Monthly Archives: April 2016

Study: nonhuman primates may be involved with Zika transmission

Scientists who collected biological samples from 15 wild marmosets and eight pet capuchin monkeys plus one free-ranging capuchin in Brazil found four marmosets and three capuchins had been infected with the Zika virus. Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University wrote in a blog post that scientists have thought Zika was mostly passing between humans via mosquito bites, but “the results of this new study [suggest] that nonhuman primates could also be involved.”

The Scientist online (4/28)

Woodpeckers use dumming as form of communication, study suggests

The drumming performed by woodpeckers on trees serves many purposes for the birds, including social communications, according to findings published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. Researchers studied the drums of downy woodpeckers and found that the birds signal defense of their territory by coordinating their drumming. Drumming can also indicate the birds’ social order, researchers say. (4/20)

Dolphins talk to each other to solve problems, study finds

Dolphins communicate with each other while solving problems as a team, a new study suggests. Scientists gave bottlenose dolphins six canisters containing food and observed them making more vocalizations when they tried to open them in pairs as opposed to working on the problem alone or if the canister wasn’t present. “This is the first time that we can say conclusively that dolphin vocalizations were used to solve a cooperative task,” said Holli Eskelinen, author of the study published in Animal Cognition.

New Scientist (4/15)

Fatal fungal disease detected in Washington State bat

Washington state officials confirmed white-nose syndrome in a bat discovered by hikers near North Bend, Wash. The fungal disease has killed over 6 million bats in North America since it was first discovered in 2006, but this marks the first known detection in the Northwest. Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the pathogenic fungus, damages bats’ skin, causing them to wake early from hibernation and prematurely use up their winter energy stores.

The Oregonian (Portland) (3/31)

H3N2 canine influenza spreads to, among US cats

I am thinking we need to be diligent about this if ferrets coming to our shelter have been at dog/cat positive shelters.

University of Wisconsin scientists have documented the first known feline H3N2 infections in the US, and the evidence from a northwest Indiana shelter suggests the canine influenza first seen in US dogs last year may also be transmitted between cats. Veterinarian Sandra Newbury, director of the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, said experts hope feline H3N2 infections will remain uncommon.

WLS-TV (Chicago) (3/31),  WISC-TV (Madison, Wis.) (3/31)