Essential Reads

5 Reasons That Life Is Hard

Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life

Putting Music to the Words

Some species sing, some species call, but only humans do both

Why Lions and Tigers and Funny Names Make Us Happy

Changing lots of little things will help turn our jungles into Shangri-la

Chimpanzees and Cheesecake

What food calls tell us about the origins of speech

Recent Posts on Animal Behavior

Arm the Deer

I was recently asked by an old friend of mine whether I knew anything about the potential hazards of something I had never heard of called galaxolide. Galaxolide is a major player in the fragrance industry, one of a group of synthetic chemicals known generically as artificial musk. And it has a lot of environmental scientists worried.

The Empathizing Dilemma, or Confessions of the Eagle-Cam Addict

Like many thousands of people, this spring we found ourselves obsessively watching a pair of eagles raise their young. Responding emotionally to the trials and tribulations of eagle life, we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the empathizing dilemma.

A Tale of Two Dolphins

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on June 24, 2011 in The Dolphin Divide
CAN DOLPHINS LEARN THE ART OF CREATIVITY? When two dolphins were denied fish for performing the "tricks" that usually earned them rewards, they couldn't imagine what had gone wrong. Their human coaches were asking them to be creative. Could they rise to the occasion -- and how do we ourselves do when faced with similar, unexpected demands?

Wild animals banned in UK circuses: Animal suffering matters

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 24, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Despite political dirty tricks and intimidation animals gain protection and are banned from being used and abused in UK circuses. Animal sentience and suffering matter.

Can Your Dog Read Your Mind?

Dogs understand that what we are looking at influences our thinking and their ability to successfully communicate with us.

Why Do Most Vegetarians Go Back To Eating Meat?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on June 20, 2011 in Animals and Us
Morgan Childers and I decided to find out why three out of four vegetarians eventually revert back to eating animals. Here is what we found...

Are great apes "ultraviolent"?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 20, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Sensationalist media often misrepresents other primates as violent beings, but available data show this is not the case. Across the board, great apes and other animals are predominantly cooperative. Of course, there are very rare examples of what could be called evil violence, but we should not use nonhumans to justify our evil ways.

Emotional honeybees and brainy jellyfish: More "surprises" in animal behavior

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 18, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Honeybees display pessimism and jellyfish make complex decisions using a brain. The more we study fascinating animals the more we learn about their cognitive and emotional capacities.

Only Humans Have Morality, Not Animals

In his attempt to prove that beasts have morals, Dale Peterson airbrushes away all the things that make humans unique in the animal kingdom.

Dogs in the Workplace

Data suggests that having pets in the workplace leads to more positive attitudes by employees, higher productivity, and reduced absenteeism.

Animal protection and conservation in Asia: Animal emotions matter

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 16, 2011 in Animal Emotions
A wide variety of animals are saved by amazing people throughout Asia, working in extremely poor and dangerous areas. They, and the animals for whom they work, are ambassadors for peace and hope. We must look to them for the inspiration needed to heal a severely wounded planet. We are responsible for who lives and who dies and we must take this responsibility seriously.

Do Dogs Understand What They Are Seeing On Television?

Why is it that some dogs pay no attention to television, and even those that do seem to ignore cartoons and animated figures?

Representative Weiner: Poster Child for Id-iocity

There is no such thing as human nature. There is only animal nature and the human potential to not give into it.

Can Dogs Help Humans Heal?

Many people believe that if a dog licks a wound it heals faster, while others believe that a dog's tongue and saliva carries infections.

Extended Double Standard: The Bible as Killer App

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on June 06, 2011 in Ambigamy
Highlights from the evolution of exceptionalism, from natural history and religious history where we really lean into saying"You may think I'm being selfish when I say I deserve more than you do, but notice how generous I am in saying that my clanspeople deserve more than you do also."

I'm an Apeman, I'm an Ape Ape Man

New research shows that female australopithecenes were more likely than males to travel away from their childhood home. Can we interpret the new data without falling victim to outdated imagery or popular new simplifications?

Losses Big and Small

By Ann Smith on June 03, 2011 in Healthy Connections
Grief is what we feel when someone or something we love and really care about is threatened or no longer within our reach. At times of serious loss, if we allow it and pay attention, we will also see that love is what gets us through the ups and downs.

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?