Simmental cattle on alp pasture (Engstligenalp, Switzerland) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cattle, colloquially referred to as cows, are domesticated ungulates, a member of the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae. As they are prominent modern members of the subfamily Bovinae, and are the most widespread species of the Genus Bos, and are most commonly classified as Bos primigenius. Cattle are raised as livestock for meat (Beef and veal), as dairy animals for milk and other dairy products, and as draft animals (oxen) pulling carts, plows, and the like. Other products include leather or dung for manure or fuel. In some countries, such as India, cattle are sacred. An estimated 1.3 billion cattle are in the world today. In 2009, cattle became the first livestock animal to have a fully mapped genome. Cows are pretty useful. And without them we would be forced to eat things like sheep or camel milk ice cream. Or even worse, before tractors were invented (or if you’re Amish) everyone without a horse would have to either plow their fields themselves or use a big dog or goat. The luckiest might get a donkey or Shetland pony but what about the rest?
English: Cats Whiskers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A Cat’s sense of Touch.
Cats have touch receptors all over their bodies that transfer information to the brain whenever the cat experiences temperature change, pain, or other touch related occurrences. Cats are born with a highly developed sense of touch. This is especially important for the first 10-14 days of their lives. Kittens this young can detect temperature changes as low as .9 degrees Fahrenheit. Which helps them know what way to crawl to find their mother. The most sensitive place on a cat is its face and front paws. Whiskers are special hairs on the front of a cat’s face that are so delicate that if they are moved 1/2000th the length of a human hair they will signal the brain. Cats also have long “eyebrows” that are essentially the same thing as the whiskers but on a different part of the face. The use of these hairs is to help cats when they crawl through bushes or shrubs. When a branch touches a hair,the cat will close that eye so that it does not get poked out. Whiskers help the cat hunt as well. They can detect wind currents and movement so that the cat can locate its prey. Do you want to see this for yourself? You can test your cat’s whisker ability by touching one of its “eyebrow” hairs. If the cat closes its eye then you will see that your cat could be a good hunter. If not, then maybe your cat needs to get out more. Just saying…
Bloodhund na krajowej wystawie w Rybniku – Kamieniu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A Dog’s Sense of Smell.
Dogs rely on their sense of smell much like humans rely on their eyesight. In general, dogs do not have the greatest eyesight. But with just one sniff, a dog can find an object from miles away like a person, object, or another animal. Inside mammal noses there are bony scroll-shaped plates called turbinates. When air passes over these turbinates, scent detecting cells and nerves transport the information to the brain. In a human, the area that the turbinates take up is about 1 square inch (about the size of a postage stamp.) In a dog, they take up as much as 60 square inches (about the size of a sheet of typing paper.) Think that’s huge? Well humans have approximately 5 million scent receptors, and dogs? Up to 300 million (bloodhound). So how much better is a dog’s sense of smell compared to a human’s? Depending on the breed, dogs can smell 1,000-10,000 times better than humans. But maybe it’s a good thing that humans cannot smell as well as dogs can. Just think of smelling 10,000 times more skunk, rotten egg, or (please no!) a room full of sweaty people.
About Cats Ears.
An odd-eyed deaf white cat named Sebastian (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cats are born without any hearing, but gradually over the course of two weeks their ears develop. On the third week their ears are fully functional. Cats can pick up a wide range of noises, but especially high pitched noises at which they are better than dogs. That is part of what makes them excellent hunters. Cats can hear five times better than humans, and dogs only have two thirds the ability of cats. Undeniably, cats can also hear ultrasonic sounds such as before an earthquake ect. The cat’s inner ear has many chambers and canals that are filled with hairs that contain fluid and crystals that assist with balance. These hairs can detect the slightest movement and signal the brain to make adjustments which is why cats always land on their feet. No doubt about it, cats have excellent hearing. But you might want to refrain from making very loud noises around any cat. Just like humans, cats can go deaf or become hard of hearing. And the last thing you want is an old grumpy deaf cat.
Chocolate_Lab_Puppy_Asleep (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
How Many Hours Do Dogs Sleep?
It really depends on a few things. You see, dogs do not have regular sleep routines like humans do. Instead, they take naps throughout the day and night waking to eat and exercise only to go back to sleep again. Dogs usually sleep 12-18 hours per day, but there are some factors to take into account to determine how many hours your dog sleeps. Age is a big factor. Puppies for example; their batteries have shorter charges and when they wake up they tend to be bouncy and full of energy for five minutes, and then sleep for fifteen (repeat). Older dogs also need to recharge more often than young or middle aged dogs. Activeness can also determine how much a dog sleeps. Active dogs tend to sleep less than non-active dogs. Which makes sense because non-active dogs sleep more out of boredom. Diet is another big one. Low quality dog foods contain hard to digest fillers and your dog’s body will be so busy trying to digest its food it will want to rest. Fat or overweight dogs also sleep more than healthy or lean dogs. Obviously their poor diet and/or little exercise does not give them enough energy to do very much. And last but not least, the size of the dog might also determine how much sleep your dog needs. Bigger dogs tend to sleep more than little dogs. Giant breeds like the Saint Bernard or Mastiff usually sleep 18 hours a day, and little dogs like Chihuahuas and Pomeranians sleep about 12 hours a day. In conclusion, it depends. But big or small, a good diet and plenty of exercise should give your dog plenty of energy and a long happy life.
Why do cats like boxes and bags… A funny video of big cats and boxes, enjoy.
Regarding Pet Allergies.
cat (Photo credit: Kenny Teo (zoompict)
About 10% of Americans have pet allergies, the most common being cats. Contrary to popular belief, it is not cats’ fur/hair that people are allergic to but the dander (dead skin), saliva, and urine. An interesting fact about pet allergies is that they are caused by an oversensitive immune system. What happens is that the body mistakes something harmless like pet dander for some dangerous invader and attacks it like it is a bacteria or virus. And the person gets the wonderful symptoms and side-effects that go along with it. Although sometimes the person might not be allergic to cats or dogs. Outside animals can carry pollen, mold, or other allergens in their fur. And then there are the “hypoallergenic” or hairless breeds like the sphinx or the chinese crested. Now don’t get me wrong, these breeds may cause less of a reaction but if someone in your family is allergic to cats or dogs it is just not a good idea to adopt that kind of pet. Now for all of you that are not allergic to cats or dogs, pet your cat or play fetch with your dog and think about the poor lonely souls who have never held a kitten or got licked by puppies. Now go give your cat a bath and brush your dog’s teeth.