An eastern barred bandicoot explores its space in the Werribee Open Range Zoo.

How Australia’s Eastern Barred Bandicoot Came Back From Extinction

With help from a captive breeding program and the watchful eyes of sheepdogs, the small mammal has been reintroduced to the country’s plains


Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads? New Study Offers Clues

The adorable behavior may be a sign of concentration and memory recall

After comparing all genomes, the researchers found that the Japanese wolf is part of an evolutionary branch of wolves that arose 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. Some of the wolves from this branch evolved into the Japanese wolves while others branched off and gave rise to modern dogs.

Ancient Japanese Wolves May Be the Closest Wild Relative of Modern Dogs

The results challenge previous theories about the origin of dog domestication

African wild dogs are skilled hunters.

Future of Conservation

Endangered Wild Dogs Rely on Diverse Habitat to Survive Around Lions

A new study shows that bramble and brush help the canines avoid attacks by the big cats, and may offer clues about where to reintroduce the dogs

The shaded yellow phenotype produced by mutations on the ASIP gene are seen in a collie’s coat color.

Golden Fur in Dogs Evolved Two Million Years Ago, Long Before Domestication

Five coat color variations in domestic canines emerged from an ancient ancestor

Neither the FDA nor the researchers would identify the brands tested for the study. They also are not advocating that pet owners discontinue using dog foods containing peas at this time.

Are Peas in Common Dog Foods Contributing to Canine Heart Disease?

At this time, the FDA is not advocating that pet owners discontinue using any specific brand. But studying legumes may lead scientists to the root cause

A new article suggests that cats have been underutilized in studies of genetic disease and that studying their genomes, which are structured similarly to humans', could yield new treatments.

New Research

Human Genomes Are Surprisingly Cat-Like

Cat genomes are more similar to ours than those of mice and dogs, yet researchers say felines are underutilized in genetic studies of disease

Officers Paul Douglas (left) and Theodore Santos (right) stand with their newest Covid-19 K9 unit: a female black lab named Huntah (left) and a male golden lab-retriever mix, Duke (right).


Massachusetts Becomes First U.S. State to Enlist Covid-Sniffing Canines

Duke and Huntah are first dogs used by law enforcement to detect coronavirus cases

Good dogs often gets treats as rewards. A new experiment shows that dogs who get fed, when given the chance to reciprocate, usually won’t pay their owners back with food.

New Study Shows Dogs Don't Return the Favor After Strangers Feed Them

A new lab experiment reveals pooches don’t pay humans back with a treat after the canines are fed

A young puppy responds to a human pointing to a treat during an experiment conducted by scientists at the University of Arizona.

New Research

Puppies Are Born Ready to Communicate With Humans

A new study finds very young dogs with little human contact can understand pointing gestures—and that the ability has a strong genetic basis

Stress-relief programs that integrate therapy pets can help students relax as they talk and think about their stressors without overwhelming themselves and may be more effective at providing relief than academic approaches to stress management.

For Stressed-Out College Students, Petting Therapy Dogs Has Long-Lasting Benefits

Compared to other experimental groups, undergrads who interacted with pups experienced improved executive functioning skills

Participate in the City Nature Challenge by spotting and recording animals and plants in your city starting Apr 30.

Smithsonian Voices

Learn About Dogs, Mangroves and Gardens at Free Online Natural History Programs This Month

Stream these free programs and more this April through the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History

All modern dogs are descended from a wolf species that when extinct around 15,000 years ago. Grey wolves, pictured here fighting for food with now extinct dire wolves (red), are dogs’ closest living relative.

Smithsonian Voices

Meet the Scientist Studying How Dogs Evolved From Predator to Pet

Learn about how humans of the past helped build the bond between us and our favorite furry friends

A dog walks through a favela in Recife, Brazil. Many such poor urban areas in the country are hotbeds for visceral leishmaniasis.

Dogs Infected With a Deadly Human Parasite Smell Better to Insect Vectors

New research suggests female sand flies that pass the protozoa that causes visceral leishmaniasis to humans are attracted to affected canines

Some of the animals—including this dog—were buried in pieces of pottery.

Cool Finds

Is This 2,000-Year-Old Egyptian Burial Site the World's Oldest Pet Cemetery?

Excavations show how humans treated cats, dogs and monkeys in first- and second-century Egypt

The dogs moved off a mat that had a toy attached to it, showing that dogs may understand their body size and where they are in the environment when solving a task.

Dogs May Be More Self-Aware Than Experts Thought

In a new study, canines recognized how their bodies took up space and moved to complete a task

A piece of bone labeled PP-00128 was thought to belong to a bear until DNA analysis revealed it came from a dog.

Ancient DNA Reveals the Oldest Domesticated Dog in the Americas

A 10,000-year-old dog bone was found in an Alaskan cave near a site with human remains

All dogs with the genetic signature A2b descended from the same Siberian canines roughly 23,000 years ago

How Dogs Migrated to America From Ice Age Siberia 15,000 Years Ago

Northern Siberians and ancestral native Americans may have traded pups at the time

A bent metal rod discovered in the grave was likely a dog toy.

Cool Finds

2,000-Year-Old Grave of Child and Puppy Found in France

The dog, outfitted in a collar with a bell, was placed next to the 1-year-old's feet

An artist's illustration of two gray wolves (lower left) vying with a pack of dire wolves for a bison carcass near the tar pits in Rancho La Brea roughly 15,000 years ago.

New Research

Dire Wolves Weren't Actually Wolves, DNA Analysis Reveals

Ancient DNA extracted from fossils shows the beast split off from Canis lupus and coyotes nearly 6 million years ago

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