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Analysis and Comment (9)

Pets can also provide their owners with social support, acting as a friend and confidante. Pets can also provide their owners with social support, acting as a friend and confidante. Crashing Waves/flickr

Why science can’t really tell us whether pets are good for health

Links between human health and pet ownership are of widespread community interest but there’s little clarity about the issue in scientific circles. It is relatively safe to say that pets can be good for…
Winter is coming. Winter is coming. Clara do Amaral

Alaskan frogsicles take winter in their stride

For life to persist, it must tolerate its environment. The depth of an arctic winter is formidable, and is most notably overcome by hibernation. But some reptiles and amphibians survive by allowing their…
Good veterinary practices practice good hygiene - but you’d be surprised how few of them do. Good veterinary practices practice good hygiene - but you’d be surprised how few of them do. The National Guard

Why the low hygiene standards between vets and pets?

We all know hygiene is paramount in hospitals, necessary to protect patients and staff alike. But while medical staff usually wear protection when conducting examinations on infectious patients and hospitals…
Is photographing dogs dressed in suspenders and stockings just another internet fad or a strange reflection on human sexuality? Is photographing dogs dressed in suspenders and stockings just another internet fad or a strange reflection on human sexuality? Sharp Daily

Dogs in suspenders. Yep, it’s a thing. And here’s why.

When I was little, maybe five or six, I got the idea to slip my spaniel’s feet into freezer bags and watch her slide around on the kitchen floor. Sure, this episode could have sparked in me a yen for further…
The Easter Bunny is a much loved part of our social history but is the Easter Bilby more appropriate in Australia? The Easter Bunny is a much loved part of our social history but is the Easter Bilby more appropriate in Australia? AAP/Paul Miller

Bunnies or bilbies? Why animals define Easter

This Easter it is worth asking what the Easter Bunny is all about. Indeed, there’s more to the furry character than a fondness for chocolate. Rabbits were first domesticated by monks in the south of France…
The horse meat scandal seems to be more about the taboo issue of eating our pets than actual health concerns. The horse meat scandal seems to be more about the taboo issue of eating our pets than actual health concerns. Fredrik von Erichsen/AAP

Neigh-sayers: why we won’t agree to eat a dead horse

Imagine the following scenario. You go into your local sandwich shop for lunch and order a roast beef on rye with a dash of mustard. As you bite into the sandwich you notice something is not right. The…
Our relationship with four-legged friends has brought many benefits. Our relationship with four-legged friends has brought many benefits. JDEN

Canine and able: how dogs made us human

What role have dogs played in human evolution? Woof … now there’s a question. Anthropologist Pat Shipman, in a recent issue of American Scientist, suggests dogs gave our human ancestors an advantage over…

Research Briefs (5)

Animal propulsion a flexible matter

The superior agility of animal movement in comparison to manmade designs is characterised by the flexibility of animal propulsors…