Essential Reads

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

Ivan Denisovich vs Ants

Both More or Less Social

Recent Posts on Animal Behavior

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.

Why We Miss Freeway Exits

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on August 25, 2011 in The Dolphin Divide
The role of routine keeps us on track: How is it that we can sing like a lark in the shower, but bungle badly on karaoke night? Or take the same route to work for years, yet still miss our freeway exit? Disengage the auto-pilot of routine, and what follows is typically a bit untidy.

Readjusting Kids' Sleep Schedule For School

By Dennis Rosen M.D. on August 24, 2011 in Sleeping Angels
School's just around the corner, and millions of parents are already starting to worry about getting their kids back on schedule so that somehow, some way, they will be able to wake them up and get them out the door so that they can make it to school on time.

Why Don't Colds Make Us More Attractive?

By Ben Y Hayden Ph.D. on August 24, 2011 in The Decision Tree
An infection that affects sex drive (in rats)

Does Your Pet Determine Who You Will Marry?

By Donna Barstow on August 21, 2011 in Ink Blots Cartoons
Compatibility begins in the kennel. Does your choice of pet also determine who you will choose as a mate? And is this a cat cartoon, or a dog cartoon?

Learning from a Five-Otter Day

By Pat Shipman Ph.D. on August 19, 2011 in The Animal Connection
How deeply connected are we to the wild animals with which we share space?

Chimpanzees In the Crossfire: Are They Cleverer Than Us?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 19, 2011 in Animal Emotions
We shouldn't be asking who's cleverer than whom. Rather, we should ask what individuals of different species need to do to be card-carrying members of their species. This information will help us learn more about who we are and who "they" are and help us protect them in captivity and in the wild.

Baboons: Studs and Duds Are Equally Stressed

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 19, 2011 in Animal Emotions
There's a cost to being a high-ranking male baboon but they have higher reproductive success than lower ranking guys so it must be worth the hassle. But what about humans?

Bear Kills Son and Herself On a Chinese Bear Farm

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 18, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Many animals experience rich and deep emotions ranging from happiness and joy to grief and intense suffering. They do not like to be tortured and on occasion will do what they need to do to end their own and other's suffering.

Scent-matching – how the nose knows

Dogs are notorious for their fixation with each other’s rear ends, but this is probably an evolved trait that has stood them well in the past.

Animal and Humans: Meaningful Meetings of Common Minds

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 15, 2011 in Animal Emotions
International meetings and growing general interest show that animals matter. A recent gathering concerned with social justice and the treatment and conservation of great apes, hosted by the Arcus Foundation, made it abundantly clear that we all must be concerned with how these and other amazing beings are treated and do something now to improve their (and our) lives.

Will Getting a Pet Make You Healthier?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on August 14, 2011 in Animals and Us
Are pet owners happier and healthier? What the science says....