Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cool Animal Sounds: Cheetah


Cheetahs are unusual for a big cat in that they cannot roar. Perhaps the most well known of the sounds they do make is a chirp, which sounds rather astonishingly like a bird. This noise is used as communication between mothers and offspring, but has been observed in some other situations.

Cheetahs can also purr (in cats there is a purr versus roar dichotomy), hiss, and produce a number of other vocalizations. A "stutter bark" unique to males has been linked to the complexities of cheetah ovulation. Vocal-induced ovulation is not common in mammals, so it's no wonder keepers failed to figure out why their captive cheetahs weren't breeding.

Sources and Further Reading: National Wildlife Federation, National GeographicVolodins Bioacoustic Group, Animal Diversity Web, Purring.org, An acoustic analysis of purring in the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and in the domestic cat (Felis catus), A comparative acoustic analysis of purring in four cheetahs, A comparative acoustic analysis of purring in juvenile, subadult and adult cheetahs

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Scary-eyed Blond


Ginger-root, fawn/dominant yellow/lethal yellow fancy mouse, satin coat, pink eye dilute.

Because of some confusion, I'm not going to make these completely wordless. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ebon's First BarkBox!


My mother was kind enough to gift Ebon with a six month subscription to BarkBox and the first one arrived today! I quite like the idea, but haven't been able to subscribe. The greyhounds are also getting a box. So, what came this month?


This is how my silly boy plays

Loopies Floppy Fishbone

Company link: here Note: this toy is not currently on their website
The toy is made of polyester and has a single squeaker at one end. The stitching looks durable and it's low on easily chewable bits, which should help it hold up to rougher pups. Though Ebon stopped destroying his toys some time ago, I wonder how it will hold up to Willow, who is not so restrained as of yet. As Ebon is quite fond of squeaky toys, it was an immediate hit. He did his "happy dance" where he rolls around on his back while squeaking the toy like mad. 

Bixbi Daily Essentials Chicken Breast Jerky Treats

Company link: here
Ingredients: Chicken breast, blueberries, cranberries, organic reishi mushrooms, vegetable glycerin
Guaranteed Analysis: 
Crude Protein: 71.89% minimum
Crude Fat: 3% minimum
Crude Fiber: 5% maximum
Moisture: 9.22% maximum

This is the first dog product I've ever found that includes muchrooms, which I find quite interesting. The jerky is slightly soft, breaking very easily into smaller pieces, a trait I generally like as I usually prefer to treat in smaller portions. They do not have a particularly strong smell, being faintly meaty with a hint of mushroom. Ebon was quite excited to try one as he never turns down chicken. 

Healthy Dogma Coconut Barkers

Company link: here
Ingredients: Peas, pea flour, potato, tapioca, coconut, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pumpkin, cranberry powder, cinnamon
Guaranteed Analysis: 
Crude Protein: 12.0% minimum
Crude Fat: 5.0% minimum
Crude Fiber: 4.50% maximum
Moisture: 12.0% maximum

These treats are grain free and also meat and other animal product free, which can be a bit unusual for a dog treat. They smell pleasantly of coconut. Like most crunchy treats, they snap easily into smaller pieces. Ebon was quite happy to gobble them up as he is quite fond of crunchy treats. 

Etta Says! Crunchy Duck Chew (12 Inch)

Company link: here
Ingredients: Rawhide, duck feet, natural caramel color, salt
Guaranteed Analysis: 
Crude Protein: 52% minimum
Crude Fat: 20% minimum
Crude Fiber: 4% maximum
Moisture: 10% maximum

I somehow managed to miss getting this in the photograph, but there was one twelve inch chew. The chew smells pretty standard for an animal product chew, a bit smokey and of collagen. It breaks easily into smaller pieces, so if the box is being shared between multiple pups it can be easily split. Ebon has had duck feet before, so I'm sure it will be a big hit. I'm saving it for later. 

Mr. Barksmith's Cool Treats Smoothies for Dogs

Company link: here 
Ingredients: Apple puree, banana puree, water, natural pina colada flavor
Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein: 0.41% minimum
Crude Fat: 0.38% minimum, 0.45% maximum
Crude Fiber: 1.30% maximum
Moisture: 86.80% maximum

I've tried out a frozen treat before and even made some myself. Since Ebon likes to eat ice cubes when we throw some in his bowl in the heat, he definitely enjoys something cold with a little more interest! Ebon likes both banana and apple, and after the coconut treats that came in this box I'm sure he'll enjoy the coconut too. We've been having a heatwave for days now, with the heat index during the day well over 100°F and at night often barely dipping below 90°F. Ebon is going to really appreciate his cool treat as soon as it's finished freezing. 

One happy dog