A cat’s tongue is covered in hundreds of sharp, scoop shaped spines made of keratin that spring into action during grooming and they also play a role in helping a cat keep cool.

CT scans of cat’s tongues show the structure of the spines known as papillae.  The spines are about 2mm long and have a U-shaped cavity at their tip.  The hardness of the papillae is similar to human fingernails, showing how tough these structures are.  When a cat is grooming, only the spines at the end of the tongue contact the fur.  These are larger and not as closely packed as the spines nearer the bottom of the tongue. 

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Many of us ponder how our pets and other animals experience the world around them. 

The importance of UV light for navigation in certain animals is fascinating.  The sky is UV rich and objects like grass and flowers reflect hardly any UV light.  That is how some animals can differentiate between the sky, ground and objects.  Perception is vital for survival, it enables us to identify and respond to threats, find food and keep ourselves safe.

Interactions between dogs and owners can cause an increase in oxytocin – also known as “the love hormone”.  Dogs are highly sensitive to human behaviour, studies have shown that when owners look at their dog oxytocin levels in the dog and human increase.  Oxytocin is a hormone that bonds mothers and babies, so that is good evidence that dogs see their owners as parent-like figures with a mother-child kind of love. 

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Spring in Australia is about so much more than sunshine and wildflowers in bloom.  The months of September, October and November are also some of the most exciting on the wildlife calendar.  Many animals have their young at this time of year. You may be fortunate enough to see baby whales, koalas or kangaroos.  The platypuses are frisky and the birds are gathering in great numbers. 

Soon you will be seeing wallaby or kangaroo joey’s faces peeking out of the pouch.  Springtime is also when you’re most likely to see older kangaroos “box” as they compete with other males at breeding time.

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Your horse’s tail is controlled by several different muscles.  When moving at a walk and trot, the tail swings equally from side to side. Research shows the normal movement of the lower back is symmetrical at a trot in non-lame horses.  Hind limb lameness may cause unevenness of movement and can affect the movement of the tail.

It is believed some horses show hind limb lameness by holding their tail to one side or the other, which can be associated with performance-related problems. The direction of the tail does not correlate with the side of lameness.  More horses with crooked tails deviated to the left side versus the right side which could be due to rider unevenness.

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⇒ Koalas have fingerprints so similar to those made by humans that they could confuse crime-scene investigators.

⇒ Ants never sleep.

⇒ 61-68% of Veterinarians will suffer an animal-related injury resulting in hospitalisation or significant loss of work during their career.

⇒ Dog training is the fastest growing pet service in Australia-declaring a 981% growth in business since December 2014.

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