Veterinary Science

Fortaleza, Brazil

Veterinary Science

Fortaleza, Brazil
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News Article | October 31, 2016
Site: www.newsmaker.com.au

University of Adelaide researchers have today been awarded $16.5 million in federal funding for new research in fields such as health, agriculture, the environment, engineering, physics and demographics. A total of 36 new grants have been awarded to the University of Adelaide from the Australian Research Council (ARC) for major research projects and fellowships, early career funding, and infrastructure: "Today's new research funding will continue the outstanding work of University of Adelaide researchers in pursuing discoveries that address state and national priorities, as well as global needs," says the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Brooks. "The new research projects funded today will investigate clean and cost-effective solar hydrogen energy, analyse the impact of climate change on fish stocks in our oceans, improve our understanding of how bacteria function and adapt to change, and develop nanotechnology materials that could have widespread application to industry, to name just some of the exciting work to be conducted by our staff." A team led by Professor Martin Lambert (School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering) has been awarded a $499,000 Discovery Project to develop urgently needed, non-invasive methods to assess the condition of water pipes and enable "just in time" predictive repair; while a team led by Professor Dabing Zhang (School of Agriculture, Food and Wine) has been awarded a $513,500 Discovery Project to advance the fundamental biology of rice and barley, which could lead to significant yield improvements in those cereal crops. Future Fellowships have been awarded to three outstanding researchers in the fields of: philosophy, with $897,000 to Dr Jordi Fernandez (Department of Philosophy); genetics and evolution, with $929,464 to Professor Frank Grutzner (School of Biological Sciences); and mathematics, with $904,000 to Associate Professor Yvonne Stokes (School of Mathematical Sciences). Dr Daniel King (School of Psychology) has won a $312,708 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to produce a new model of the mechanisms underlying problem online gaming. Dr Lingqiao Liu (School of Computer Science) has also received a $360,000 DECRA to further develop visual recognition techniques for the benefit of cybernetic security in Australia. Of the five Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grants, $1.39 million has been awarded to Associate Professor Gavin Rowell (Department of Physics), to ensure Australia's involvement in a very high energy gamma-ray astronomy instrument that is expected to transform high energy astrophysics; and $510,000 to Professor Darren Trott (School of Animal and Veterinary Science) to establish "biobank" laboratories to detect animal species' antimicrobial resistance, helping to improve the health and production of Australian livestock. David Ellis, Media and Communications Officer, The University of Adelaide


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Being hit by cars and chlamydia were the top causes of a dramatic rise in south-east Queensland koala deaths over the past two decades, according to a new University of Queensland-led study. UQ School of Veterinary Science's Associate Professor Rachel Allavena and Dr Joerg Henning worked with the Queensland Government's Moggill Koala Hospital to analyse data about koala disease and death from 1997 to 2013. "It's important data collected over the span of the koala population crash," Dr Allavena said. "Populations throughout 'Koala Coast' declined by about 80 per cent over this period, so this iconic and famous species is in real trouble in our area." The senior researchers and PhD student Viviana Gonzalez-Astudillo, determined that at least a quarter of the koalas hit by cars were otherwise in good health, meaning it was healthy, breeding animals that were killed. About half of the population that died over the study period was affected by more than one disease or health problem, including trauma. Chlamydia was particularly devastating for koalas, because of the potential to render females infertile and cause bladder and eye problems, making predator avoidance and food foraging harder. Animal attacks, particularly from dogs, and wasting away from starvation, disease and poor teeth were other prominent causes of koala deaths. Dr Henning said the research team had developed KoalaBASE, a web-based database about koalas coming into care in south-east Queensland facilities. "KoalaBASE enables data input at multiple veterinary centres, and use of the data by multiple stakeholders such as veterinarians, government departments and researchers," Dr Henning said. The UQ researchers hope their data, published in the journal Scientific Reports, will help government agencies, koala groups, and hospitals better target resources to prevention and treatment. Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, which funded the $420,723 research project, provided extensive records of koala admissions at Moggill Koala Hospital to the researchers. "Based on this information and its own research with other koala care facilities, the research team has developed a database which, for the first time, provides accurate scientific information on the specific threats facing south-east Queensland koalas," Dr Miles said. "This is one of several projects funded by the State Government to boost our knowledge and understanding of the threats facing koalas, so we can ensure work to secure viable and healthy koala populations across the state is based on evidence and scientific research." "The Palaszczuk Government takes the protection of the State's much-loved koalas very seriously and has set up a Koala Expert Panel and invested $12.1 million over four years to this cause." The largest prospective mortality study on koalas undertaken - drawing on autopsies of more than 500 koalas that died of natural causes - is also soon to be published by UQ researchers.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: phys.org

