Essential Reads

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.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

An End to Orca Breeding and Swimming With Dolphins?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 17, 2016 Animal Emotions
SeaWorld to end captive breeding of orcas, phase out shows, help rescue and rehabilitate animals, and change their menus. Conservation psychologists can help make further changes.

Secret Flight of Swaziland Elephants Avoids Legal Challenge

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 13, 2016 Animal Emotions
Seventeen elephants were quietly sent to the U.S. to avoid legal challenge. The psychology of dismissing those concerned as animal rights activists is self-serving and misleading.

Covert Electronic Surveillance

We know from Edward Snowden that the NSA does extensive covert electronic surveillance. So do some fish.

Should Trainers Tell Dogs When Their Behavior Is Wrong?

Should trainers tell dogs when their behavior is wrong as well as rewarding them for correct behavior?

Cesar Millan Crosses the Line Again

By Mark Derr on March 09, 2016 Dog's Best Friend
How do a weeping woman and a bleeding pig add up to dog training?

What's Behind That Door? Just Life.

Neil Abramson’s new book will appeal to those who understand the bond of love between human and dog—and what happens when someone threatens that bond.

Can Dogs Recognize Our Faces?

A new brain imaging study suggest that dogs can recognize faces.

The Need for Voice

It is usually assumed that non-human animals cannot speak. But if you truly listen, as one trans-species psychoanalyst maintains, animal voices are loud and clear.

Hooked on Meat: Evolution, Psychology, and Dissonance

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 05, 2016 Animal Emotions
Marta Zaraska's book called "Meathooked" analyzes our obsession with meat. It's fact-filled and non-preachy and an excellent read about why we're addicted to eating other animals.

Where Do All the Dogs Go?

By Greg O'Brien on March 03, 2016 On Pluto
“It’s as if Sox has dementia, Alzheimer’s,” the doctor explained, unaware of my diagnosis. “That’s the best way to explain it.”

Should It Be Legal to Kill Your Own Pet?

A South Carolina county wants to make it illegal to kill your own dog.

Genitalia 101: The Pros and Cons of Elaborate Sex Organs

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 03, 2016 Animal Emotions
Genitalia are one of the most rapidly evolving organs with important insights into how we influence the lives of other animals. Learning about reproductive activities is critical.

More Overstated Claims About Pets and Our Health

A recent study claims that pet ownership offers an $11.7 billion savings to our healthcare system. But there is a bit more to it.

Trading Places

What happens when a hospice veterniarian spends the day with a human hospice physician?

When Gorillas Sing or Hum With a Full Mouth We Should Listen

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 01, 2016 Animal Emotions
There's lots to learn when gorillas sing and hum while they eat. What's considered a bad habit in humans seems to have important social functions in our close relatives.

Why Trump?: Donald the Dominant Male Ape

By Hector A Garcia Psy.D. on February 28, 2016 Alpha God
Baffled by Trump? The answers lie with our evolved psychology.

The Benefits of Autopilot Thinking

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on February 27, 2016 The Dolphin Divide
How mental habits ease the pain of decision-making. But at what cost? Can well-worn grooves of mental routine free our minds, or do they get us stuck in ruts?

25 Signs of Pain in Cats

When are deviations from normal behavior a sign that your cat is pain? A paper published this week presents the consensus of an international panel of experts.

NRA Backed SHARE Act Is About Killing Animals Not Sharing

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 26, 2016 Animal Emotions
This bill, passed by the U.S. House, increases access to public lands for hunting with lead bullets "while limiting punitive regulations promoted by 'animal rights' extremists."

Elections in the Brain

By Ari Berkowitz Ph.D. on February 26, 2016 Governing Behavior
We are currently awash in polling, voting, and caucusing. Brains, like countries, need to make decisions. Nerve cells choose behaviors through processes akin to elections.

Are Animals "Things?" The Evolution of Animal Law

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 25, 2016 Animal Emotions
A new essay centers on the legal status of animals and what is being done in courses in animal law and legal circles to change their status from "property" to "persons."

Unleashing Your Dog’s Social Genius

By Jennifer Arnold on February 25, 2016 Through a Dog’s Eyes
How smart is your dog? Probably, smarter than you think!

Cloning Pets

You love your dog or cat. Someday your dog or cat will die. What if you could put aside the genetic materials to make a perfect copy of your beloved animal, a clone of your pet?

Does Breed Popularity Go Up After A Dog Wins At Westminster?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on February 19, 2016 Animals and Us
The Westminster Dog Show is the canine equivalent of the Miss America Contest. It is widely believed that a win is usually followed by a spike in breed popularity. But is it true?

Dog Behavior: An Encyclopedic Review of What we Know

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 18, 2016 Animal Emotions
Here's your go-to guide for dog behavior.

David Barash on Evolutionary Biology and Mental Health

The future of mental health interview series continues with David Barash on evolutionary biology and mental health.

Are There Sex Differences in the Brain?

Does your brain reveal your gender? Does it explain or validate sex differences in behaviour or social role?

The Voice of Image: Exploring the Psychology of Photography

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on February 13, 2016 Bear in Mind
Award-winning photojournalist, Jo-Anne McArthur, provides a window and mirror into human and animal psyches.

Kissing: Reflections on Humans and Other Animals Making Out

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 11, 2016 Animal Emotions
We're in the dark about why kissing evolved in some human cultures and whether or not other animals are really kissing or just swapping saliva and smells and enjoying themselves.

Thriving, Cognitive Complexity, Bee Wisdom—and You

By Carol S. Pearson Ph.D. on February 11, 2016 The Hero Within
To thrive in today’s world, it is critical to be able to track emerging cultural stories that empower rather than limit you.