Essential Reads

Makings of a Child

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) expand the basis of a baby.

Captive Killer Whales Die Much Younger than Wild Orcas

A new study shows captive killer whales don't live as long as wild relatives

Does Emotional Attachment to an Owner Change in Older Dogs?

Research shows that older dogs appear to be less emotionally secure.

Judge Recognizes Two Chimpanzees as Legal Persons: A First

Two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, are determined to be persons in NY court

Recent Posts on Animal Behavior

Moral Stupefaction

By Jesse Marczyk on January 11, 2015 in Pop Psych
Some research has claimed that people are often found to be "morally dumbfounded", unable to explain their moral judgments with good reasons. The same research also suggests that people moralize "harmless" actions. While that may be true in some cases, in others the fault may reside within what researchers are counting as "good reasons" and "harm".

10 Things Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human

Perhaps we should turn to our dogs and cats to remind us what's most important.

Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun: Birds, Fish, and Reptiles Too

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 09, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A recent issue of Current Biology is devoted to the biology of fun and covers animals including dogs and other mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and invertebrates. The online essays are free, and I highly recommend reading them to learn what we know about the emotional lives of animals and why having fun has evolved. It's a no-brainer, many animals simply love to have fun.

The Cow's Nose Shows How They're Feeling About Life

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 09, 2015 in Animal Emotions
New research shows that nasal temperature in dairy cows is affected by positive emotional states. Specifically, researchers have discovered that a drop in nasal temperature is associated with a more positive emotional state induced by stroking the cows. We owe it to cows and others to give them the very best lives we can and it's easy to assess what they're feeling.

Ones vs Zeros— Inequality Reflected in 2015 Digital Design

In the science fiction world of technology predictions, the wealthy one percenters always seem to get all the attention. While tech built for them is mostly beyond reach for the rest of us, these technologies possess tremendous symbolic power--smart homes, smart cars, and on-line services conjured like magic via "on-demand." Is resistance futile?

Our Family History

By David Ludden Ph.D. on January 09, 2015 in Talking Apes
It’s odd that there’s only one species of human nowadays, given that our ancestors once shared this planet with other human species.

How to Have the Marriage You Want

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on January 08, 2015 in Singletons
Redefining marriage gives yours a better chance of surviving in our changed society. 74% of newlyweds won’t be surprised if their marriage fails. Here, seven sensible, forward thinking contracts for marital success in established marriages and for couples about to say “I do.” Consider them insurance policies that pay huge dividends.

In the Human Brain, Dogs and Children Are Equally Lovable

MRI data explores how human mothers respond to their own children and to their family dog. The similarities are remarkable.

I'm Glad I'm Not Sarah Palin's Dog: Dogs Aren't Stools

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 07, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Sarah Palin: "Chill. At least Trig didn't eat the dog." Rather than making heartless comments about her son, Trig, using their family dog, Jill, as a stepping stool, Ms. Palin could have provided valuable lessons in humane education concerning the importance of respect for other animals.

My Pet Hates the Vet!

Why are veterinary visits so unpleasant for some pets? Learn to recognize the signs that your pet is unhappy or fearful during the veterinary. You can actively work on changing your pet’s experience in the veterinary clinic to be much more positive and pleasant.

Self-help, Self-love, Selfie: What Is a Self Anyway?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 05, 2015 in Ambigamy
We care about our selves a whole lot, and yet for all that care, we're fuzzy and tangled about what a self is. Here's an inventory of the fuzz and my best guess at how to untangle it.

Meet the Enemy: It Is Us

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on January 05, 2015 in The Me in We
By owning your aggression you can turn it to good use.

Everyday Trauma, Everyday Resilience

By Claudia M Gold M.D. on January 04, 2015 in Child in Mind
Research at the interface of child development and neuroscience offers insight in to development of resilience. By listening to the story of parent and child, there is opportunity to point development in a healthy direction and avoid repeating unhealthy patterns from previous generations.

Artificial Versus Natural Intelligence

Can we combine artificial and natural intelligence for better health?

Getting into the Flow for the New Year

Whether you call it getting into your creative zone or flow, make sure you make it part of your health and wellness practice in the new year. Give yourself time to do what you love and reap the benefits of optimal experiences.

Are Plants Entering the Realm of the Sentient?

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on December 31, 2014 in The Green Mind
Some people are still grappling with the idea that humans are not the only animals with intelligence, thought, and consciousness. Some scientists are now studying whether even plants have intelligence—sensation, awareness, integration of information, long-term memory, and adaptive learning. Their findings challenge human uniqueness.

