Spit Stress

CC Image from Wikimedia

CC Image from Wikimedia

By: Mia C.

Douglas Granger, Director of the JHUSON’s Center for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience, is currently experimenting to see how saliva can signal stress, health risks, and illnesses. Yet he is now taking it a step further and examine if saliva is a side effect in the stress of animals as well. He has partnered with Michelle Farmerie, who chairs the Animal Enrichment Committee at the Pittsburgh Zoo to study how much stress animals experience while being transferred from zoo to zoo. In order to do this, he is testing the saliva of four sea female sea lions that are being transferred from the Pittsburgh Zoo to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. His before-and-after samples will be solely used as a tool to advance understanding in the mind processes of animals, which will allow zookeepers to meet their needs better in captivity. Once the data from the sea lions’ saliva is collected, Granger and Farmerie will test other animals’ saliva to better the care and behavior management of animals all around the world. (Read more…)

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