UQ School of Veterinary Science's Associate Professor Rachel Allavena and Dr Joerg Henning worked with the Queensland Government's Moggill Koala Hospital to analyse data about koala disease and death from 1997 to 2013. Dr Allavena said the important data had been collected over the span of the koala population crash. "Populations throughout the 'Koala Coast' declined by about 80 per cent over this period, so this iconic and famous species is in real trouble in our area," she said. The senior researchers and PhD student Viviana Gonzalez-Astudillo determined that at least a quarter of the koalas hit by cars were otherwise in good health, meaning it was healthy, breeding animals that were killed. About half of the population that died over the study period was affected by more than one disease or health problem, including trauma. Chlamydia was particularly devastating for koalas, because of the potential to render females infertile and cause bladder and eye problems, making predator avoidance and food foraging harder. Animal attacks, particularly from dogs, and wasting away from starvation, disease and poor teeth were other prominent causes of koala deaths. Dr Henning said the research team had developed KoalaBASE, a web-based database about koalas coming into care in south-east Queensland facilities. "KoalaBASE enables data input at multiple veterinary centres, and use of the data by multiple stakeholders such as veterinarians, government departments and researchers," Dr Henning said. The UQ researchers hope their data, published in the journal Scientific Reports, will help government agencies, koala groups and hospitals better target resources to prevention and treatment. Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, which funded the $420,723 research project, provided extensive records of koala admissions at Moggill Koala Hospital. "Based on this information and its own research with other koala care facilities, the research team has developed a database which, for the first time, provides accurate scientific information on the specific threats facing south-east Queensland koalas," Dr Miles said. "This is one of several projects funded by the State Government to boost our knowledge and understanding of the threats facing koalas, so we can ensure work to secure viable and healthy koala populations across the state is based on evidence and scientific research." "The Palaszczuk Government takes the protection of the State's much-loved koalas very seriously and has set up a Koala Expert Panel and invested $12.1 million over four years to this cause." More information: Viviana Gonzalez-Astudillo et al. Decline causes of Koalas in South East Queensland, Australia: a 17-year retrospective study of mortality and morbidity, Scientific Reports (2017). DOI: 10.1038/srep42587


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A world-first study testing new underwater cameras on wild dolphins has given researchers the best view yet into their hidden marine world. A research team including experts from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre and the University of Alaska Southeast trialled the custom-made non-invasive cameras to capture and analyse more than 535 minutes of such rarely-seen activities as mother-calf interaction, playing with kelp, and intimate social behaviours like flipper-rubbing. The results are published in the latest Marine Biology. "For the first time, these cameras have given us the opportunity to see what dolphins do on their own terms," said Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska from the University of Sydney's School of Veterinary Science and Charles Perkins Centre. "There were no wildlife crews, no invasive underwater housings - and the dolphins remained largely unaffected by our cameras. This research opens up a whole new approach for capturing wild animal behaviour, which will ultimately help us to not only advance conservation efforts but also come closer to understanding wild predators' and human nutrition too." The successful deployment advances new approaches to filming wild sea creatures, aiding conservation and rehabilitation efforts and giving researchers unprecedented insight into wild dolphins' prey and habitats. "Dolphins are marine top predators that are considered biomonitors of marine environments, so gaining a better understanding of their lives will help us to better comprehend the health of marine environments including prey species like fish and squid that are highly consumed by humans," said Dr Machovsky-Capuska, who is also co-leader of the Human-Animal Interactions research node at the Charles Perkin Centre. The cameras were attached via suction cups to eight wild dusky dolphins, deployed using a long pole with the aid of Velcro pads. The footage was captured off the coast of New Zealand from December 2015 to January 2016, with each camera system loaded with memory boards, very high frequency and satellite transmitters, time depth recorders and having a battery life of six hours. "One challenge of doing this research on small and fast animals like dusky dolphins is that there is limited surface area on the dolphin's body for tag attachment, so there's only a small window of time to actually deploy the tag as the dolphin swims past," said Dr Peter Jones from the University of Sydney's School of Electrical and Information Engineering. "We have much to learn about animal behaviour and systems such as this are a great way to observe their activity in a natural environment with the least likely influence on that behaviour." Dolphin specialist Heidi Pearson, Assistant Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Alaska Southeast, said the research has great potential for protecting endangered species by giving scientists a much higher resolution of information than is possible than with other methods. "From the surface, researchers can only see about 10 percent of what is going on in an animal's life. With these video cameras, we can 'see' from the animals' perspective and begin to understand the challenges they face as they move throughout their habitat," she said. "For example, in marine areas subjected to high degrees of human disturbance such as shipping or coastal development, the ability to collect data from the animal's perspective will be critical in understanding how and to what extent these stressors affect an animal's ability to feed, mate, and raise young." The researchers now hope to further develop the cameras to test with marine predators including other cetacean species and sharks. The research was funded by the National Geographic Society Waitt Grant Fund and the Encounter Foundation (Kaikoura, New Zealand) and included the New Zealand Department of Conservation, Massey University (New Zealand) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (US) as project partners. Visit the Dropbox folder for images and video. Journal paper and interviews available on request.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

