German Shepherds are among the most popular breeds in the world, but their numbers have started to decline. New research suggests the decreasing demand for German Shepherds may have something to do with the breed’s propensity for health problems—likely the result of selective breeding for cosmetic traits.
Armadillos do not like to hang out. They generally keep to their home range, avoiding each other and eating alone. The breeding season poses a particular set of challenges for the solitary creatures, namely, tolerating one another long enough to fuck.
Described as “energetic, lively, and ready to work,” the Hungarian Pumi has just become the 190th breed recognized by the American Kennel Club. It’s been a long road for the Pumi to get to this point—a showcase for how hard it is for dogs to enter into this exclusive club.
The Bread Lab at Washington State University is a collaboration between plant geneticists and master bakers. The goal? To breed new varieties of wheat that can turn out superior breads and beers while still growing well in the cool and wet Northwest climate.
Congratulations have been pouring in ever since Mark Zuckerberg posted (on Facebook, of course) that he and his wife Priscilla Chan are expecting a daughter in a few months. It’s wonderful and all (mazel tov, you two!), but most people took a look at their photo and wondered, is that a dog—or a mop?
Breeding giant pandas in captivity is a challenge, and artificial insemination can make conception less of a crapshoot. But it’s easy for a few successful parents to overwhelm the breeding pool. Check out this infographic at the Washington Post that shows how geneticists pick the ideal partners for their pandas.
Eugenics is the now-defunct (and creepy!) practice of breeding supposedly superior humans to achieve genetic improvements while sterilizing undesirables. Sound familiar? It's the exact same thing we now do to dogs and it's responsible for a range of health and behavioral issues in them. — Ed.
Dog breeds can be a complicated subject, but, for better or worse, humans have been doing it for a long time. Breeds are not only instantly recognizable, the popular imagination has also tended to give dogs the same stereotypes of their nation of origin. But how many breeds and their homes can you actually name?
Before there was the cow, there was the auroch, a sinewy beast that roamed Eurasia by the millions. And over thousands of years, humans bred the creature into the millions of milk-and-steak-machines we have today. The last auroch, however, died in the 17th century. A group of scientists now want to bring back the…
Most people think giant pandas are doomed. We've all heard about the disastrous failures in breeding them in captivity, and the massive die-offs. But you may not realize that panda breeding programs have become a stunning success. Here's why.
Pandas are typically thought of as a lost cause. They're one of the most endangered species on the planet; just 2500 giant pandas live in the wild. They're notoriously difficult to breed; zoos keep them around primarily to attract tourists rather than for any ostensible conservation benefit. At least, that's the…
Dog enthusiasts will frequently tell you that certain dogs have certain characteristics: Golden Retrievers are friendly, German Shepherds are protective, and Corgis are smarter than a fifth grader. But is a dog's breed really such a great predictor of its personality?
In many ways, dogs appear and behave more like wolf puppies than wolf adults. Scientists have theorized that these "paedomorphic" features are the byproduct of selecting dogs against aggression. But a new study suggests this is no byproduct at all, but rather the result of a human preference for puppy-like facial…
An indelible characteristic of fascist ideology is the celebration of a mythic past, an over-the-top nostalgic fixation often accompanied by attempts to restore things to the way they used to be "back in the good ol' days". For the Nazis, this meant a return to Old Germania — the old Germany of the Nibelungenlied — a…
Some fourteen breeds of dogs are generally considered "ancient," including the samoyed, shar pei, and saluki. But while these breeds have been given this label for their supposed link to the predecessors of modern canines, new research reveals that they're as modern as every other dog on the block.
From Black Beauty to My Little Pony: Frienship is Magic, humans have an ongoing love affair with horses (and their smaller pony cousins). But not too long ago, the wild creatures that became horses looked considerably different.
Pandas, as a species, seem absolutely resolute in their desire not to breed, regardless of how much panda porn we seem to show them. Just to further drive this point home comes new research — not only do females pandas have a reproductive window, but the males do too.
Picture a pigeon: gray body, iridescent neck feathers, probably pecking away at trash on a city sidewalk. But there are actually more than 350 different breeds of pigeon, and many of them look nothing like the familiar city pest. A new study examines the physical and genetic differences between the pigeon breeds, to…
For reasons that aren't fully understood, bees are dying off. That could mean disaster for us, since we depend on bees to pollinate crops. The solution? To create disease- and pest-resistant super-bees. What could possibly go wrong?
Dogs, sheep, pigs, cows, horses - all these animals and more have been fundamentally changed by humans to make our lives better. Domestication has fundamentally altered the course of human history, reshaping the land and other species to fit our new agricultural lifestyle. But how do you take a wild species and turn…