Squeezing through - by just a hair

Posted: July 15, 2013

CATS are able to squeeze through narrow spaces because they don't have a rigid collarbone to block their way. A cat's whiskers - super-sensitive, specialized hairs - spread roughly as wide as a cat does, helping the animal to judge which nooks and crannies are worth trying. But whiskers don't grow longer as a cat gets wider, which can lead some corpulent cats into sticky situations.

* In most species of parrots kept as pets, the only way to tell males from females is with a DNA test or surgical sexing. That's not the case with the Eclectus parrot: Males are a vivid Kelly green, while females sport feathers of bright red and royal blue. * Scientists at Cornell University have discovered the mutation that turns a benign intestinal virus into a cat-killer. In identifying the mutation that turns feline enteric coronavirus into feline infectious peritonitis, the research team's work may lead to accurate diagnostics and effective treatments for FIP, which is typically fatal.

- Dr. Marty Becker

and Gina Spadafori

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