The Jane Effect: A New Book Celebrating Jane Goodall

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 30, 2014 in Animal Emotions
Jane Goodall has had a significant impact on the lives of innumerable people and other animals. This new book contains essays about Dr. Goodall as friend, colleague, partner, professor, naturalist, exemplar, visionary, and inspiration, written by researchers and many others whose lives she has touched. It was conceived as a gift to celebrate her 80th birthday.

5 Ancient Guidelines We Should Follow Today

Our paleolithic ancestors probably didn't make New Year's resolutions - but if they did, these resolutions would have been influenced by their natural, pre-agrarian lifestyles. Perhaps for 2015, by making resolutions that consider our ancestral past, we can make resolutions that (a) are manageable and that (b) help us achieve evolutionarily appropriate outcomes.

Let's Make Compassion and Rewilding All the Rage in 2015

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 28, 2014 in Animal Emotions
An "old" book, two new books, and a growing international movement all call for compassion and rewilding revolutions. It's about time to make compassion rock, as a young student once told me, so let's all do something as a unified community to foster global compassion for all animals, human and nonhuman, and their homes. And, then, let's be creative and do even more.

Saving the Large Carnivores

By Mark Derr on December 28, 2014 in Dog's Best Friend
Female European brown bear in Dynaric Mountains, Slovenia. Copyright Miha Krofel. Courtesy of Science magazine.

Sandra Orangutan and Personhood: An Essential Clarification

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 24, 2014 in Animal Emotions
Worldwide media about granting personhood and rights to Sandra Orangutan needs closer scrutiny. Here, attorney Steven Wise, who heads the Nonhuman Rights Project, provides an essential clarification.

A Different Perspective on the Human-Animal Bond

We often assume we understand our pets, but make mistakes as we have different languages. Language lets humans & animals communicate perceptions/emotions. Understanding these perceptions/emotions & the language that allows their expression is essential to developing empathic behavior towards other individuals & therefore to guaranteeing a peaceful & respectful coexistence.

A Defense of Jealousy

By Glenn C. Altschuler Ph.D. on December 23, 2014 in This Is America
In Jealousy, Peter Toohey provides a charming and instructive survey of a much maligned emotion. He examines jealousy in many of its guises, including sexual jealousy, the Oedipus Complex, and sibling rivalry. Aware that it can be an ugly emotion, he argues that jealousy is an evolutionary adaptation that "can be a beautiful thing."

The Miracle of Talking Dogs

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on December 22, 2014 in Canine Corner
According to legend dogs gain the power of speech at midnight on Christmas Eve and one man recalls an attempt to test the truth of this folktale

Sandra Orangutan Declared a Person With a Right to Freedom

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 22, 2014 in Animal Emotions
An Argentine court has ruled that the Buenos Aires zoo has to release Sandra, an orangutan, to a sanctuary, because that she has suffered "unjustified confinement of an animal with proven cognitive ability" and "should be recognized as a person with a right to freedom." Let's hope this decision paves the way for future success for many other animals in other countries.

Do Cows Moo "Get me the Hell out of Here" on Factory Farms?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 21, 2014 in Animal Emotions
New research on "cow talk" shows that mothers and young share important messages using various types of moos. I hope this landmark research will be used to learn more about what cows and other food animals are saying and feeling as they're "processed" on the way to human forks, knives, spoons, and plates. This is not a happy time for them nor for their family or friends.

Lassie: Stay Where You Are, You’ll be Fine.

By Clive Wynne Ph.D. on December 21, 2014 in Dogs and Their People
Lassie Come-Home is one of the most pervasive children’s stories about dogs. However, it tells us more about what we want for dogs than what they really desire. Fortunately for those striving to re-home adult dogs, dogs do not pine indefinitely for lost human families.

Empty Incubation

By G.A. Bradshaw Ph.D., Ph.D. on December 20, 2014 in Bear in Mind
Denied their native heritage, the life of captive-bred parrots reflect their colonizers' imprisoning mentality and anguished search for the bright vitality of love.

Did Pope Francis Open the Pearly Gates to Other Animals?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 20, 2014 in Animal Emotions
As noted in a wide array of press about Pope Francis' comments about animals and the afterlife, the pearly gates may be open to other animals. While it remains unclear as to how open they really are and how the Pope meant his comments to be interpreted and implemented, more open and much needed discussion is now on the table.

6 Best Holiday Gifts for Your Dog

By Jessica Pierce Ph.D. on December 19, 2014 in All Dogs Go to Heaven
Here are six gifts your dog will really appreciate