Essential Reads

Empathic Rats Save Drowning Pals Rather than Eat Chocolate

Research again shows rats display empathy so why do we torture them in labs?

Do Dogs Have Empathy for Human Stress and Discomfort?

Both dogs and people produce stress hormones when they hear a baby cry.

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

Recent Posts on Animal Behavior

Traditional Dog-Eating Festival in China Banned by Government

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on September 22, 2011 in Canine Corner
Due to protest on social media sites, the Chinese government banned a festival which featured the killing, cooking, and eating of 15,000 dogs over three day period each year.

Monkeys, Nerve Gas, and the U. S. Army: Would You Do This To Your Dog?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on September 21, 2011 in Animal Emotions
The U. S. Army continues to use vervet monkeys to test nerve gas agents. These sentient beings suffer horribly and the experiments aren't relevant to how humans react to these poisons. Non-animal alternatives exist and I bet people wouldn't allow their dog to be used in these sorts of unnecessary procedures.

Captivity Drives Killer Whales Crazy: SeaWorld Fights Fines For Placing Profit Over Safety

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on September 20, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Attacks by captive orcas on humans are caused by the stress of living in horrific conditions, however, current hearings citing SeaWorld for safety violations are not considering the well-being of these amazing sentient beings. Research shows many animals suffer from PTSD and depression in captivity and in the wild.

Do Dogs Feel Pain the Same Way that Humans Do?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on September 20, 2011 in Canine Corner
Because dogs often do not openly express that they are hurting it is important to know the signs that indicate that your dog is in pain.

The Helpless

By Laura Betzig Ph.D. on September 18, 2011 in The Political Animal
The cover of Kathyrn Stockett’s bestseller, The Help, is covered with birds. I wonder if she knows how apt that is. My friend, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, would.

Heal Your Heart; Heal Your Life

Can love really fix a broken heart? Recent scientific research on heart rhythms suggests that both loving relationships and slow, deep breathing practice may help us live longer, happier lives.

Absent Without Leave

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on September 13, 2011 in The Dolphin Divide
Do military dolphins face moral dilemmas? Navy dolphins are classified by the military as Advanced Biological Weapons Systems, each costing Uncle Sam multiple millions of dollars in training, upkeep, and -- in some cases -- initial capture from the wild. What happens when one of them goes AWOL -- and why might one decide to jump ship in the first place?

Comforting Counsel for an Error-prone Era

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 13, 2011 in Ambigamy
"Nobody's Perfect" explained from long-view perspective.

Sex, Lies, and Fireflies

Serious deceit can cause serious damage. Say, for instance, you've gone out on a dark evening all by yourself looking for sex, just a little normal, ordinary sex, and you're quietly cruising through the flashing-light district. . . .

Why Do Dogs Have Whiskers?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on September 09, 2011 in Canine Corner
Dog's whiskers help compensate for their poor near vision and allow them to avoid colliding with things, especially when light levels are low.

What the Internet Thinks of You

By Matthew J. Edlund M.D. on September 08, 2011 in The Power of Rest
Do you really want to waste time with that "other reality" you think you live in?

8 Tips for Making Friends

By Gretchen Rubin on September 08, 2011 in The Happiness Project
Last week, I posted a list How to make friends -- or at least think about it more clearly. That list sets forth the "essential friendship skills."

I Don't Like My Teen!

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on September 07, 2011 in The Teen Doctor
What to do when you and your child are mismatched.

Why Are There So Few Vegetarians?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on September 06, 2011 in Animals and Us
Surprise! Most people who describe themselves as "vegetarians" regularly eat animal flesh. And how long will Bill Clinton be vegan? I'm taking bets...

9/11 Dogs: The Devoted Dozen Who Still Bless Our Lives

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on September 06, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Twelve rescue dogs who worked tirelessly and selflessly during the chaos of 9/11 still survive. Say hello, read about them and see wonderful portraits in a collection called "Retrieved", and send your very best wishes to these amazing dog beings.

Moon bears, wasps, and sexy seals: Animals aren't dumb

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on September 04, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Doctors call for the closure of cruel bear farms across Asia, wasps recognize individual faces, and female sea lions appear to be more in control of sex than previously thought. Animals are not dumb. They're sentient, smart, and emotional, and can reason about the effects of their behavior. This is a photo of Jonah, a moon bear on his way to freedom.

Humorist Wade Rouse: Why We Love, and Put Up With, Our Dogs

By Jennifer Haupt on August 31, 2011 in One True Thing
Anthology explores neurotic relationship between man and beloved mutt, and raises money for the Humane Society. Here’s more from editor Wade Rouse:

Why Are Some Litter Pups Uniform in Appearance While Others Are Mismatched?

Normally a litter of purebred puppies will appear to be quite similar, however quirks in the way the canine reproductive system works, and in dog behavior, may lead to puppies in the same litter having different fathers.

The “Cute Dog Effect” On Sex, Money, and Justice

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on August 29, 2011 in Animals and Us
Cute dogs make men sexier and boost the income of beggars. But do they also unfairly tip the scales of justice?

How True Is Planet of the Apes? Human Resilience and Primate Studies

By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on August 28, 2011 in Nurturing Resilience
Planet of the Apes may look like simple entertainment, but Caesar’s behavior is a good example of what we are learning from primate studies about the consequences of early abuse or having a parent die. We can protect children from the consequences.