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The Animal Science Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about scientific and technological topics related to pets, livestock, and other animals. See how cutting-edge advances help - or hinder - species around the world.

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Animal Articles - July 17, 2009

Posted July 17, 2009 12:01 AM by SavvyExacta

This week's animal articles - new technology and some animal antics.

Steampunk Cheetah runs like the real thing. (Like this? Read more about other mechanical animals in my three-part series on CR4.)

Maybe you wear contact lenses - how about your pet?

Is your cat taking advantage of you?

Basking shark in Long Island, N.Y. (More about sharks on Animal Science.)

Man killed in annual running of the bulls.

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#1

Re: Animal Articles - July 17, 2009

07/17/2009 9:48 AM

Is it bad when I think that mechanical cheetah is soooooo cute? When I grow up, I am going to build one and train it and it will be my cheetah!

I think the article was right when they pointed out that cat owners already knew that their cats were manipulative. I am not getting my cat contact lenses, no matter how blind she may get! It would be quite difficult to convince my cat to 'stay still while I stick something in your eye that may or may not bother you the rest of the day'.

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#2

Re: Animal Articles - July 17, 2009

07/17/2009 1:22 PM

The whole idea of contact lenses for pets is cool, but I wouldn't want to be the owner who had to try and put them in! Although I am a relatively new pet owner in the sense that my first "real" pet (not fish) is still less than two years old, I doubt that she would ever let me get close enough to her eyes to even attempt it.

That being said - she is a cat and yes, she does take advantage of me! She knows that purring = being cute = treats. In all seriousness though, I'm amazed at the range of noises cats make. Some, like affectionate purring, are adorable, while others - like say, the ones they make when they want you to get up and feed them, are quite jarring - which the BBC article talks about.

Very cool articles - except, of course, that guy getting killed at the bull run. I understand that it's a tradition, but damn - that is dangerous.

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#3

Re: Animal Articles - July 17, 2009

07/19/2009 12:10 AM

Love the cheetah! Really quite a beautiful sculpture..

Cats taking advantage?..Absolutely! My training continues. I discovered my cat's diary the other day. Now I know what he's Really thinking. Excerpts below:


Day 983 of my captivity...

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed
hash or some sort of dry nuggets.

Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I
nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt
to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their
feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it
clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made
condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am.
Bast***s.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was
placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I
could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my
confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this
means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my
tormenters by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try
this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.
The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released
- and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with
the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My
captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell,
so he is safe.......For now .......

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Animal Articles - July 17, 2009

07/20/2009 7:56 AM

LOL, I love the diary entry!

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#4

Re: Animal Articles - July 17, 2009

07/19/2009 3:02 AM

The Cheetah's very cool. It owes a bit of a nod to Leonardo's Lion (couldn't see a reference in previous articles). Are you sure it actually runs ? The balance looks impossible, there doesn't' appear to be space for power/locomotion unit, and the video certainly looks like a bit of stop-frame trickery. The same artist has a mechanical giraffe. Very stylish, self-moving or not.

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