VetStem Biopharma, Inc., announced that a landmark peer-reviewed manuscript on stem cell therapy of canine osteoarthritis has been published. The placebo-controlled study of allogeneic adipose stem cell therapy in dogs with clinical arthritis is the largest study of its kind to date in the veterinary literature. This double-blinded, multi-site, placebo-controlled field efficacy study enrolled approximately 90 dogs with osteoarthritis. The dogs, who received a single intra-articular injection of stem cells demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in treatment versus placebo (p<0.05). The primary endpoint was treatment success based on the Client-Specific Outcome Measurement (CSOM) on day 60 as compared to day 0. Additionally, the veterinary assessment of pain showed a statistically significant improvement in the stem cell treated dogs compared to the controls. The final study report was submitted to the FDA and the peer-reviewed manuscript was published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science – Veterinary Regenerative Medicine in the September 16, 2016 issue. Titled “A Prospective, Randomized, Masked, and Placebo-Controlled Efficacy Study of Intraarticular Allogeneic Adipose Stem Cells for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis in Dogs,” this study evaluated VetStem’s novel allogeneic stem cell product in client-owned dogs in a formal FDA study. The nine independent investigators in this study are leaders in surgery and pain management and are co-authors on the peer-reviewed publication. As the first company in the world to offer fat derived stem cell services for veterinary use, VetStem has rapidly developed the market, providing treatments to over 12,000 horses, dogs, cats and exotic species. “With this progress in demonstrating the feasibility of using donor-derived (allogeneic) stem cells in treating osteoarthritis, VetStem hopes to deliver an FDA-approved “off-the-shelf” stem cell product in 2018 in its mission to bring this novel therapy to practitioners in a cost-effective manner,” said Dr. Bob Harman, CEO and Founder of VetStem. The study was financially supported by Aratana Therapeutics, VetStem’s US licensee and commercial partner. Aratana will launch the product upon approval by the FDA and provide marketing and sales to deliver this product to the US veterinary markets. Aratana has recently received FDA approval for three new canine products, demonstrating both commitment and expertise in the growing pet therapeutics market. VetStem is also in the process to get EMA approval for launch in the European markets. VetStem Biopharma is a veterinarian lead company that was formed in 2002 to bring regenerative medicine to the profession. This privately held biopharmaceutical enterprise, based near San Diego (California), currently offers veterinarians an autologous stem cell processing service (from patients’ own fat tissue) among other regenerative modalities. With a unique expertise acquired over the past 14 years and 12,000 patients treated by veterinarians for joint, tendon or ligament issues, VetStem has made regenerative medicine applications a therapeutic reality beyond the realm of research. The VetStem team is focused on developing new clinically practical and affordable veterinary solutions that leverage the natural restorative abilities present in all living creatures. The company’s stated mission being “to extend and enhance the lives of animals by improving the quality of recovery in acute conditions, but also by unlocking ways to slow, stop and ultimately revert the course of chronic diseases”. In addition to its’ own portfolio of patents, Vet-Stem holds exclusive global veterinary licenses to a portfolio of over 70 issued patents in the field of regenerative medicine.


