Research: laboratory rats

Rats are often chosen over mice when they are studied and experimented upon in laboratories for physiology, immunology, learning, behavior, nutrition and toxicology (which is a branch of science that concerns with the nature, detections and effects of poisons). This is somewhat because they are larger and thus procedures and handling is easier, doubled then by the fact that they have larger brains than mice. Scientists are also more familiar with rats, and the effects, results and pathways they are taken to. After this, rats have enabled the development of a large amount of complex learning and conditioning theories.

Their ability to learn, and to be taught in stimulus to press buttons and levers, has given them an advantage over mice as well. They are prevalent in biomedical research second only to humans, and they share 90% of the genome with them.

Well-established strains of rat are used to study a number of human diseases, including cancer. These strains were accomplished throughout a number of different processes, and the result was successful. Some rats were fed a high salt diet, and the animals were bred on the basis of blood pressure either increasing or remaining normal. This proved salt sensitivity to be an inherited trait, and that similar factors applied in the human race.

Several procedures which rats underwent in laboratories included maze performance, which was liable to practice memory tasks. The radial arm maze is a circle of doors in which a rat is set and based upon memory in the fact that it must figure out what doors led to unexplored passages, and the doors behind which they had already ventured.

Even house mice, whom have stolen for generations from humans, have paid back a thousandfold for revealing many of biology’s secrets yet undiscovered by scientists. They have participated in advancing medical goals, including the understanding of the functional parts of the genome, modeling the study of human disease and developing the genomic-based therapy applied to diseases in humans.

In this way, rats are killed in experimental procedures and have been known to get Alzheimer’s for the sake of science studying forgetfulness in diseases. Rats remain crucial in the understanding of human diseases, but replicating the diseases in rats will not be certain to provide the same results as in humans.




The seahorse, genus Hippocampus, is a type of fish named for its equine appearance, suggesting that of a horse. Seahorses do not have the streamlined, horizontal body of a common fish and therefore are usually much slower than the average fish and can swim vertically. This is for the upright posture and curled prehensile tail, which can unravel at wishes to support the seahorse by clinging to a coral or type of aquatic plant such as eelgrass. Seahorses are found in areas of saltwater including beds of seagrass, coral reefs, mangroves, and estuaries, and among these locations, they search for food such as small crustaceans by probing about for aquatic meals, sucking them up through their long snouts as they don’t have any teeth.

Although seahorses are relatively bony, they do not have scales, but rather very thin skin stretched over bony plates throughout their bodies. They don’t have the caudal fin of usual fish, and instead possess a long, prehensile tail which is useful in extreme conditions; as well as this they have the common dorsal fin and pectoral fins. A seahorse’s eyes are like those of a chameleon and may move freely about the head.

Seahorses also have the ability to change colors, and therefore camouflage themselves primarily for safety from passing carnivorous predators. This ability, however, does not hinder that certain seahorses always have a natural color, due to whatever certain species they are.

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An example of the camouflage of a seahorse.

Seahorses’ primary relative is the pipefish, a species of very small, long and thin fish which makes up the family Syngnathidae with seahorses and seadragons (such as the Weedy and Leafy Seadragon).

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Top to bottom: Leafy Seadragon & Weedy Seadragon.




The Short-Eared Dog

The Short-eared dog, also known as the Small-eared dog and the Short-eared zorro (Spanish for fox), is a wild canine species that is endemic to the Amazonian basin and is mainly a carnivore, having a majority of fish, small mammals, and also insects making up its diet. Feral dogs prove large threats to the rare population of Short-eared dogs, as they spread such diseases as canine distemper and rabies. Humans are also known as threats to the Short-eared dog, as through the destruction of tropical rainforests and other such natural animal habitat. They are considered NT (near threatened) by IUCN.

Image result for short eared dogThe Short-eared dog has short, rounded ears (hence its name) and its limbs are slender and short. Its features, typically the muzzle and tail, are distinctly foxlike. The fur of the Short-eared dog is usually a dark grey, but ranges to colors around reddish-grey, coffee brown, chestnut-grey to black or very nearly a navy blue and is short, thick and typically bristly. Owning to its somewhat aquatic surroundings, its paws are actually somewhat webbed. The most common other species of wild dog having webbed feet is the Bush dog.

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Photograph of a Short-Eared dog


The Short-eared dog is known to move with more feline lightness than is commonly known among other related canid species, and as it prefers areas of the Amazon rainforest that are not commonly disturbed by humans, they are usually found in swamp forests, cloud forests, and stands of bamboo.


