In the country’s ongoing Battle of the Bulge, leading culprits have been identified including our fast-food-obsession, those gigantic, sugary soft drinks, and trans fats. But what about antibiotics? Writing for Mother Jones, food and ag blogger, Tom Philpott, narrows in on the rising obesity epidemic and the use of antibiotics in factory farming. More than [...]Read More:Obesity Connected to Antibiotics in Animal Products
While consumer concern over the widespread use of antibiotics in animal feed continues to rise, the FDA has become more secretive about providing the public with information regarding the sale of antibiotics for use in livestock feed, and it’s resulted in a lawsuit filed by the Government Accountability Project.Read More:Concealed Data on Antibiotic Use in Animals Lands FDA in Court
But in all seriousness, scientists have long-believed that the chimpanzee is our closest animal cousin, but now a new study challenges that assumption.
Some experts believe orangutans are our closest brothers and sisters, putting them one evolutionary notch above of chimpanzees.
Published in the Journal of Biogeography, scientists say that when you consider the physical traits of orangutans, they are a better match with humans, even though chimps and humans have 96% of the same genetics.
According to researchers humans share 28 unique physical characteristics with orangutans, but only 2 with chimps. A couple notable features include our mammary glands, humans and orangutans have the widest-separated mammary glands. Also, humans and orangutans both have hair lines well above our eyes, most other primates do not.
Now, I love orangutans. They are one of my favorite animals, but these claims seem anecdotal at best and many researchers feel the same way, saying the weight of all the genetic evidence must be considered. I agree.Long Hair and Wide Boobs Means Orangutans are Our Closest Cousins?
I’m a cat lover. They’re cute, cuddly and awesome, but I have no doubt that cats will eventually enslave mankind and take over the world. Now, to make their job easier, some cats are actually sprouting wings. Yes, wings.
In the Chinese city of Chongqing, some kitties are growing small fur-covered wings on their backs. Flying cats! We’re doomed. But luckily for humanity, the little wings are too small to for flight.
Now, even though they look cute—I want one—the cause of the wings may be man made. Chongqing is heavily industrialized and local factories spew out tons of pollution. Toxins passed on from mother to kitten may explain the deformity.
A more ironic explanation is that the wings are merely Siamese twins. Either way you look at it, if cats take to the skies. We’re going to need an army robot terminator dogs—stat!
Via Discoblog.Read More:Pollution Making Winged Cats!
And that goes double for food animals. I can’t imagine eating sick or badly injured livestock is healthy or safe.
That’s why this makes me mad. In Tasmania, activists raided a local piggery and discovered a horror show.
The pig farm, which supplies meat to a major supermarket chain, kept pigs in squalid conditions, many with swollen legs, large abscesses and covered with flesh eating maggots crawling out of open drains.
Disgusting! The conditions are bad enough, but selling diseased meat to people is deplorable. Police have charged the owner with severe animal cruelty and the grocery store has launched an investigation.
Via ABC News.Read More:Pig Farm Raid Finds Maggot-Eaten Pigs
Octopi are incredibly smart. Living in coral reefs, where predators are abound, requires them to make split second life-or-death decisions. As a result, they’ve evolved to become quite brainy. Some species can even change color.
But this little octopus is a real prankster. Last week, at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium in California, a female California two-spotted octopus flooded her aquarium home with at least 200 gallons of seawater.
Some scientists say octopuses are the perfect combination of smarts, strength, curiosity and manipulative ability, all of which helped this foot-long octopus swim to the top of her tank, disassemble a valve and release the 200 gallons of water.
The swell flooded nearby by offices and exhibits and ruined the aquarium’s recently installed ecologically designed floors. Researchers believe octopi learn from observing others, so maybe this little one was spying on zookeepers. Now I want a pet octopus!Crafty Octopus Floods Aquarium
If you haven’t seen it, watch it! A wild koala bear takes a drink from a firefighter’s bottle after he found her helpless and hurting while responding to the massive wildfires that swept through Australia, killing 180 people. It’ll make you sniffle.
The koala, a female named Sam, was rescued and is being treated for second-degree burns on her paws. But while in the animal shelter, she met and fell in love with another kola, named Bob, rescued a few days earlier; Reuters reports.Aussie Brushfires Spark Koala Love
Elephants and rhinos and hippos, oh my! I never thought of them as a premium source of organic compost.
That’s the premise behind ZooPoop, a specially formulated, odorless organic compost tea that, according to the company’s founders, produces “jumbo results in your garden and house plants.”
Rich in plant nutrients, the product’s name sums it up: zoo animal “poop” that’s an extraction of composted elephant, rhino and hippo manure, plus plant materials.
“ZooPoop improves both physical condition and fertility of the soil,” the company notes, adding that it makes plants healthier by improving aeration, root penetration and water retention, while reducing crusting of the soil surface. ZooPoop compost also adds texture to heavy clay soils, making it easier to work, and aids nutrient retention of sandy soils. It can be used dry or as a tea, and it’s odorless when wet or dry.
ZooPoop is sold in a 4-lb. bag (four 1-lb. packs per bag) for $18.95. Shipping via FedEx Ground is $9.85 for one bag and $13.95 for 2 bags.Read More:Organic Gardening: Zoo Poop!