News Article | January 25, 2016
Site: phys.org

The team, part of the School of Veterinary Science, treated an eight-foot-long Proserpine Carpet Python for spinal pain earlier this month. Associate Professor Dr Bob Doneley said the snake was longer than the X-ray table, and required special treatment for assessment. "Snakes have between 300 and 400 vertebrae, each with a pair of ribs attached," he said. And though non-venomous, the Proserpine snake could still wind tightly around a human and her bite could still pack a punch. "It was a matter of anaesthetising her and then using a plastic tube to keep her back straight while we took the X-rays," Dr Doneley said. "One vertebrae in her spine was starting to dissolve and we haven't ruled out an infection." The team put the snake on painkillers and antibiotics, and will check her progress in six months. "Nothing happens in reptiles in a hurry," Dr Doneley said. Gary Fitzgerald, the clinic's head nurse, is the owner of the snake. A keen herpetologist, Mr Fitzgerald has kept reptiles since he was a small boy and, with his training as a veterinary technician, he is alert to any signs of problems. "He noticed this snake was becoming a bit more aggressive than usual, and also that when it was moving, it was keeping part of its back very straight," Dr Doneley said. "It would take an experienced reptile vet and keeper to notice this problem. So we examined the snake and pressed along its back and it reacted as if in pain." There's an art to anaesthetising snakes, as the blood vessels cannot be seen through the skin and if you hit a muscle instead of a vein, the anaesthetic may not work. "You've got to know where the veins are, then they take a minute or two to go to sleep and we put them on an anaesthetic machine using a ventilator." The clinic sees about 1000 wildlife cases a year, offering a variety of cases for UQ veterinary students to learn about treating and caring for wildlife. "I always get a buzz when someone tells me they have released something," Dr Doneley said. "This job is rewarding on so many levels. Teaching university students to look after these animals is the best part of this job. "What they learn here, they won't learn in a private practice where the focus is more on domestic animals. This is a huge opportunity to learn about disease, medicine, surgery and general care of birds, reptiles, small animals and wildlife cases. "The skills they learn now will help students to help them and similar species in future, which is particularly important if they become endangered." The Veterinary School receives no government funding for wildlife care so it relies on community support through the Wildlife Emergency Care Fund. "We are always grateful for donations to care for our native animals," Dr Doneley said.


News Article | December 7, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Man’s best friend may help solve another mystery. A new study entitled “Canine Filamentous Dermatitis Associated with Borrelia Infection” reveals that a condition similar to human Morgellons disease can occur in dogs. The study was published in the prestigious Journal of Veterinary Science & Medical Diagnosis. Morgellons disease is an unusual skin condition associated with Lyme disease in humans. It is characterized by skin lesions containing unusual multicolored fibers and symptoms such as fatigue, joint and muscle pain and neurological problems that are typical of Lyme disease. Similar skin lesions have previously been reported in bovine digital dermatitis, an infectious disease of cattle. The dog study was partially funded by the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation (CEHMDF) and was conducted by an international team of researchers, including Calgary microbiologist Marianne Middelveen, San Francisco Internist Dr. Raphael Stricker, molecular biologists Dr. Eva Sapi and Dr. Jennie Burke, and Calgary veterinarians Dr. Gheorghe Rotaru and Dr. Jody McMurray. The dogs in the study presented with unusual fiber-containing skin lesions that lacked other explanations and that failed to respond to non-antibiotic treatments. “Generally-speaking, the fibers we have seen are teal and pink,” explains Dr. Rotaru.“Dogs are hairy, so fibers can be hard to see. Fortunately the fibers fluoresce under UV light, so we have used that diagnostic tool to identify dogs with the skin condition.” Analysis performed by five different laboratories detected the corkscrew-shaped agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, in canine skin tissue by special staining and DNA analysis. Culture studies showed that the Lyme bacteria in skin were alive. Further analysis of the canine skin fibers showed that they were made of the same proteins as human Morgellons disease fibers. Most of the owners of the study dogs were healthy and were not familiar with Morgellons disease or Lyme disease; however, two of the owners also had Morgellons disease. “In those cases, we do not have evidence of contact transmission from human to animal or animal to human,” says Dr. Stricker, “it may be that both owner and dog were exposed to the same disease vector.” “The finding of skin lesions similar to Morgellons disease, first in cattle and now in dogs, confirms that the skin disease is not a delusion, as some have maintained,” said Ms. Middelveen. “We need to learn much more about this mysterious skin condition.” About the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation: The Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation based in Austin, TX, is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to advocacy and philanthropy in the battle against Morgellons. Director, Cindy Casey-Holman, RN, leads the foundation, named for her husband, Charles E. Holman, a pioneer in the fight against MD. The CEHMDF is the recognized authority and primary funding source for Morgellons Disease medical-scientific research. There are neither grants, nor any other public or private funding to support research for Morgellons. Donations are tax deductible in the US. To learn more about Morgellons disease go to http://www.MorgellonsDisease.org


