Essential Reads

Why You Were Born to Gossip

According to one theory, everything we say takes the form of gossip.

Is Sadomasochism a Uniquely Human Form of Sexuality?

Kinky sex is common in animals, but do they ever find pleasure in pain?

Are Humans Unique?

Are there criteria that distinguish humans from other species?

Can Dogs Recognize Emotions Just by Looking at a Human Face?

Dogs understand that smile or scowl on your face.

Recent Posts on Animal Behavior

Which is More Important to You, Love or Chocolate?

By Donna Barstow on June 02, 2011 in Ink Blots Cartoons
Addiction might mean dark, bitter, milk, or white chocolate, however- all are valid flavors. This cartoon probably won't help solve your problem, unfortunately. A cartoon about craving chocolate - everyone does it.

Having Your Dog and Eating It Too?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on June 01, 2011 in Animals and Us
Why is dog flesh considered yucky in some cultures and yummy in others?

Sexism or Anthropomorphism (With Sexism Mixed in)?

Researchers on antagonistic sexual relations among non-human animals use gender stereotypes. Which is worse: the sexism-- or the anthropomorphism?

Did dogs inspire domestication?

The domestication of animals was self-evidently a crucial part of the human race's transition from hunter-gatherer through pastoralist, but despite its importance, many unanswered questions remain. Why, for example, have so few species of animals been domesticated? Animal scientists are divided as to whether the primary cause of this is biological or cultural.

Self-interest Drives Animals to Dominate or Submit

When a mammal sees a piece of food, a group-mate sees it too. Group-living animals evolved to size up others as they act to meet their needs.

Gender differences in dogs, flood surviving ants, and culture in gorillas

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 26, 2011 in Animal Emotions
The more we study animals the more we learn about their remarkable lives. Female dogs are better than males at detecting the unexpected, ants turn their bodies into life rafts, and gorillas show cultural tradition in picking apart stinging nettles to eat them.

The School to Teach Nazi War Dogs to Speak

New research suggests that the Nazis were trying to create a corps of war dogs, that not only could reason independently, but also could effectively use human language to communicate

Don't Kick That Pigeon! What Psychology Owes the Dove

How the lowly pigeon taught us to work effectively with autistic children and understand the development of delinquency.

The myth of animal altruism

Reciprocal altruism is the organizing principle of a mammalian herd or pack or troop. That means helping others when you get something out of it, otherwise put yourself first. Researchers cherry pick their data to portray nature as a collectivist utopia.

A Scientific Breakthrough on Free Will

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 23, 2011 in Ambigamy
Emergent Dynamics Theory shows how there's no freedom without constraints, but with constraints, there's freedom.

Who Made This Mess Part 2: And How Do I Get Out of It?

Unhook from the past and get organized today.

How to Want to Get Over a Breakup

By Jen Kim on May 23, 2011 in Valley Girl With a Brain
The definitive guide on how to get over a breakup. (How do I know? Because it worked.)

Is the Attempt to Ban Common Words Describing Pets Just Political Correctness?

The call by the Oxford Institute of Animal Ethics to ban words like "pet", "dog owner" and "master" is unjustified political correctness.

Journal of Animal Ethics: Banning Common Words That Describe Pets and Other Animals

The Journal of Animal Ethics defends its call for a ban on words like "pet", "dog owner" and "master" when describing our relationship to our "companion animals."

Alphas Hog Mating Opportunity: Its Still the Same Old Story

Animal magnetism exists for a reason. We have inherited a brain that cares desperately about everything relevant to reproductive success. We are drawn to trains that are eerily relevant to mating in the wild.

Can You Be Your Own Source of Comfort and Security? A Bold Question About Attachment

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on May 16, 2011 in Living Single
If you talk to lifelong single people in depth about how they deal with stress and worry, what will they tell you? What can attachment researchers learn from them?

Pro-hawk discrimination

When did predators become the good guys?

Elephant abuse in film: "Water for Elephant" star, Tai, shocked with electric prod

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 12, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Breaking animals' spirits using horrific methods that cause intense pain and suffering so they perform in film must stop. Yes, it still happens, as it did in the making of the film "Water for Elephants".

Is the Language We Are Using to Describe Our Pets Sending the Wrong Message?

The Journal of Animal Ethics says that words like "pet" or "dog owner" are inappropriate and negatively affect the way we think about our "companion animals."

Seven Tips for Writing a Good Paper

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on May 10, 2011 in Insight Therapy
For teachers, reading bad essays is like living on a diet of junk food: they may feel sick, guilty and angry, and think they may die. Students, too, suffer when they write badly because they get bad grades, which they usually don't enjoy. The writing principles outlined here should, therefore, help both groups feel better.

Are Autistic and Psychic People Similar?

By Anneli Rufus on May 10, 2011 in Stuck
Professional psychic Nancy du Tertre realized, after meeting bestselling autistic author Temple Grandin, that autistics and psychics have a lot in common. I interviewed du Tertre about her new book Psychic Intuition.

79 Commandos and One Dog Teamed Up to Kill Osama Bin Laden

There was a canine soldier on the SEAL team that assaulted Osama bin Laden's compound.