Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Where does a 500-pound sea lion spit?

Date:
October 29, 2012
Source:
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
Summary:
One expert sees studying zoo animals as a perfect opportunity to continue his groundbreaking research on how saliva can signal stress, health risks, and illness in the human body, and apply this research to endangered species as well.

Anywhere it wants. OK, they don't really expectorate. So a Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) saliva expert has done a bit of improvisation.

Related Articles


Now, few humans would drool at the chance to swab the inside of a quarter-ton sea lion's mouth. There's the fishy breath, naturally. And did we mention the canine teeth? Gumdrops and lollipops it isn't.

Then there's Douglas Granger, PhD, Director of the JHUSON's Center for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience, who sees studying the zoo animals as a perfect opportunity to continue his groundbreaking research on how saliva can signal stress, health risks, and illness in the human body, and apply this research to endangered species as well.

Granger has partnered with Michelle Farmerie, MAIS-ZAL, who chairs the Animal Enrichment Committee at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, on a project to study through saliva swabs how much stress animals experience from changes in their environment, including when moved from zoo to zoo. The research team hopes the sea lions' saliva can offer clues to how individual animals handle various experiences. The idea is that the study will give animal caregivers more data that they can use to further enhance the health and welfare of animals.

Granger and Farmerie's research partnership was born, appropriately enough, at "Spit Camp," one of the two-day seminars developed by Granger that offer an intensive, hands-on how-to on collecting and analyzing saliva. Farmerie and Granger began discussing collaborations and the applications of Granger's work with Farmerie's primary charges, Bornean orangutans. So when four female sea lions were going to be transferred from the Pittsburgh Zoo to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., Farmerie and Henry Kacprzyk, curator of Kid's Kingdom at Pittsburgh, asked Granger if he would like to collaborate.

For the project, before-and-after samples were collected from Hawk, the hefty bull sea lion that stayed in Pittsburgh as the four females moved on to D.C. Head sea lion trainer Judy Obeldobel accompanied the animals and collected samples after they arrived in Washington. The female sea lions that remained with Hawk were swabbed as well. "Advancing our understanding of these relationships may allow us to better serve the needs of animals in zoos," Granger says.

"We will also be able to expand this research to include other species," adds Farmerie. "This could be a major step in advancing proactive care and behavior management for animals worldwide."

Meanwhile, Granger is not closing off any avenues of research. And if that means staring down the business end of a fishy, toothy marine mammal? He is one to look a gift horse, or sea lion, in the mouth.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. "Where does a 500-pound sea lion spit?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121029092800.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. (2012, October 29). Where does a 500-pound sea lion spit?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121029092800.htm
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. "Where does a 500-pound sea lion spit?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121029092800.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins