Fall Nature Discovery #1 – About Moths and Cats

Today is the inaugural post for the new “Discovery” category of my Nature Blog. The idea is to feature two or more of the current science discoveries found on a variety of websites. In particular, I’ll be looking at the entries on these websites which relate to animals or the natural world.

Today’s selections are from http://news.discovery.com

Discovery of NEW MOTH Species

A new speices of moth, the Poodle Moth, has been discovered and photographed in Venezuela by Dr. Arthur Anker.

Scientists will be determining where it fits in its environment. (In other words, what does it eat (probably plant nectar, but which plants?) and where must it live? Also, are there creatures that eat it other than decomposers?)

Once its place in the current ecosystem is determined by the normal process of scientific investigtion, scientists will be using apparent evolutionary steps to create theories as to how this species evolved.

It is fascinating to learn that nearly every week new species are discovered! Some live in the depths of the ocean, some live in extremely cold climates, and some live within human – and other animal – bodies! Stay tuned!

Cat Owners are more … SOCIAL?!

“Pop culture rhetoric doesn’t shine favorably on cat people, but new science might change some of those negative perceptions.

“Research into a parasite commonly carried by cats (or found in raw steak) shows it increases extroversion and makes humans less conscientious overall.

“The parasite, called toxoplasma gondii, “manipulates the behavior of its animal host by increasing the concentration of dopamine and by changing levels of certain hormones,” said a study in the European Journal of Personality.

While a parasite might not be the best reason to buy a cat, simply owning a cat means you’re more likely to be outgoing and less likely to be neurotic. Congratulations!”

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