Animal Behavior Essential Reads

Animal Envy, by Ralph Nader: A Review

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 17, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Ralph Nader's visionary fable, Animal Envy, was motivated by his mostly unknown but obviously longstanding concern for animals. The core message: Animals and humans need one other.

Helping Your Neighbor

We often help others with expectations of help in return at a future point. Turns out, this is a basic feature of what it means to be human.

Psychological Consequences of Having Tree-Dwelling Ancestors

Renowned evolutionist Gordon Gallup has extensively studied the psychological correlates of handgrip strength. To understand why, we need to look to our arboreal past.

Why Do We Exist?

Why do humans exist? Because of evolution. And this is a beautiful thing.

Pets Versus Siblings as Sources of Support for Children

New study suggests that kids may get along better with their pets than their siblings. Just like siblings, pets are a source of comfort and companionship...and they never blab.

Friends in Fur

With over 77 million dogs among us, is it surprising that many are stepping in as friends, confidantes, soulmates and support systems? Dogs pull way above their weight.

iSpeakDog: A Website Devoted to Becoming Dog Literate

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 27, 2017 in Animal Emotions
This new website teaches people how to understand their dog's behavior and is meant for dog guardians, trainers, groomers, veterinarians, and anyone else who interacts with dogs.

Want to Build a Dog From A Fox? Here's How To Do It.

Tucked away in Siberia, there are furry, four-legged creatures with wagging tails that are as friendly as any lapdog. But, despite appearances, these are not dogs—they are foxes.

If You Want to Live Longer, Get a Dog

New data shows that pet ownership can increase the longevity of people with health risk issues.

Do Sharks Feel Pain?

By Michael Tye, Ph.D. on March 21, 2017 in Genuinely Conscious
Sharks are often taken to be natural killing machines. The root of this idea may lie (at least in part) in their apparent inability to feel pain.

25 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Dogs

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on March 13, 2017 in Animals and Us
Why dogs should not drive cars and other findings from the hot new field of canine science.

What Does Information Look Like in the Brain?

Does thinking harder or experiencing deep emotions like love, fear, or anguish light up more neurons? Probably not.

To Understand Everything, Understand Evolution

To understand psychology, culture, and maybe even the universe, we need to understand evolution.

Why People Buy Dogs Who They Know Will Suffer and Die Young

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 25, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A study of French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Cairn Terriers highlights why people choose to buy dogs who they know will have short, miserable lives.

Giving a Blind or Sight-Impaired Dog the Best Life Possible

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 19, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A book called "My dog is blind - but lives life to the full!" is a wonderful practical guide for people who want to give a dog with limited sight a full and enriched life.

Do Nervous Dog Owners Have Nervous Dogs?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 16, 2017 in Canine Corner
Dog owners who have more neurotic personalities tend to have dogs who are nervous and cope with stress less efficiently, a new study finds.

St. Valentine’s Day and the Biology of Romantic Kissing

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on February 14, 2017 in How We Do It
For Westerners, kisses and Valentine’s Day are inseparable. But new cross-cultural evidence challenges evolutionary inferences regarding possible biological functions of kissing.

Pet Loss and the Human-Animal Bond

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 12, 2017 in Animal Emotions
An interview with the founder of the Pet Loss Education Project, Adam Clark, who specializes in coping with the grief of losing a companion animal.

Groundhog Day, Correlation, and Human Evolution

Ever wonder what's up with Groundhog Day? Evolutionary psychology can help us understand this one.

Getting Over Rover: Why the Loss of a Dog Can Be Devastating

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on January 29, 2017 in Out of the Ooze
Those of us who have loved a dog know the truth: Your pet is never "just a dog," which explains why we miss them so much when they pass away.

Social Learning: Eyes Provide a Window Into Primate Minds

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 25, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Captive gorillas and chimpanzees demonstrate social learning similar to humans. Using cutting-edge eye tracking technology, we can now use primate eyes to see into primate minds.

Is Humanity's "Moral Sense" Inherited or Nurtured?

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on January 22, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
Humans inherit many things from their ancestors beyond genes. Darwin argued with evidence that humanity's "moral sense" is part of their nature, not against it. Where did it go?

Mums, Babies, and Their Brains: Why They Take Sides

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 22, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new study provides a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of brain lateralization and the role it plays in influencing social encounters between mothers and their infants.

Why Do Large Dogs Have Shorter Life Spans Than Small Dogs?

Bigger is not better when it comes to the size of dogs. Recent data help explain why larger dogs age more quickly.

Social Defeat Wreaks Havoc on Brain Circuitry, Study Finds

By Christopher Bergland on January 10, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
A new study using state-of-the-art technology has pinpointed how bullying and social defeat can alter the functional connectivity between cortical and subcortical brain regions.

Do Vegetarians Smell Sexier?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on January 09, 2017 in Animals and Us
New studies reveal that diet affects human body odor and even our skin color. But do men who give up meat smell more or less attractive to women?

Did a Drop in Testosterone Civilize Modern Humans?

By Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. on January 09, 2017 in Beastly Behavior
Changes in the human face over the last 100,000 years may indicate a reduction in testosterone. This may have been key to the emergence of modern civilization.

Can We Slow the Aging Process in Dogs?

Aging is a risk factor for many life-threatening diseases in dogs. Pilot data shows that new drug may slow the effects of aging.

5 Ways That Animals Think Just Like We Do

By Jen Kim on December 26, 2016 in Valley Girl With a Brain
Five new studies reveal other species act more human than we think.

Why We Love

Love exists in human groups across the globe. And there are good evolutionary reasons for this fact. Here’s why.