Animal Behavior Essential Reads

Shark Personalities: A Shark Isn't a Shark Isn't a Shark

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 29, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Individual personalities among members of the same species are widespread and must be considered when we talk casually about "the shark," "the dog," or any other animals.

How to enjoy life (more)

Lessons I learned as a spy for U.S. Intelligence

Helping Children Become Nurturers

Caring for others is a central mandate for adults as parents, caregivers to the elderly or helpers for those with disabilities. Can children grow into nurturers?

Are You Killing Your Dog With Sweetness?

The FDA warns that a sweetener used in sugarless gum, candy, baked goods, toothpaste, and some nut butters can be life-threatening to dogs.

What the Bible and “Nature” Say About Bathroom Laws

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on May 09, 2016 in Animals and Us
Is the North Carolina law legalizing discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transsexuals consistent with the Bible and the laws of nature?

Are You Ready to Give Another Animal the Best Life Possible?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 09, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Are you prepared to give a companion animal the very best life they can have in your care? A new book called "Run, Spot, Run" clearly lays out the deep commitment it really takes.

To Hug or Not to Hug?

By Nicholas Dodman on May 03, 2016 in Dog Days
Do you want to know what's really going on in an animal's mind when you hug it appropriately?

Cheats and Deceits: Trickery and Deception Are Widespread

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 02, 2016 in Animal Emotions
An excellent new book explains how animals and plants exploit and mislead.

Why Do Animal Tragedies Go Viral?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on April 29, 2016 in Animals and Us
A new study investigates why the death of Cecil the Lion became an instant world-wide internet sensation.

"Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 26, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new and important book by primatologist Frans de Waal considers the critical questions and data that center on the cognitive lives of a wide variety of nonhuman animals.
Photo courtesy of Dietrich Stout and Emory University

Tool Use and the Emergence of Language

By Laura Otis Ph.D. on April 24, 2016 in Rethinking Thought
Motor and language skills may seem distinct, but in human brains they are closely related.

Can Dogs See in Ultraviolet?

Recent research suggests that dogs may see patterns in the ultraviolet that are invisible to humans.

Consciousness, Suffering and the Rights of Animals

By John Staddon, Ph.D. on April 22, 2016 in Adaptive Behavior
Can an amoeba suffer and should we care?

Neurobiology of Self-Control in Dogs

By Gregory S. Berns on April 17, 2016 in plus2sd
A new study in dogs trained for MRI shows the part of the brain necessary for impulse control.

Just How Different Are Cat People and Dog People?

The commonly held belief that cat people and dog people differ in fundamental ways, put to the test in earlier research, may need to be revisited.

The Data Says "Don't Hug the Dog!"

An analysis of photographs of people affectionately hugging their dogs shows that the majority of the dogs are experiencing stress and anxiety at that moment.

A Dog's Size and Head Shape Predicts Its Behavior

New data suggests that the behavioral tendencies of dogs can be predicted by their height, weight, and whether they have long or short skulls.

Polyandry (One Woman, Many Men)

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on March 26, 2016 in Pura Vida
Draupadi and her five husbands: The only thing unusual here is the overt acknowledgment of this woman's polyandry.

Does Your Pet Have a Mind?

By Kurt Gray on March 22, 2016 in Minding Morality
Are pets people? It's a matter of perception.

Why Justice for Animals Is the Social Movement of Our Time

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 19, 2016 in Animal Emotions
As a doctor working in human rights, Hope Ferdowsian's work is driven by a quest for social justice. Here’s why she believes justice for animals is the social movement of our time.

AI We There Yet?

Tasks in which AI systems excel—board games, erudition quizzes, image classification—do not loom large in human behavior. Real AI will need some real behavior and brain science.

Animals' Healing Touch - Body, Mind, Spirit

In little more than their presence, animals help us stay grounded.

How a Dog's Brain Processes Human Faces

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 04, 2016 in Animal Emotions
New research using fMRI shows that the bilateral temporal cortex plays a key role in facial recognition in dogs.

Your Heart and Brain on Nature: a Scientific Update

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 02, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Recent research is clearly showing that getting out into nature is good for us in a variety of ways. If being outdoors makes you feel good, then just do it.

Is There Something Special About Clicker Training for Dogs?

It may surprise you to find that so-called "clicker training" is not really a training method for dogs, but it may help you when you want to teach your pet.

What Can Dung Beetles Teach Us About War?

Years of looking for beetles on the underside of elephant dung in Africa led biologist Doug Emlen to keen insights into human warfare. Here’s how.

Grandfathers and Their Brood

By Peter B. Gray Ph.D. on February 24, 2016 in The Evolving Father
Evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers waxes about his children and grandchildren near the end of his wild ride of an autobiolography. Let's shine a light on grandfathers.

You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 24, 2016 in Canine Corner
New data shows that it may take longer to train an older dog; however he will learn and will remember over the long-term.

Bonobos Publicly Protest Unfair and Unexpected Treatment

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 19, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Exciting new research shows that these intelligent and emotional great apes have social expectations about how they should be treated and vocally protest when treated unfairly.

Understanding the Nature of Dog Intelligence

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 16, 2016 in Canine Corner
Just as in humans, there is a general intelligence factor in dogs. Performance in one type of cognitive skill test predicts performance in many others.