The American Crow

Somewhere in the year of 2016, some of the crows residing within the exterior of our property, which was conveniently covered in an expanse of trees exhibiting a vast quantity of roosts which enticed birds to build their nests there, included a crow whom I recognized for the several feathers missing from the line of primary feathers within her right wing. I studied this bird, knowing that she could easily be identified, despite the fact that an older crow also lacked a few feathers in her right wing, but conveniently a much lesser amount. The youngest crow I christened McKenna and the eldest bore the name of Gemma.

Through the studies of McKenna, I experienced a playful chase consisting of two crows, who, for the moment, were known as Hugh and Zacharias, persistently giving chase to the former crow in circular flight patterns. The feathers missing from McKenna’s right wing resulted in creating a more awkward flight pattern, but McKenna was a young crow and determinedly caught up to everything without any large amount of difficulty. I supposed that McKenna was a she through thinking that the game was a sign of bird courtship in summer.

Hugh retired for a moment from the game, which was preceded triumphantly by by his opponent, Zacharias. However, from determination, Hugh was not to be thwarted and the merry game extended to nearly half an hour afterward. Once they ended, they departed in different directions from the quintessential fun.

It was only later in fall, when migration commenced, that McKenna and Gemma were last spied, departing North to a warmer climate and leaving behind the location that I had recorded McKenna’s sightings.


Flying Foxes & Bats of Canada

Of Eastern Canada, the Eastern Pipistrelle is the smallest of Canada’s indigenous bat species in the area. It is also known to have a habitat range of Southern Ontario, the Southernmost parts of Quebec, most of Nova Scotia and part of New Brunswick, and is a tricoloured bat, with a grey base, yellow body and tipped with brown in fur color. They migrate to caves as hibernaculums in both late summer and early autumn and are decidedly slow flyers, preferring slow rivers and adjacent forests and woodlands of the area.

Also native to Eastern Canada is the Eastern Small-footed bat, who is one of the smallest North American bats known, and is one of the least common in Canada. Its range is restricted to deciduous and coniferous forests and it is a cold-tolerant bat. It enters hibernation later than most other species (usually late November or early December) and is identified by slow and erratic flight.

Of Western Canada, the California myotis, Fringed myotis, Keen’s myotis, Long-eared myotis, Long-legged myotis, Western big-eared bat, Western small-footed bat and Yuma myotis reside there. Many of these species are found in British Columbia and some both British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Flying Foxes

Flying foxes, which are fruit bats, vary largely in species native to Australia, typically rain forests. Many prefer their roosts as eucalyptus trees. Of the many species of fruit bats, their breeds include;


Animal Anatomy 2 (continued)

The skeletal anatomy of many types of animals are useful to study, as perhaps knowing what types of flexibility and bones they posses is liable for knowing what they are capable of being used for.

The anatomy of cats and dogs shows that they are flexible enough to twist sideways, whereas horses are not quite as capable of maintaining such feats. The anatomy of different species of mammal, reptile, amphibian, fish, bird and insect all show that, as they are all positioned with difference and posses different bones in different places, whether or not convenient, they lack and posses certain capabilities.

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These vintage animal drawings depict the anatomy of both horses and dogs

Because animals posses certain abilities to enable them to adapt to their surroundings, they are capable of a good many things that are seen through the study of animal anatomy. For sea life, they are provided with fins and flippers and the muscles and bones that propel them and enable them to move properly with working joints. For land animals and for birds, the muscles and bones that work wings and other various parts of the body must work in the exactly proper way, or else any small mistake among the joints and bones could make it impossible to work limbs even enough to somehow make use of them.

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The anatomy of birds, horses, oxen, fish and dolphins 


The Tasmanian Tiger

Thylacines, also known as Tasmanian tigers, or Tasmanian wolves, are extinct carnivorous marsupials, the last of whom died in the Hobart zoo on the 7th of September, 1936. The closest living relatives are thought to be either the Tasmanian devil, or the numbat.

Thylacine family at zoo.

Because of the fact that they were decidedly extraordinary animals, they were hunted day and night for their fur or captured to be exhibited at the zoo, for these creatures were known to have jaws flexible enough that, as their main diet was primarily believed to be kangaroos, wombats and wallabies, they could swallow a small kangaroo joey.

Thylacine yawning. See degrees of jaw flexibility. 

Thylacines’ main relations are numbats, dunnarts, wambengers and quolls (see the Study of Quolls, a former post).