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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: No Stage Fright for Performing Horses
25 February 2013 2:20 pm
Show horses may not be totally in sync with their riders, at least when it comes to nerves. Researchers reporting in a paper in press at The Veterinary Journal measured stress hormones and heart rates in six horses (one pictured) and professional riders from the classical dressage team of the French National Riding School in Saumur, France. They took the readings both after a practice session with no audience and after a performance in front of about 1000 spectators. While the riders' heart rates indicated stage fright in the live performance, the horses showed about the same levels of stress in both situations. Of course, there's no reason that horses should care what strangers think about the show, but the researchers were surprised that the riders didn't pass their performance anxiety to their steeds. The next step would be to test neophytes: It could be that expert equestrians are especially good at keeping their charges calm.
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