Essential Reads

The Experience of Fear

By Jennifer Verdolin Ph.D. on January 16, 2018 in Wild Connections
We, and other species, have evolved the ability to rapidly adopt an appropriate strategy to respond to life-threatening, fearful, or aggressive encounters.

He’s Pavlov and We’re the Dogs: Learning and Human Behavior

The science of learning has more fully developed the nature and function of Pavlovian conditioning than is commonly believed. This form of learning is vital to adaptive behavior.

Good Manners in Evolutionary Perspective

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on January 09, 2018 in The Human Beast
Why have the habits of the Upstairs Downstairs world departed? What are they for? Have they always existed?

"Do Animals Really Know They're Gonna Die?"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 08, 2018 in Animal Emotions
Discussions about whether animals commit suicide raise many interesting questions for which there are few, if any, definitive answers about what they know about death and dying.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

Can Food Supplements Protect the Minds of Aging Dogs?

Old dogs can have a version of Alzheimer's disease and data suggests that this might be prevented by changing what they eat

The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief, and Compassion

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 17, 2018 in Animal Emotions
An Interview with Peter Wohlleben, author of a new book on animal emotions called "The Inner Life of Animals," a sequel to his best-seller "The Hidden Lives of Trees."

Swedish Zoo "Zoothanizes" Nine Healthy, "Useless" Lion Cubs

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 16, 2018 in Animal Emotions
An email asking, "Do zoos really kill healthy animals?" didn't surprise me at all. Many zoos routinely kill healthy "surplus" animals as business as usual but it's not euthanasia.

What Your Senior Cat Wishes You Knew

Do you live with an older cat? Here are some suggestions for helping her to stay comfortable and contented.

Kangaroo: A Riveting, Deeply Troubling, Must-See Film

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 15, 2018 in Animal Emotions
In this new documentary, you'll learn about the plight of kangaroos as they're brutally killed across Australia, much of which is unknown because it happens in the dark.

Crows Make Up After Fighting, Then Seek Consolation

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 14, 2018 in Animal Emotions
A new study shows crows reconcile after things get nasty. After mild fights aggressors preened victims' feathers and after serious fights victims sought consolation from others.

Animals, Exploitation, and Art: The Work of Colleen Plumb

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 11, 2018 in Animal Emotions
A groundbreaking interview about how art can foster compassion and empathy for animals held in various forms of captivity, individuals who needlessly suffer for human enjoyment.

The Biophilia Effect: Exploring the Healing Power of Nature

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 10, 2018 in Animal Emotions
In an interview with Clemens Arvay about his book "The Biophilia Effect," he shows that nature is in our genes and humans have a natural urge to affiliate with other forms of life.

Can Dogs Suffer From ADHD?

Dogs and human children share a number of mental characteristics and predispositions including the possibility of ADHD.

Some-nipotence: A Real Answer to the Free Will Question

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 08, 2018 in Ambigamy
You have free will and the reason you hear otherwise is that scientists got stuck on the assumption that you're just a complex chemical robot.

Never in Vain

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on January 06, 2018 in Bear in Mind
One man's work from the ground up helps to unchain elephant minds and bodies.

A New Look at Animal Suicide

A new research paper asks us to look again at the question: Can nonhuman animals commit suicide?

The Animals and Us Year In Review

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on January 05, 2018 in Animals and Us
From the Furry Fandom to the Great Pet British Massacre, its been a good year for Animals and Us.

Yes, Humans and Animals Are 'Not So Different'

By Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. on January 03, 2018 in Beastly Behavior
My book has drawn some predictable creationist criticism. Here I respond and invite dialogue.

Do Therapy Dogs Suffer from Stress When They Are Working?

Worries that therapy dogs get stressed during treatment and intervention sessions appear to be unfounded.

Pets Rock

Research points to the physical and mental health benefits of owning and caring for a pet.

Your Cat Is Bored!

If your cat had thumbs, would he be twiddling them with boredom? A few ideas can go a long way.

Life In the Compassionoscene, Freedom and Justice For All

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 31, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Coexistence in the Anthropocene and beyond means compassion and justice for all. We must stop wantonly killing other animals and decimating their homes in the name of humans.

Dogs Think About and Plan For the Future, Don't They?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 28, 2017 in Animal Emotions
It's difficult to imagine dogs do not think about and plan for the future. The place to look for this cognitive capacity is in different sorts of social interactions and Frisbee.

Genitals, Beer Kegs, and the Need For Basic Scientific Study

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 28, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Two popular essays and a research paper raise key questions about sex, science, and the importance of recognizing basic research as "a valid and valuable use of public funds."

Do Dogs Think About and Plan For the Future?

By Stanley Coren PhD., DSc, FRSC on December 28, 2017 in Canine Corner
The scientific data is not clear, but there are hints.

Pass or Fail: You Make the Call

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on December 27, 2017 in The Dolphin Divide
Why the Millennial generation ignores behavioral boundaries. Could a system of endless repetition without consequences possibly be the culprit?

Matter & Desire: Ecology As Erotic Love

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 24, 2017 in Animal Emotions
In this interview with biologist and philosopher Andreas Weber, we're asked to view ecology as a tender practice of forging relationships and of yearning for connections.

Emotional Experiences Can Change the Nature of a Dog's Sleep

By Stanley Coren PhD., DSc, FRSC on December 22, 2017 in Canine Corner
New data on the brain activity of sleeping dogs shows that the effect of emotional experiences on sleep is different for dogs and people.

Breed and Environmental Influences on Play in Dogs

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 21, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A recent study showed neither environmental context nor breed affected social play, but environmental stimuli, mainly toys, produced highest levels of solitary play across breeds.

Rats, Crowds, and Brain Loss

By Ilana Simons Ph.D. on December 21, 2017 in The Literary Mind
a video about crowds, rats, and brain damage

A Locust Analogy for Urban Life

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on December 21, 2017 in The Human Beast
Urban societies of the past all collapsed. Ecological instability seems inevitable. This resembles locust swarms that devastate their ecology.

Coyotes: Dispelling Myths About Who They Are, What They Do

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 21, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Some recent media claims about coyote behavior are misleading. For example, there's no data supporting "The louder the howl, the bigger the prize."

Adaptation? It's Way Different For Humans

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on December 21, 2017 in Ambigamy
Adaptation—good fit to reality—is as old as life but very different for humans given our power of language. Here we imagine a beginner's guide for us newfangled language users.

Free Things to Do for Your Pet This Holiday Season

By Zazie Todd Ph.D. on December 20, 2017 in Fellow Creatures
Whether or not Santa has gifts for your pet this year, here are some fun enrichment activities for your cat or dog.