Zebras may have evolved their distinctive stripes as a way to interfere with flies' vision. Flies have difficulty landing on black-and-white surfaces because the light polarization screws up their ability to decelerate.
Recently, researchers in Japan painted black cows with zebra-like white stripes and discovered that flies stay away from them. Whoever painted the cows did good work, they look dapper.
A team of Japanese researchers recruited six cows and gave them each black-and-white stripes, black stripes and no stripes. They took photos of the cow's painted right side, counting the number of bites as they happened and watching how the cows reacted.
While unpainted cows and cows with black stripes endured upward of 110 bites in 30 minutes, the black-and-white cows suffered fewer than 60 in the same period, researchers found.
Image: PLOS/Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Read the rest
One of the major contributors to greenhouse gases is the methane that cows belch up as they break down cellulose, but five years ago, research from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) found that adding small amounts of a pink seaweed called Asparagopsis to cows' diets eliminated the gut microbes responsible for methane production and "completely knocks out" cows' methane emissions.
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Residents of Stockport, England, were "awoken by mooing" recently after a herd of cows invaded the neighborhood: "It's just done a poo." Read the rest
🐮 Want to boop that beef snoot so bad. Read the rest
A man working in an Aalen, Germany slaughterhouse was hospitalized with serious injuries last month after being kicked in the face by a cow. The curious thing is that the cow had already been "“killed according to regulations." It was hanging from a meathook when the attack occurred.
According to the Associated Press, police reported that the kick was "due to a nerve impulse that experts say isn’t uncommon."
(glitched image of: "Cow (Swiss Braunvieh breed)" by Daniel Schwen) Read the rest
A cow born with just one eye and no real nose was recently born in Bardhaman, West Bengal, India.
According to, er, The Sun, a local source said that "Ever since the calf was born, the people have crowded to see it. They are now considering it to be a miracle of God and have started worshipping it. The cow had been discarded by its mother and the women are feeding the cow. The people think that worshipping the cow is going to bring luck and prosperity to the family of whoever worships it."
The animal appears to suffer from cyclopia, a rare "congenital disorder (birth defect) characterized by the failure of the embryonic prosencephalon to properly divide the orbits of the eye into two cavities. Its incidence is 1 in 16,000 in born animals and 1 in 250 in embryos," according to the Brain Catalogue.
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Doja Cat has declared herself a cow, a hamburger-eating one at that, in her recently-released, now-viral music video titled "Mooo!."
Noisey on the 22-year-old Los Angeles-based pop singer:
The track starts inauspiciously, a chintzy nursery rhyme about cows set to pixel art visuals, but bouncing anime boobs in the background quickly let you know you're in for something different. But Doja Cat's “Mooo!” isn’t your average viral song. It goes hard... “Bitch, I’m too smooooth / I’m not in the mooood / Tryna make moooves,” she says on the hook... “Got milk, bitch? Got beef?” she taunts. This wasn’t an accidental sensation. This girl had bars, and judging by the DIY nature of the video, she understood the formula for virality. The genre-bending producer Sango let the newcomers—myself included—in on a little secret tweeting, “Moo by Doja Cat is just a set up for y’all to listen to her other stuff because she’s actually a great singer and songwriter.” Were we bamboozled?
As it turns out, Doja Cat is indeed more than just a viral video. In March, she released Amala—her real first name—a 13-track compilation of what she considers to be “ice cream truck” music.
Read: An Interview with "Mooo!" Maker Doja Cat, Rap's New Dairy Queen
Thanks, Sunny! Read the rest
Last week, a Florida woman (because of course she’s from Florida) was caught rolling around in a stolen SUV. There was a chase! There was a crash! In an effort to escape her police entourage, 46-year old Jennifer Anne Kaufman left the other occupants of her pilfered ride behind and took off on foot. As she fled across a farmer's field, Kaufman could likely hear the sirens of the prowl cars that had been chasing her. The helicopter that the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office called in to help hunt her down? No way she’d have missed that.
Kaufman did not, however, account for the cows.
Rural crime is a serious issue: everyone’s gotta do their part, even livestock.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, after the cows and Seminole County Sheriff’s deputies took Kaufman and her pals, who were good enough to stick around, into custody, they had a chance to search the stolen SUV and discovered "…more than a gram of cocaine, a crack pipe, syringes and a metal spoon."
That’ll do cows. That’ll do.
