Navigation Links
Clean living is a luxury wild animals can't afford, study suggests
Date:10/20/2013

Domestic animals will choose to steer clear of dirt but their wild cousins can't be so picky and may be at increased risk of disease as a result.

A study of wild mice has shown that they prefer to sleep and eat near to used nesting material and droppings left by other mice.

Choosing a safe place to sleep and taking the opportunity to eat outweighs an increased risk of disease from other animals' dirt, the findings suggest. The study is significant because it could help improve scientists' understanding of how disease spreads among wild animals.

Scientists say the wild mice's behaviour contrasts with that of clean-living domesticated animals, which tend to develop an aversion to dirt. Pets and domestic animals have plentiful food and are less at risk of being targeted by predators, and so they can be choosy about where they eat and sleep, researchers say.

Scientists from the Universities of Edinburgh and California Santa Cruz studied two types of wild mice in Virginia. Animals were collected from woodland and placed in a box for a few hours, with the option of being close to mouse droppings or not. A similar experiment was conducted with new and soiled nesting material.

They found that the animals preferred being near droppings and second-hand nest material, regardless of whether there was an increased risk of contracting parasites in either case.

Dr Patrick Walsh of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who took part in the study, said: "Domesticated animals generally avoid faeces to reduce the chance of parasitic infection, but this study shows that wild animals are more concerned with the risk of starvation than with table manners, taking any opportunity to feed. They may even associate faeces with safety a spot where a mouse has lived long enough to nest and poo is probably pretty safe and that is worth the risk of disease. This helps us learn more about how diseases spread in the natural world."


'/>"/>

Contact: Catriona Kelly
Catriona.Kelly@ed.ac.uk
44-131-651-4401
University of Edinburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. How tiny organisms make a big impact on clean water
2. Red cedar tree study shows that Clean Air Act is reducing pollution, improving forests
3. American Chemical Society podcast: Cotton is an eco-friendly way to clean up oil spills
4. Coping with the global scarcity of clean water
5. Georgia State University research finds Clean Air Act increased Atlanta rainfall
6. Zeal to ensure clean leafy greens takes bite out of riverside habitat in California
7. Solar-powered nanofilters pump in antibiotics to clean contaminated water
8. Progress in introducing cleaner cook stoves for billions of people worldwide
9. Federal Government Organization achieves cleaner and faster Clinical Study Data using Tablet PCs from TabletKiosk
10. A milestone for new carbon-dioxide capture/clean coal technology
11. Clean energy research targets idle engines
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/14/2016)... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ... the airing of a new series of commercials on Time ... 21 st .  The commercials will air on Bloomberg TV, ... the Street show. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... market, announces the airing of a new series of commercials ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... Pa. , March 10, 2016   Unisys Corporation ... Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is testing its biometric ... San Diego to help identify certain non-U.S. ... . The test, designed to help determine the efficiency ... environment, began in February and will run until May 2016. ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... -- FlexTech, a SEMI Strategic Association Partner, awarded five FLEXI ... Leadership in Education, and, in a category new this ... year of the FLEXI Awards and the winners join ... past years . Judging was done on a set ... by a panel of non-affiliated, independent, industry experts. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... and San Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... Stem Cell Foundation (NSCF) to support the development of a patient-specific stem cell therapy ... Andrés Bratt-Leal in the lab of Dr. Jeanne Loring at The Scripps Research Institute ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... NEW YORK , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... biotechnology acceleration company reports the Company,s CEO  was ... capital titled Accelerators Enter When VCs Fear To ... Life Science Leader magazine is an ... work for everything from emerging biotechs to Big ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... hold an open house for regional manufacturers at its Maple Grove, Minnesota technical ... Okuma, Hardinge Group, Chiron and Trumpf. Almost 20 leading suppliers of tooling, ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... screen mobile devices with fingerprint recognition for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free ... few ways consumers are interacting with biometrics technology today. But if they ...
Breaking Biology Technology: