The mechanical characterization of the legs, fangs, and

The nanoindentation technique allows researchers to perform local maps of mechanical properties, which are important to understand the mechanics of artificial and natural structures29,30,31,32,33,35,41,42. In this work, the investigation was focused on different elements of the spider’s exoskeleton for which we expect different mechanical properties: legs, prosoma, and fangs. The reason of this can be ascribed to the different cuticular structures present in these parts. Indeed, the spider cuticle is similar to the insects one that consists in various layers (exo-, meso-, and endocuticle)1,43. These are present in different proportions depending on the considered body part of the spider15, and have various level of sclerotization (i.e. mesocuticle is more sclerotized than endocuticle) and microstructural organization, two factors that both define the mechanical properties of the exoskeleton44,45,46.

In general, the reported results are aligned with previous indentation studies on spider fang’s tissue10,11,12,13,14. However, no previous work reports the comparison of mechanical properties of different body parts. This work aims to fill this gap, providing a comparison of the mechanical properties of the sclerotized layer of cuticle in the legs, prosoma, and fangs.

The prosoma exoskeleton has the main functions to shield some vital organs as well as protect the spider from quick dehydration47. Moreover, it is also the tagma responsible for locomotion, feeding, and sensing, since the prosoma’s cuticle is the base for the animal’s haemolymph pressure pump (i.e. the drive for the extension of two major joints of all of their legs and pedipalps)1,3. Legs are crucial for locomotion3 and sensing purposes since they host the major part of mechanical and chemical sensors4. On the other hand, fangs are indispensable to feed, dig, and defend the spider10. Thus, the fangs are

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Shelters see more people giving up their pets as they

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Inflation is hitting people in many different ways, from housing to groceries to gasoline. It’s also causing an uptick in the number of pets being surrendered at animal shelters.

Adopting a pet is a decision usually made with certainty. But uncertain times are causing some owners to surrender their pets or to need extra help taking care of them.

The Humane Society of Chittenden County is seeing an uptick in animal surrenders.

“Especially really emergent situations, folks losing housing, folks dealing with just the cost of other aspects of their life. And all of these issues that are just kind of all rolled together that are making it really tough for people,” said Cynthia Harris Cole of the Humane Society of Chittenden County.

The shelter says a combination of urgent calls, staffing shortages and paying for more supplies puts a strain on the organization.

In Washington County, the Central Vermont Humane Society is seeing a similar trend and says short-term solutions to help people keep their pets are becoming less helpful.

“We’re seeing long-term issues, serious financial issues, housing issues where people are being evicted and people living in their cars, even much more serious issues that we’re seeing that are impacting their pets,” said Laurie Garrison of the Central Vermont Humane Society.

They say they’re experiencing an increase in veterinary and operating costs.

For the first time in a while, they have a waiting list for animal intakes.

“We’re very careful about what we call capacity for care. So if we have animals, animals in the building, there’s a certain level of care we want to be able to do,” explained Garrison.

In Addison County, the Homeward Bound Humane Society says they aren’t seeing an uptick in surrenders but there is an increase in the

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PA Woods and Forests highlights frogs, toads during Frog

If you enjoy seeing and hearing frogs and toads, you’ll soon have the opportunity to watch new videos of the lives of these Pennsylvania creatures as part of Frog Week.

Aaron Capouellez, 26, of Cambria County, is the president and founder of PA Woods and Forests, a group aimed at education and conservation of amphibians, reptiles and carnivorous plants.

His team has created an event called Frog Week, which starts Monday. They will be showing a dozen videos online of the native frogs and toads that come out from late February to July. Frog Week will feature wood frogs, American toads, gray tree frogs, and pickerel frogs. 

New videos will be released each day during the first week of August through the organization’s YouTube channel, website pawoodsandforests.com, Facebook, and Instagram.

“There are a lot of cool things people will get a chance to see and how these different places are making an impact,” Capouellez said.

Starting Aug. 15, the organization will celebrate Conservation Week by highlighting and promoting different businesses, nonprofits and individuals who are making a difference in the environment. This project will highlight how these different groups are focusing on conservation from international and national conservation to backyard conservation. 

“It’s my way of giving back to a lot of these places to do these events,” Capouellez said about videos with frog walks, nature hikes and a millipede roundup.

Aaron Capouellez stands on the bridge of his pond filled with aquatic life in Stonycreek Township on the border of Cambria and Somerset counties.

Capouellez is a second-semester graduate student studying biology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a focus on herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles. His thesis will be on frogs and toads.

He started the PA Woods and Forest website in 2019 to “create a platform for animals around the state and other creatures that were deemed repulsive or they were viewed as not important. … There’s not a lot

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Efforts underway to get a more accurate count of feral cats,

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Just about all of us have seen feral cats on Oahu and on the neighbor islands, but exactly how many of them are there?

There have been estimates, but those estimates are likely to be wrong.

“It’s estimated that we have 40,000 feral cats here on Maui,” said Katie Shannon of the Maui Humane Society. “But it’s really based on a ‘finger in the air’ estimate.”

To get a more accurate count, the Maui Humane Society is starting an island-wide survey in August, using tools developed by animal welfare groups and conservation scientists in Washington, D.C.

“It involves house surveys, it involves transect surveys, and it involves actually placing cameras in areas throughout the island,” said Shannon.

Field cameras will be set up near known colonies, while volunteers will also do manual counts.

The effort is expected to take four months.

On Oahu, the feral cat population is said to top more than 300,000. The Hawaiian Humane Society has just completed its cat count at 15 locations and is now awaiting the numbers.

“We’re going to find out the hot spots of where there’s a high concentration of free-roaming cats, and we’re going to be able to target those areas to help reduce those populations,” said Thomas Hanns of the Hawaiian Humane Society.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says cats are one of the most devastating predators of Hawaii’s wildlife. Besides eating native birds and insects, their feces carry the parasite toxoplasmosis, which is known to kill monk seals and sicken humans.

“Over time we’re hoping to work with our conservation partners,” said Hanns. “If there’s a high population free-roaming cat area somewhere near wildlife that they shouldn’t be, we can start focusing our efforts there.”

That will mean more focused TNR — trapping,

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Top Tips To Stop Dogs Jumping Up At Visitors

If your puppy or young dog tends to jump up at people – either visitors at home or people you meet on a walk – this behaviour can start to become problematic once they are fully grown.

Even though your dog may simply be excited or trying to be friendly, not everyone appreciates it when a dog, no matter what size they are, jumps up at them. To help, Battersea has revealed a new, four-step training method.

1. Don’t reward jumping

The next time your dog jumps up at you, instead of greeting them, turn your back on them until all four of their paws are back on the ground. Once this has happened, turn around and then reward them with positive attention.

Consistency is key as you will have to react the exact same way every time they jump up at you.

Once all four of their paws are back on the floor, scatter their favourite treat or a few down in front of them to encourage them to focus downwards instead of up at you.

2. Get others on board

This is especially important whenever a visitor comes to your house. Ask them to follow the exact same training steps.

You can consider encouraging those you meet when out walking to do the same to help reinforce the training.

Thanasis Zovoilis / Getty Images

3. Deflect their attention if they begin to get frustrated

If your dog continues to jump up, even when they’re being ignored, Battersea recommends asking your dog to carry out behaviours that they know well, such as a ‘sit’ command.

“Before someone says hello to your dog, try and ask your dog to sit, and ask the person not to give them attention until they do it. When your dog sits, reward them with

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