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

A world-first study testing new underwater cameras on wild dolphins has given researchers the best view yet into their hidden marine world. A research team including experts from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre and the University of Alaska Southeast trialled the custom-made non-invasive cameras to capture and analyze more than 535 minutes of such rarely-seen activities as mother-calf interaction, playing with kelp, and intimate social behaviors like flipper-rubbing. The results are published in the latest Marine Biology. "For the first time, these cameras have given us the opportunity to see what dolphins do on their own terms," said Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska from the University of Sydney's School of Veterinary Science and Charles Perkins Centre. "There were no wildlife crews, no invasive underwater housings - and the dolphins remained largely unaffected by our cameras. This research opens up a whole new approach for capturing wild animal behavior, which will ultimately help us to not only advance conservation efforts but also come closer to understanding wild predators' and human nutrition too." The successful deployment advances new approaches to filming wild sea creatures, aiding conservation and rehabilitation efforts and giving researchers unprecedented insight into wild dolphins' prey and habitats. "Dolphins are marine top predators that are considered biomonitors of marine environments, so gaining a better understanding of their lives will help us to better comprehend the health of marine environments including prey species like fish and squid that are highly consumed by humans," said Machovsky-Capuska, who is also co-leader of the Human-Animal Interactions research node at the Charles Perkin Centre. The cameras were attached via suction cups to eight wild dusky dolphins, deployed using a long pole with the aid of Velcro pads. The footage was captured off the coast of New Zealand from December 2015 to January 2016, with each camera system loaded with memory boards, very high frequency and satellite transmitters, time depth recorders and having a battery life of six hours. "One challenge of doing this research on small and fast animals like dusky dolphins is that there is limited surface area on the dolphin's body for tag attachment, so there's only a small window of time to actually deploy the tag as the dolphin swims past," said Peter Jones from the University of Sydney's School of Electrical and Information Engineering. "We have much to learn about animal behavior and systems such as this are a great way to observe their activity in a natural environment with the least likely influence on that behavior." Dolphin specialist Heidi Pearson, assistant professor of marine biology at the University of Alaska Southeast, said the research has great potential for protecting endangered species by giving scientists a much higher resolution of information than is possible than with other methods. "From the surface, researchers can only see about 10 percent of what is going on in an animal's life. With these video cameras, we can 'see' from the animals' perspective and begin to understand the challenges they face as they move throughout their habitat," she said. "For example, in marine areas subjected to high degrees of human disturbance such as shipping or coastal development, the ability to collect data from the animal's perspective will be critical in understanding how and to what extent these stressors affect an animal's ability to feed, mate, and raise young." The researchers now hope to further develop the cameras to test with marine predators including other cetacean species and sharks.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: phys.org

