerve-wracking fieldwork, gently pushing the rocks until there was some movement, but not actually tipping them over.
“If my mother had known I was doing that, she would not have been happy,” Prof Ludwig confessed. “You never want to be on the downhill side when you tip it.”
The second method, for rocks too dangerous or difficult to tip, was “photomodelling”: using views from multiple angles to build a 3D model of the balanced stone and calculate its centre of gravity, mass, and so on.
Both these methods, along with some “shake table” simulation experiments, showed that the rocks should have fallen over during quakes as recent as 1812 and 1857.
The famous San Andreas fault stretches 1,300km across California
But various measures can tell us exactly how long the stones have perched in their places – and it is millennia, not centuries.
“One of my former postdocs did an age study of one of the rocks. And it’d been in that position about 18,000 years,” said Prof Ludwig.
So how did these precarious rocks withstand the tens or hundreds of earthquakes that shook the region during that time?
Network of fractures
“The inescapable conclusion was that the ground motions had to be lower than you would expect from typical earthquakes on the San Andreas and San Jacinto faults,” Prof Ludwig explained.
The team’s best explanation for that surprisingly small ground movement – and one supported by computer modelling of big earthquakes – is an interaction between the two faults.
Precarious rocks, like this one in Nevada, can act as natural measures of earthquake strength over time
Precarious rocks, like this one in Nevada, can act as natural measures of earthquake strength over time
“The San Andreas and San Jacinto faults come very close together; they’re only about 2km apart. And it’s been well established, through other earthquakes and modelling studies, that a rupture can jump across [a gap like that]. It’s what’s called a stepover.
“What if the rupture jumped across, or alternatively, stopped at this junction, or started at this junction? All three of those cases would produce lower ground shaking in the area where we found the rocks.”
It is crucial to consider the faults together, Prof Ludwig said – not just to explain the baffling, balancing rocks, but also in order to plan safely for future earthquakes.
“These are really networks of fractures in the earth. Just because we give them different names doesn’t mean that they behave independently.”
Dr Lucy Jones is a long-serving seismologist and a science adviser for risk reduction at the US Geological Survey. She said the paper would have “pretty significant implications” for earthquake planning in California.
In particular, Dr Jones said the findings might impact the “ShakeOut scenario” – in which she and others modelled a major San Andreas quake, to support safety drills and procedures.
“I think that this study actually makes the particular ShakeOut scenario less likely, but I’m not sure it means that we’re definitely going to get less ground motion,” Dr Jones told the BBC.
“It isn’t a clear-cut answer as to whether we’ll be better off or worse off. We’re going to need time to look at the permutations.”
Looking beyond individual quakes, Dr Jones said the new study fits into a “pretty well accepted picture” that in the long-term, seismic activity is gradually shifting from the southern stretch of the San Andreas fault across to the younger San Jacinto fault.
“This study is a really cool piece of evidence that maybe the jump is a little further along than we assumed,” she said.
Did you know that pets can often detect ear quakes before they happen? Here’s a story from Animal X about some such pets.