Monthly Archives: September 2015

Diver discovers first known biofluorescent reptile

Marine biologist David Gruber discovered the first known case of biofluorescence in a reptile while diving among the coral reefs along the Solomon Islands. The endangered hawksbill sea turtle’s shell reflects blue light in shades of yellow-green and red. Other species use the characteristic to foil predators, but it’s not clear how it benefits the turtles. National Geographic News (free registration) (9/28)

The true story of a veterinarian and the bear behind Winnie-the-Pooh

The children’s book “Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear” tells the story of how a veterinarian’s kind act saved a bear cub and ultimately sparked the beloved tales of Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin. For $20, veterinarian and Canadian World War I Capt. Harry Colebourn purchased a bear cub later named Winnie whose mother had been killed. Winnie traveled with Dr. Colebourn’s company of soldiers but was relocated to a zoo when the forces went into battle. It was there that author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin first encountered the bear. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model)

Common sweetener xylitol could kill your dog

Xylitol, a sweetener made from birch bark or corn cobs, can be deadly for dogs, writes veterinarian Greg McGrath, who notes that the sweetener is popping up in more and more products, including gum, candy, mouthwashes and even peanut butter. Xylitol causes a dramatic drop in blood glucose in dogs, which leads to disorientation, seizures, coma and death. The Sun Herald (Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss.) (9/24)

Cleveland zoo begins work on a new immersion tiger exhibit

Workers have started building the new $4.1 million Tiger Passage exhibit that will transform the big cats’ habitat at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Four interconnecting spaces with two passageways will give the tigers more room to roam and let them pass over the public space. “The main idea was to design a space that provides more space and choices for the animals in terms of how they spend their time to positively impact their welfare,” said Executive Director Chris Kuhar. “This design will benefit the animals while also providing a more immersive experience for our guests.” Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio) (9/25)