COVID-19 – Revisited Five months after the outbreak began, COVID is still very much in the news. None of us could possibly have imagined the magnitude of impact this virus would have on our daily lives, financially and on the world over. First were the questions: could people catch COVID from their pets, and vice
Whole Meat vs. Meat Meal: How to Spot the Difference in Ingredients What’s in a name? Does it matter? Yes! There are many ways to provide essential nutrients to pets, including a variety of protein sources. Most dog and cat foods contain meat from other animals – typically chicken, turkey, cattle, pigs or fish, though
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Have a great weekend! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!
How to Safely Celebrate a Pet’s Birthday Happy birthday to you! We all love a celebration, and a pet’s birthday (or adoption day) is a great excuse to spoil them rotten – as if we don’t do that every day! Of course, there are many ways to celebrate and show our love to our pets,
In recent post I wrote about the new research regarding the thylacine’s size, I mentioned that maned wolves might violated the “costs of carnivory” rule, which states that predatory mammals that weigh more than 21 kilograms (46 pounds) must haunt larger prey sources to survive.
Maned wolves do exceed this size, but their diet does not consist of large prey. They are not a threat to ungulate livestock. They take only small prey, such as rabbits, rodents, and small birds. They could be a threat to chickens and other poultry, but they aren’t cattle killers.
On a superficial reading of their ecology and diet, one would assume they would break this 21 kilogram rule. The largest ones do get to around 23 kilograms, and if they are that large, then they surely break this “costs of carnivory” rule.
But they don’t.
The reason is they have a most unusual diet for a canid. Between 40 and 90 percent of their diet can consist of a single fruit called a lobeira or “wolf apple.” The average diet of a maned wolf is around 50 percent vegetable matter, which means they aren’t as bound by the rules of carnivorous diets as other mammalian predators are.
The maned wolf first appeared in the fossil record in what is today the Desert Southwest what is called the Blancan faunal age (late Pilocene to early Pleistocene).
It entered South America, along with a whole host of other canids, and it evolved to a specialist niche as a grassland predator. Many species of similar-sized dog were also diversifying in South America, it is likely that it evolved its unusual diet as a way of avoiding competition with more carnivorous canids.
So vegetarian are maned wolves that when fed a typical wild carnivoran diet in zoos, they often develop bladder stones. Their kidneys cannot absorb a particular amino acid called cystine, and the excess cystine turns into stones.
Most mid-sized canids are true generalists in their diets. The exceptions are the maned and Ethiopian wolves. The Ethiopian wolf runs between 14-19 kilograms, so its rodent specialized diet does not violate the rule.
But the maned wolf’s heavily frugivorous almost takes them out of the predator guild entirely. They are as almost omnivorous as most bears are, and all extant bear species exceed 21 kilograms at maturity.
So maned wolves don’t violate the costs of carnivory rule. They do so, because they are far less predatory than virtually any other dog species. They are certainly less predatory that other dogs of their size.
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Today at WalMart, I met Nya (red) and Bodhi (black). Aren’t they beautiful! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!
It’s back to school week around here! My 6 year old starts first grade today (what?!), and my 4 year old starts Pre-K in less than 3 weeks. School is going to be a very unique “adventure” this year, so we’re trying to make it equal parts exciting and “normal.” (Lots of quotes happening, and for good reason.)
You might remember the tofu caprese salad recipe I shared a couple of weeks ago. It is so easy to turn that recipe into a sandwich and just replace the cheese in the recipe below with tofu if you’re plant-based or just want to try something different.
Simple Mini Caprese Sandwiches
1 dinner roll or bun
1 tomato slice
1 slice fresh mozzarella (or tofu; see note above)
2-3 pieces of fresh basil
Cut dinner rolls or buns in half. Drizzle top of bottom half with a small amount of olive oil, and add a sprinkle of salt. Layer fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil leaves. Done! Add a fun back-to-school themed toothpick topper or message.
Sending lots of good B-T-S vibes your way. (If you have any to send back here, we’ll take them!)