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Latest Old World rats and mice Stories

2011-03-10 13:46:41

What happened to being "quiet as a mouse"? Researchers have recently shown that, rather than being the silent creatures of popular belief, mice emit ultrasonic calls in a variety of social contexts, and these calls have song-like characteristics. So if mice sing, where do they get their music? Are they born with the songs fully formed in their heads, or do they learn them from their peers? This question is of great interest to scientists as, while many organisms produce genetically regulated...

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2010-12-06 13:40:00

Eavesdropping on mice for clues about how humans process sound They are quiet as church mice ... or are they? It turns out there is a racy conversation going on in this biology lab at Washington State University in Vancouver, Washington; one that might make a preacher blush! But the conversation isn't between scientists, but rather three very sighted and excited mice. "The patterning of these vocalizations could be very important in determining whether or not the female mouse wants to mate...

2010-11-29 18:36:09

When crossing a street, we look to the left and right for cars and stay put on the sidewalk if we see a car close enough and traveling fast enough to hit us before we're able to reach the other side. It's an almost automatic decision, as though we instinctively know how to keep ourselves safe. Now neuroscientists have found that other animals are capable of making similar instinctive safety decisions. In a study published online the week of Nov. 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy...

2010-11-01 21:12:14

New research in the FASEB Journal explains sophisticated animal model system that allows for in-depth exploration of gene function and expression as related directly or indirectly to all diseases Everybody knows that if you're physically fit, you're less likely to get a wide range of diseases. What most people don't know is that some people are "naturally" in better shape than others, and this variation in conditioning makes it difficult to test for disease risk and drug effectiveness in...

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2010-07-26 08:20:00

Archaeological research in East Timor has unearthed the bones of the biggest rat that ever lived, with a body weight around 6 kg. The cave excavations also yielded a total of 13 species of rodents, 11 of which are new to science. Eight of the rats weighed a kilogram or more. "East Indonesia is a hot spot for rodent evolution. We want international attention on conservation in the area," CSIRO's Dr Ken Aplin says. "Rodents make up 40 per cent of mammalian diversity worldwide and are a key...

2010-06-23 14:09:20

Fighting, paternity tests and infidelity. No, not a daytime talk show, but the results of new research examining why the fur will fly if a four-striped grass mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) wanders into his neighbour's territory. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Frontiers in Zoology investigated aggression in the mammalian species, finding that breeding males are much more concerned with repelling their neighbours than with defending their partners from complete...

2010-05-24 13:49:10

Exposure to specific bacteria in the environment, already believed to have antidepressant qualities, could increase learning behavior according to research presented today at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego. "Mycobacterium vaccae is a natural soil bacterium which people likely ingest or breath in when they spend time in nature," says Dorothy Matthews of The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York, who conducted the research with her colleague Susan...

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2010-03-26 07:04:53

Early training seems to keep mice sharper as they age Mice trained to improve their working memory become more intelligent, suggesting that similar improvements in working memory might help human beings enhance their brain power, according to research published Thursday in Current Biology by researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. "Working memory refers to a short-term memory system used to complete a task, such as remembering a phone number, a grocery list, reading...

2010-02-24 14:35:00

Scientists have pinpointed how a key hormone helps animals to recognize others by their smell Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have shown that the hormone vasopressin helps the brain differentiate between familiar and new scents. The study, published in the journal Nature, suggests that when the hormone fails to function, animals are unable to recognise other individuals from their scent. The ability to recognise others by smell is crucial in helping animals to establish strong...

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2010-01-12 13:52:39

Protein completely restores motor function; scientists hope it will help humans People with impaired mobility after a stroke soon may have a therapy that restores limb function long after the injury, if a supplemental protein works as well in humans as it does in paralyzed rats. Two new studies by UC Irvine biologists have found that a protein naturally occurring in humans restores motor function in rats after a stroke. Administered directly to the brain, the protein restores 99 percent of...


Latest Old World rats and mice Reference Libraries

Striped Field Mouse, Apodemus agrarius
2012-07-27 12:43:51

The striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius) has a range that extends from Eastern Europe to Japan, and includes Siberia and Taiwan. It prefers a habitat within cornfields and other agricultural fields or human populated areas, and forests. It has many synonyms, or other names, including Apodemus albostriatus given by Bechstein in 1801 and Apodemus volgensis given by Kuznetzov in 1944. This mouse can reach an average body length of up to 4.9 inches, with a tail length of up to 3.5 inches...

Armored Rat, Hoplomys gymnurus
2012-07-17 14:40:46

The armored rat (Hoplomys gymnurus) is the only species within the Hoplomys genus. It is native to Latin America, with a range that extends from northern Honduras into northwestern Ecuador. It prefers a habitat at altitudes of up to 2,600 feet. It resides in burrows that can be up to 6.6 feet in length, and these burrows are typically located near a water source. The armored rat bears spines across its back, resembling a porcupine, and indeed, they are more related to the porcupine than...

Barbary Striped Grass Mouse, Lemniscomys barbarous
2012-06-25 17:15:04

The Barbary striped grass mouse (Lemniscomys barbarous) is native to northwest Africa. Its range includes Algeria, Tunisia, and coastal Morocco. It was thought that this range also included Sub-Saharan Africa, although the populations occurring here are now considered a distinct species known as Heuglin's Striped Grass Mouse. Along with Heuglin's and Hoogstral's Striped Grass Mouse, the Barbary striped grass mouse bears fur that is both darkly and lightly striped, while most other members...

Sand Rat, Psammomys obesus
2012-06-20 16:14:18

The sand rat (Psammomys obesus), also known as the fat sand rat, is found in North Africa, as well as the Middle East. Its range extended from Mauritania to the Arabian Peninsula. It prefers habitats within sandy deserts, but it can be found within saline marsh areas and areas with rocky ground. It will burrow under vegetation like saltbushes, where rats can often be found foraging. There are many medical uses for the sand rat. Because of their tendency to get diabetes mellitus when fed a...

Maned Rat, Lophiomys imhausi
2012-05-23 13:57:55

The maned rat (Lophiomys imhausi), also known as the crested rat, has a range that includes Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda. It prefers a habitat located in highland forests and woodlands in these areas, while in Somalia and Ethiopia it prefers to reside in areas nearly at sea level. These rats will nest in hollow tree trunks or rocky areas, as well as within cliff-faces. The maned rat can reach a length of up to twenty-one inches, including the tail. The soft undercoat of...

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Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.