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

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.

What They Don't Tell You About "Therapy" Dogs

For many parents of special needs children, a therapy dog can provide invaluable assistance and comfort to their struggling children. For others, caring for a "therapy" dog can lead them to therapy.

The Not So Obvious Lessons From The Casey Anthony Trial

By Joe Navarro M.A. on July 13, 2011 in Spycatcher
Most of us saw the Casey Anthony trial, but some things were not so obvious. What you didn't see may shock you.

Friends with Benefits: Pets Make Us Happier, Healthier

Social support is essential for well-being, but are people our only source for a sense of belongingness? Lonely people are often advised to get a dog or a cat to quell their social isolation, but do pets really can fulfill one's social needs, improving owners’ happiness, well-being, and even their physical health? A new study suggests the answer is a resounding yes!

Moe's Solution

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on July 07, 2011 in The Dolphin Divide
A DOLPHIN'S PRESCRIPTION FOR OUR SCHOOLS: I once worked with a dolphin who was afraid to swim in open water. Odd for a dolphin, wouldn't you say? And yet, we constantly witness similar reactions of terror and avoidance just outside the gates of our schoolhouses and classrooms. A dolphin prescribes the solution for his species and ours.

Play, Play, and Play Some More: Let Children Be the Animals They Have the Right to Be

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 07, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Globally there are increasing restrictions on children's right to play. We can learn a lot from animal play that can be used to argue that human children need to take risks and get dirty. Play helps animals in a number of ways, especially, perhaps, by teaching them to deal with unexpected situations. Let's encourage lots of play and let children be children.

Does My Dog Recognize Himself in a Mirror?

Whether a dog recognizes that his reflection in a mirror is an image of himself may tell us something about his level of consciousness and self-awareness.

Wolves, Dingoes and (Other) Feral Dogs Cooperate, But Do They Coordinate?

Wolf packs are both breeding units and hunting co-ops. Has domestication removed the tendency that young wolves have to defer breeding until they form their own packs, or would feral dogs form breeding units if they had the opportunity or need to hunt in groups? Research on the oldest feral dog of them all, the dingo, supports the former.

Can My Dog Make Me Healthier?

Recent research shows that dogs can improve your health, reduce stress, make heart problems less likely, and perhaps keep you alive longer.

How Do You Compliment a Beautiful Person?

By Donna Barstow on July 04, 2011 in Ink Blots Cartoons
A cartoon about the beautiful birds and the bees. Beauty is in the birdseye of the beholder.

CSI Meets Dog Poop

DNA is being used to identify dog owners who don't pick up after their dogs -- however, while feces are a messy problem, apparently dog urine can be dangerous.

A National Census of Mixed Breed Dogs

Direct genetic testing of over 36,000 mixed breed dogs reveals who their parents really were.