Yeah, I know that it's more likely that the cattle were either curious or expecting to be fed by a human tromping through their field. But honestly, in a world so full of hate, violence and unspeakable dangers, I need to believe that, when faced with a situation like this one, a cow can be relied upon to rise up and mete out justice, that we all might sleep just a little bit easier. Read the rest
Stormy the cow was recaptured after again escaping the Philadelphia nativity scene in which she is imprisoned. The bovine's second bid for freedom ended after she was found about a block away from the Old City historical neighborhood. Her first saw her reach the I-95 highway, where police surrounded her with cars and summoned a "cow expert" -- do they mean a farmer? -- to help return her to the festive corrall.
There is already a Stormy the Escaped Nativity Cow Twitter account.
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Holy cow! A calf in Uttar Pradesh, India was born with a human face, leading some people to worship it as an incarnation of the god Vishnu. Unfortunately, the animal died an hour after birth. From India.com:
Unfortunately, the deformed calf could not survive and died in an hour, but that did not stop the locals from celebrating the birth of the cow with a human face, which they believe is an incarnation of God. They believe the dead calf is the ‘Gokaran’, 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. In fact, the religious believers now plan to build a temple for him.
Raja Bhaiya Mishra, 55, the manager of the cow shelter (where the animal was born), was quoted saying, ‘It’s a miracle that the calf was born in this shelter. Thousands of people have been here to see it. We will be cremating him in three days, and a temple will be built for him. This avatar has most definitely created a devotion feeling amongst the people.’
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Last month, a dozen young cows in Levron, Switzerland mysteriously leapt off a cliff and plummeted to their deaths 165 feet below. A thirteenth cow survived the jump by landing on the others. From Mysterious Universe:
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The calves, 13 Hérens aged 6-8 months, were found at the bottom of a 50 meter (165 foot) drop and all were dead except for the one on top, which was taken to an animal hospital in nearby Cern where it was treated for a broken jaw. The rest were cremated at a meat waste facility, to the dismay of a local animal warden who wanted to inspect them to help determine why they leaped to their deaths...
Norbert Terrettaz, president of a local farming insurance company, suspects the cows were chased or spooked by a wolf, a lynx or a dog. However, that doesn’t explain the fact that there were no scratches or bites on the corpses, no tracks or spores on top of the cliff and no explanation for why the yaks didn’t run too – either off the cliff or, after hearing the splats, in the opposite direction.
Who would win in a fight between a turtle-sized turtle and a dozen cow-sized-cows? [via r/funny.] Read the rest
Three cows were spotted huddled on a column of earth this weekend after a 7.5-magnitude quake struck New Zealand. Two people and many animals were killed in the disaster and its aftershocks. Read the rest
Kulning, or herding calls, is a form of singing traditionally used to summon livestock. Depicted here by Jonna Jinton, it has peculiar acoustic properties dependent on the uniquely reverberant landscape of Scandinavia. And cow magic, obv. [via]
I made this for you, dear readers.
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In Botswana, conservation scientists from the University of New South Wales are painting eyes on the rear ends of cattle in an effort to deter lions from eating them. As the lions' protected habitats shrink, they move closer to human settlements. In Botswana, the lions attack the livestock that the subsistence farmers count on. That leads the farmers to kill the African lions, further endangering the species.
(UNSW conservation biologist Neil Jordan’s idea of painting eyes onto cattle rumps came about after two lionesses were killed near the village in Botswana where he was based. While watching a lion hunt an impala, he noticed something interesting: “Lions are ambush hunters, so they creep up on their prey, get close and jump on them unseen. But in this case, the impala noticed the lion. And when the lion realised it had been spotted, it gave up on the hunt,” he says.
In nature, being ‘seen’ can deter predation. For example, patterns resembling eyes on butterfly wings are known to deter birds. In India, woodcutters in the forest have long worn masks on the back of their heads to ward-off man-eating tigers.
Jordan’s idea was to “hijack this mechanism” of psychological trickery. Last year, he collaborated with the BPCT and a local farmer to trial the innovative strategy, which he’s dubbed “iCow”.
"Eye-opening conservation strategy could save African lions" (UNSW) Read the rest
Curious cows gathered around a lost seal pup led rescuers to find the orphaned, 5-day-old mammal, reports BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
We had an unusual visitor to the RSPB Lincolnshire offices today. One of our regular visitors spotted some of the cows on the saltmarsh behaving strangely. Upon investigation it seems they'd found a lone seal pup and were hassling it. With the mother nowhere in sight, and for its own safety, we had to take the pup away. We then called Natureland Seal Sanctuary in Skegness, who came to take it away and look after it.
She's been named Celebration, and is being rehabilitated at Skegness Natureland And Seal Sanctuary before being released back to the wild.
[via Arbroath.] Read the rest