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

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....

Sometimes the Best Thing to say is Shut Up!

By Donna Barstow on August 13, 2011 in Ink Blots Cartoons
It's important to figure out who's there to be a real friend, helpful colleague, or equal family member, and who just wants to hear himself talk. A cartoon about poor conversation skills.

Disclose Yourself

How self disclosure cultivates attraction

Can Dogs See Better than Humans When It Is Dark?

Dogs can see better in dim light than human beings but only because their perceptual system is willing to sacrifice some of their visual acuity for details.

Boobies In the News (Birds That Is)

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 08, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Abused baby boobies grow up to be abusers themselves. This is the first evidence from a wild animal that, as in humans, abuse can be socially transmitted to future generations.

Why Dolphins Wear Sponges, Evolution At Work, and a Seriously Misinformed Curmudgeon

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 08, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Spotted dolphins in Shark Bay, Western, Australia, wear sponges to protect their beak so they can hunt nutritious fish among rocks and broken coral, urban animals are strongly influenced by our presence, and some new movies show just how "animal" we are. It's not merely anthropomorphic sentimentality to see us in "them" (other animals), it's solid science.

Pain? What Pain?

By Sam Sommers on August 07, 2011 in Science Of Small Talk
Even the experience of physical pain depends on context. I went for a morning run today and it was clear from the start that it was going to be a struggle. Almost immediately, that pesky ache in my left foot announced its off-and-on presence with authority, and I knew it would be a battle of mind over matter to get through my usual distance...

What's With the Windup?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on August 05, 2011 in The Dolphin Divide
PITCHING MOUND DANCES, SWIMMING IN CIRCLES, AND LOVING OUR ROUTINES: Ever noticed the strange things some Major League pitchers do in the moments just before hurtling a fastball toward home plate? The pitching mound dance, and displays like them, may seem silly. But the truth is, we all perform similar behavioral ceremonies.

Silences

By Judith Eve Lipton M.D. on August 05, 2011 in Pura Vida
"Almost no mothers, as almost no part time, part self persons have created enduring literature." In the 20th Century, college literature courses deemed female authors worthy of note, one female for every 12 male authors! in order to write, it helps to have a "wholly surrendered and dedicated life; time as needed, and totality of self".

Animal Minds and the Foible of Human Exceptionalism

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 30, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Human exceptionalism, the belief that human beings have special status based on our unique capacities, is misleading and has serious social, political, and environmental consequences for how we treat other animals and their homes. We need to be more humble and act with greater compassion and empathy for other beings.

Has Sleep Fallen to the Bottom of Your Priority List?

20 Quick Tips for a Terrific Night's Sleep

The End of Religion? Hardly

By Michael W Austin on July 28, 2011 in Ethics for Everyone
Our basic nature as human beings may tend to produce religious belief, which means that claims about religion's demise at the hands of atheism are mistaken.

What Are the Limits of Canine Learning?

Using modified tests designed for human children allows us to determine how intelligent dogs are in relationship to human beings of various ages.

How a Pet Can Sharpen Your Mindfulness Skills

My dog is my mindfulness guide. He doesn’t ruminate about the past. He doesn’t worry about the future. His attention to the present moment isn’t distracted by negative self-talk, such as, “I’m wasting my life lying at the front window all day.”

Dolphin Sexuality

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on July 21, 2011 in The Dolphin Divide
WHY SHRINK FROM SHARKS: LOVE, INFATUATION, OR CHEATING? Dolphins are the supreme flirts of the animal kingdom. We are more like them than we know, especially -- and sometimes a bit uncomfortably -- when it comes to sexuality and the notion of cheating.

Howling and Growling at the Full Moon

Things tend to get a little crazy around the full moon. Or so we believe. A new study about lion behavior may shed light on the evolutionary origins of our fascination with the moon.

Relationships: Tending to the Garden

Lately I've been thinking about the gifts we have in life, including relationships.

Slaughtering Sentience: Rampant killing of wildlife by our government continues

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 20, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Wildlife Services, a branch of the United States Department of Agriculture, ruthlessly kills millions of animals. In 2010 they slaughtered more than five million animals and spent more than $126 million to do so with no concern for the well-being of their victims. The amount of pain, suffering, and death for which they're responsible is reprehensible.

Shopping with Darwin

By Carlin Flora on July 19, 2011 in Under a Friendly Spell
A Q and A with Gad Saad about consumer behavior.

Psychopath Cowboys; Sociopath Herds: A New Theory of How Evil Happens

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 19, 2011 in Ambigamy
If you want a simple but accurate explanation for why civilization so often veers toward evil, here’s a theory worth considering: Psychopaths are overrepresented in positions of power and they make sociopaths out of large numbers of us.

Casey Anthony: Out and About

In Orlando, Florida, Casey Anthony was released from jail today. As she walked out the front door of the jail at 12:10 AM, she was accompanied by her attorney and surrounded by law enforcement, machine guns, and security.

Five Reasons to Listen to Your Children's Dreams

By Kate Adams Ph.D. on July 17, 2011 in Child's Play
Why listening to your children's dreams can bring you closer.