A research team including experts from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre and the University of Alaska Southeast trialled the custom-made non-invasive cameras to capture and analyse more than 535 minutes of such rarely-seen activities as mother-calf interaction, playing with kelp, and intimate social behaviours like flipper-rubbing. The results are published in the latest Marine Biology. "For the first time, these cameras have given us the opportunity to see what dolphins do on their own terms," said Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska from the University of Sydney's School of Veterinary Science and Charles Perkins Centre. "There were no wildlife crews, no invasive underwater housings - and the dolphins remained largely unaffected by our cameras. This research opens up a whole new approach for capturing wild animal behaviour, which will ultimately help us to not only advance conservation efforts but also come closer to understanding wild predators' and human nutrition too." The successful deployment advances new approaches to filming wild sea creatures, aiding conservation and rehabilitation efforts and giving researchers unprecedented insight into wild dolphins' prey and habitats. "Dolphins are marine top predators that are considered biomonitors of marine environments, so gaining a better understanding of their lives will help us to better comprehend the health of marine environments including prey species like fish and squid that are highly consumed by humans," said Dr Machovsky-Capuska, who is also co-leader of the Human-Animal Interactions research node at the Charles Perkin Centre. The cameras were attached via suction cups to eight wild dusky dolphins, deployed using a long pole with the aid of Velcro pads. The footage was captured off the coast of New Zealand from December 2015 to January 2016, with each camera system loaded with memory boards, very high frequency and satellite transmitters, time depth recorders and having a battery life of six hours. "One challenge of doing this research on small and fast animals like dusky dolphins is that there is limited surface area on the dolphin's body for tag attachment, so there's only a small window of time to actually deploy the tag as the dolphin swims past," said Dr Peter Jones from the University of Sydney's School of Electrical and Information Engineering. "We have much to learn about animal behaviour and systems such as this are a great way to observe their activity in a natural environment with the least likely influence on that behaviour." Dolphin specialist Heidi Pearson, Assistant Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Alaska Southeast, said the research has great potential for protecting endangered species by giving scientists a much higher resolution of information than is possible than with other methods. "From the surface, researchers can only see about 10 percent of what is going on in an animal's life. With these video cameras, we can 'see' from the animals' perspective and begin to understand the challenges they face as they move throughout their habitat," she said. "For example, in marine areas subjected to high degrees of human disturbance such as shipping or coastal development, the ability to collect data from the animal's perspective will be critical in understanding how and to what extent these stressors affect an animal's ability to feed, mate, and raise young." The researchers now hope to further develop the cameras to test with marine predators including other cetacean species and sharks. Explore further: Help to save rare humpback dolphins More information: Heidi C. Pearson et al, Testing and deployment of C-VISS (cetacean-borne video camera and integrated sensor system) on wild dolphins, Marine Biology (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s00227-017-3079-z


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.gizmag.com

People have been fascinated by dolphins for millennia, but we still know very little about their life in the wild. Now a team of scientists from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre and the University of Alaska Southeast have lifted the veil on cetacean private life thanks to new bespoke cameras that harmlessly attach to the animal's flank and provide an account of dolphin behavior that more invasive techniques have missed. Dolphins are excellent environmental indicators, but they are also often put at hazard by human activity, so there are many reasons to learn more about them. The trouble is, they're a bit like dogs. You think you know what they're doing, but when you're not looking, you'd be surprised what they get up to. According to Heidi Pearson, Assistant Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Alaska Southeast, we can see only 10 percent of dolphin behavior from the surface and sending down dive teams and submersibles to study and film them may bring back valuable data, but it also interferes with their behavior, which becomes as disrupted as that of a human family being told by a television crew to "act natural." The team's solution was to use special camera modules equipped with suction cups that attach to the dorsal flanks of dolphins using a low pole and Velcro pads. Each camera is equipped with a six-hour battery, memory boards, VHF and satellite transmitters, and time/depth recorders. Tests involving eight wild dusky dolphins were carried out off the coast of New Zealand from December 2015 to January 2016. So far, the cameras have provided scientists with 535 minutes of video showing rarely-witnessed behaviors, such as mother-calf interaction, playing with kelp, and social flipper-rubbing, as well as hunting and other habits The researchers see such action-cam technology as not only providing unique views of dolphin life, but as a way of improving conservation and wildlife rehabilitation. By studying dolphins so intimately, it will be possible to gain a better understanding of the marine environment as well as the stocks of fish and squid eaten by dolphins that support much of the fishing industry. In addition, it will be a way to help minimize the impact of human activities, like shipping, on dolphin wellbeing as well as monitoring aquatic endangered species with high resolution. "For the first time, these cameras have given us the opportunity to see what dolphins do on their own terms," says Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska from the University of Sydney's School of Veterinary Science and Charles Perkins Centre. "There were no wildlife crews, no invasive underwater housings – and the dolphins remained largely unaffected by our cameras. This research opens up a whole new approach for capturing wild animal behavior, which will ultimately help us to not only advance conservation efforts but also come closer to understanding wild predators' and human nutrition too." Now that the technology has proven itself on dolphins, the team hopes to adapt it to other cetacea and to sharks.

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