Pigeons can learn abstract rules about numbers and these new and exciting data support what's long been known about the numerical competency or "counting ability" of other captive and wild birds. Clearly, calling someone a birdbrain is a compliment. Bird brains are very active and their cognitive abilities rather remarkable and highly evolved.
A recent study showed that a specific part of the human brain is hard-wired to detect animals regardless of whether they're cute, ugly, or dangerous. It made me think of two old studies of the features that are associated with "cuteness", with Mickey Mouse and teddy bears as the stars.
Attractive people grab our attention. Even babies spend more time gazing at attractive faces, suggesting to some that hardwiring in our brains automatically diverts attention to the good-looking others around us, much in the way moths are helplessly drawn to light...
In troubled times it's difficult to remain hopeful and positive. Here I offer some practical guidelines for a new positive and personal social movement that is based on rewilding our hearts. Not only will nonhuman animals and their homes benefit, but so will we as we make a major paradigm shift in how we interact with (M)other nature.
I'm finding myself in a complicated living situation with a close friend and I'm feeling a little too close to some of these issues to think clearly enough to process it objectively--and could use some perspective.
Did your parents undercare for you? Did you live in a hostile family environment for emotional expression? I did. My physical, mental and social health were affected and here are some things I did to heal myself.
More protection from invasive research has finally been granted to chimpanzees but there's lots more work to do. The current guidelines do not constitute a ban and there is still a lot of wiggle room that means that chimpanzees can still be used in horrific research that causes enduring pain, suffering, and death.
In reality, the probability of being the victim of a deadly attack in an elevator is virtually zero. Yet the way people act toward others when they ride together in an elevator suggests that they have serious concerns about their safety. Much of our elevator behavior is not the result of rational thinking.
Whales are magnificent creatures who inspire us with their mass and power, whose continued existence lifts our spirits, and who remind us, in ways that few other living animals can, of our own fragile impermanence.
New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection now sanctions bear slaughter. This blood-thirsty massacre is unjustified. We must make every effort to coexist with the animals who visit our homes. We moved into their living rooms when we "redecorated nature" and they shouldn't pay with their lives for our intrusive and abusive ways.
Are evolutionary psychology's core assumptions radical and extraordinary? Many people still think so. From a biological perspective, however, it would actually be far more extraordinary if these assumptions were wrong than if they were right.
Young Dandy was excitedly courting a female by, in the usual way, showing her his inspired erection, when suddenly an older and higher-ranking male appeared on the scene. For Dandy, that meant big trouble.
Two giant pandas have been rented to the Edinburgh Zoo for money and to make babies. Why do we continue to move and loan animals when it clearly has no benefits other than to make money that does not go back into species conservation or preservation in the wild?
To find out about the animals in your daily life, take the whatikilledtoday challenge: for one day or, better, for one week or one month, imagine and record all the animals that you killed or in whose death you have participated, even incidentally.
Rats and ravens caution us about proudly tooting our "aren't we special" horn. A new study shows rats display empathy-driven behavior to help other rats in distress while another has demonstrated that ravens use body language and gestures to communicate with other ravens. Best to keep an open mind about the amazing cognitive and emotional capacities of other animals.