Humans and animals

An eight million dollars study funded by the United States Airforce is looking into the armor of an insect called diabolical ironclad beetle, with the hope of gaining insights into the construction of more resistant planes and buildings. The beetle can withstand forces almost 40 000 greater than its weight. Until now, such research was done mostly via microscope observation, but this time scientists are scanning the beetle’s armor to see inside of its structure and the way the plates fit together.

Bears in Japan’s Iwate prefecture are wandering into the human-populated areas more often. Experts call for the improvement of their natural habitat as the activity is most probably provoked by the search for food which is in shortage, especially acorns. Since the beginning of 2020, 11 people have been injured by bears in Iwate and 157 were injured nationwide last year – the highest count in a decade. One person died. Authorities are exploring possibilities of different solutions to the problem, including safe feeding spaces.

Owning domestic animals, especially dogs or cats, contribute to the damage done to the environment by humans. A rough estimate based on the studies suggests that cats alone kill 200 million wild animals a year in the UK. Dutch research from 2019 reported that the carbon emissions from the food were at 1,4 and 0,25 tons a year for dogs and cats respectively. Double the household electricity, in the first case. That, plus billions of plastic bags for the poop and hundreds of millions tonnes of waste.

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