Reptiles Amphibians

Dogs can help keep our neighborhoods safer and reduce crime:

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A new study from Ohio State University has found that neighborhoods with higher dog ownership tend to experience fewer crimes.

Glenn Rogers of New Jersey, a dog trainer with 26 years of police officer experience, told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Saturday, July 9, that he was not surprised by the study’s findings.

Rogers noted that while many dogs offer home protection in the case of unwanted intruders, the new study found that neighborhoods with high canine populations provided more eyes on the ground — which makes sense.  

“What’s involved is the people who are walking their dogs in the neighborhood,” Rogers said during his live segment. 


“They become almost like a neighborhood watch,” Rogers continued. 

“They’re meeting their neighbors, and they’re getting to know their neighbors and getting to see what’s normal in the neighborhood if they do it every day.”

During his time in law enforcement, Rogers said that formal neighborhood watch groups sometimes tend to “fizzle out” over time.

Regular dog walking is a different idea, however.

“When you’ve got a dog, you might be taking the same walk for 15 years,” Rogers noted on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”


Rogers, who has worked with K-9 units in the U.S. Army and the Tinton Falls Police Department in New Jersey, is now a head trainer with At Home Dog Training.

It’s a professional dog training service in Farmingdale, N.J.

The veteran dog trainer brought along his training assistant, Georgia, a 5-year-old Hungarian vizsla, to the “Fox & Friends Weekend” segment as he discussed the safety benefits she provides.

Georgia is a Hungarian vizsla. This dog breed is said to be a “versatile,

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Look Out For These Red Velvet Mite Rain Bugs After The

The red velvet mite loves a post-shower feast. Image credit: Jörg Pageler, CC BY-NC 4.0

The red velvet mite, Trombidiidae, are pretty hard to miss despite being so small. A vibrant fuzzball of an arachnid, the red velvet mite goes on something of a spree following heavy rains when they’ll go on the prowl for insects.

If you’d like to spot a red velvet mite in all its teeny wonder and you’re in Texas, you’re in luck, as July through to September is the region’s monsoon season which typically brings in around 70 percent of annual rainfall.

The imminent arrival of the red velvet mite was heralded in by the National Parks Service on Instagram, who helpfully pointed out that the scientific name of Trombidiidae is pronounced “trom-buh-dee-uh-dee” (try saying that fast seven times in a row).

“As monsoon rains return to the desert areas of west Texas, these little critters, also know as a rain bug (how cute), can be spotted after a good rain,” they wrote. “Part of the arachnid class, they can grow to a whopping 0.5 inches [1.3 centimeters]. The mites emerge from burrows after the rain to feast. With their fang-like mouthparts (not as cute), they prey on insects like the desert termite that also emerge after a heavy monsoon rain.”

red velvet mite

What is a red velvet mite?

The red velvet mite is a minute arachnid that sits within the arthropods. Trombidiidae are known as the true velvet mites, and they are found statewide across the US.

Like other arachnids, they have eight legs and a rather orb-like body which, unlike spiders, isn’t split up into separate sections. There are around 300 species of red velvet mite globally, which can range in size from minute to around 1.3 centimeters (0.5 inches), with the largest being the

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How Do Animals Impact Climate Change? From Pet Food to Waste

Americans share their homes with 163 million dogs and cats that are walked, bathed, groomed and fed. After gobbling their treats and meat — pet food is heavy in protein — those 78 million dogs and 86 million cats poop and pee.

They produce as much trash as 90 million Americans and that doesn’t even account for the dog waste bags and cat littler. 

“If American dogs and cats were their own country, they’d be the fifth largest meat consumer in the world after Russia, Brazil, the U.S. and China,” said Greg Okin, the author of a frequently cited 2017 study on the environmental impact of their diets and a professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

What else do our often pampered pets mean for the environment? Their waste adds nitrogen and phosphorus to the soil, which in excess can reduce biodiversity. And their food production releases methane and nitrous oxide, two powerful greenhouse gases, into the atmosphere.

Brian Taylor

Dogs at Brian Taylor’s Harlem Doggie Day Spa in New York City.

As climate change threatens our world, how we live is being scrutinized ever more closely, even our relationship with our dogs and cats. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that agriculture accounted for about 11% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. The diets of dogs and cats account for a quarter of the environmental impact of raising livestock, in terms of the use of land, water, fossil fuels and other factors, Okin says.

Cats are particularly problematic. They are what are called obligate carnivores, meaning they are designed to eat meat, not plants. Dr. Donna Solomon, the founder of the Animal Medical Center of Chicago, recommends on her blog the average healthy adult cat get more than 50%

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Tuatara 137-year life span longer than most reptiles,

Tuatara are among the longest-lived cold-blooded animals, new research into reptiles and amphibians has found.

The study, which looked at the ageing rates of 77 of the cold-blooded four-legged animals, found tuatara had a 137-year life span, Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington said in a statement.

In comparison, turtles lived for about 39 years, crocodiles for 21, salamanders for 10, and frogs for eight years.

Data on tuatara are from a 60-year study of a population of the reptiles on the small, rocky North Brother Island in Cook Strait.

“Once tuatara are of adult size, they are very slow to age,” study co-author Nicky Nelson, professor of conservation biology at Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington, said.

* One fifth of reptiles worldwide face risk of extinction
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Gathering the data involved a huge effort by researchers, including nights spent searching for tuatara and catching them by hand, Nelson said.

Tuatara have a life span of 137 years, much longer than many other reptiles and amphibians.


Tuatara have a life span of 137 years, much longer than many other reptiles and amphibians.

Findings of the international study may help researchers understand the ageing rates of New Zealand’s other reptiles.

“We have a large number of these animals, including 126 species of lizard, and we still have a lot to learn about them,” Nelson said.

The research highlighted the importance of long-term studies, particularly for species such as tuatara that live for more than 100 years.

“We’ve studied the population on North Brother Island for decades. Several generations of researchers have contributed to the work and it’s given us one of the longest datasets used in this international comparison,” Nelson said.

Results of the study suggested the rate at

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TikToker Discovers Stray Cats in New Alabama Home, Raises

A woman raised almost $10,000 thanks to hundreds of thousands of TikTok users who started following her after she posted videos about two stray cats she found in her new home. 

After one of her videos went hugely viral, receiving 16.7 million views, she told Insider people began sending gifts to support the animals, giving her around $1,000 of cat food she would not otherwise have been able to afford. (Insider was not able to independently verify this figure.)

A picture of Cooper, the white cat, in the chicken coop.

Cooper in the chicken coop in Davis’ backyard.

Julia Davis.

Julia Davis, 24, previously posted TikTok content promoting her side business, a directory for small businesses that allows people to sell their own products. She had around 134,000 TikTok followers on June 1, according to analytics tracker SocialBlade, but she had gained around 400,000 by the end of the month as she continued to post content about the two cats. Davis now has 626,000 followers on the app. 

“It’s hard to put into words the amount of care that people have for these creatures that they’ve only seen through a phone screen,” Davis told Insider. 

Davis said she receives gifts from viewers through an Amazon Wishlist she has shared with them, where she makes requests for food and toys that the cats need, and she also set up a GoFundMe page that has received $9,450 in donations towards vet and dental care fees so far. 

It all began when Davis was moving from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to the nearby city of Birmingham in mid-June, and noticed a scruffy white cat hanging around in the backyard as she was moving her belongings into her new home. 

She decided to film the cat and posted the video on TikTok on May 31, hoping to find its owner. 

“So I’m moving into a new house,

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