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

Dog TV: A Pet Antidepressant

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on November 12, 2014 in Time Out
Americans spend a great deal on their pets. Much of it doesn't make a difference to the animal. Dog TV may sound frivolous, but it turns out to be sound.

Is Going to a Zoo Like Shopping for a Car? Musical Semen

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 11, 2014 in Animal Emotions
At a recent meeting of the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) many different issues were discussed, including the effects on animals being shipped around as breeding machines (musical semen), the formation of captive groups and the removal of animals for various reasons, and what zoos really do in terms of education and conservation.

Can Pets Help Us From Beyond the Grave?

Grieving the death of a pet can be a lonely process. Is loving a pet inherently a short-lived joy?

26 Mysteries of Life Explored and Explained

Why do brides buy their wedding gowns (which, one would imagine, that would wear only once) but grooms rent their tuxedos (which, one would imagine, they would have other occasions to wear--if only as a joke?

Picky Eaters: Emotional or Physical Problem?

Children may refuse to eat for physical reasons (constipation, abdominal pain) which can be addressed with supplements. But when they lose their appetite because of stress or grief, natural medicines can help.

Robin Williams' Painful Suicide

I have stayed away from speculations about Robin William’s suicide. I don’t know what pushed him over and neither do you. It is important however, to take note that he was taking two antidepressants. And he began taking Seroquel a week before he committed suicide.

Holly Bites Cesar: When You Hit a Dog There's a Price to Pay

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 07, 2014 in Animal Emotions
I recently received a video of Holly, a dog, being hit -- cuffed in the neck -- by, and later biting, Cesar Millan, as he moves closer to her. It's rare to see such confrontations and I highly recommend those who want to see what happened to study this video closely. There are many lessons here in dog body language -- canid ethology -- and for respecting what a dog needs.

Understanding Gender Differences in Religiosity (Part II)

By Gregg Henriques on November 07, 2014 in Theory of Knowledge
In Part I of this series, I reviewed the current literature on gender differences in religiosity. Here I examine how to understand these findings from a unified approach.

Animal Heroes: "Daisy to the Rescue" Celebrates Compassion

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 06, 2014 in Animal Emotions
A new book about animal heroes called Daisy to the Rescue: True Stories of Daring Dogs, Paramedic Parrots, and Other Animal Heroes contains numerous stories of compassion and caring in a wide variety of animals. It is a very inspiring read and can be used to generate further studies into the study of animal consciousness and animal minds in the field of cognitive ethology.

SeaWorld Exposed: Behavioral Profiles of Captive Orcas

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 05, 2014 in Animal Emotions
The information in this file of behavior profiles of captive orcas released by SeaWorld needs to be analyzed and is perfect for theses. I want to inform a wide public about these data as they are a goldmine for studying the behavioral profiles of captive orcas, many of whom are extremely aggressive and understandably go crazy in captivity. It's a study in "orcazoology."

Is the Next Step in Canine Evolution Cyber-Enhanced Dogs?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on November 05, 2014 in Canine Corner
A smart phone app may allow you to control and communicate with your computer enhanced dog.

Take a Walk on the Rewild Side

By Lybi Ma on November 05, 2014 in Brainstorm
Animal behaviorist Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., wants to start a meme that will save the animals, as well as the world.

The Emotional Lives of Cows: Ears Tell Us They're Feeling OK

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 03, 2014 in Animal Emotions
A new study of the emotional lives of dairy cows shows that relaxed ear position is an indicator of positive emotions and can be used to assess an individual's well-being. We owe it to these and other animals to give them the very best lives we can. And, often, it's easy to assess what they're feeling and we must use this information on their behalf.

Killing Barred Owls to Save Spotted Owls? Problems From Hell

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 01, 2014 in Animal Emotions
"There Will Be Blood" is a very important read. Its author notes, "The pressure to reach for a gun to help save one animal from another is stronger than ever. And it has triggered a conservation problem from hell." Does there really have to be blood? Some experts say "No," whereas others say "Yes." Historically conservation has been a bloody affair. But times are changing.

Do Your Dog’s Rights Begin Where My Child’s Rights End?

Teaching a dog to be safe with children can’t endanger the child.

Are same-sex marriages good for the economy?

By Gordon Hodson Ph.D. on October 31, 2014 in Without Prejudice
With noticeable declines in the numbers of heterosexual marriages, marriages between gay couples can boost the economy among businesses linked to the wedding industry. By similarly tuning self-interests toward economic strategies that cut carbon emissions, can psychology help save the planet?

Ethical Taxidermy?

Doing your taxidermy work yourself is the best way to ensure that the animals have been “ethically sourced.”

Mind Over Meat

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on October 31, 2014 in In Love and War
How do we reconcile our love for animals with our desire to eat them?

The Art, and Crucial Importance, of Flirting

By Jennifer Verdolin Ph.D. on October 31, 2014 in Wild Connections
Whether it's covert or overt, the art of seduction is a very important part of courtship. Despite what some may think, humans don't have the market on flirting techniques. It can be surreptitious or it can be brazen, but animals flirt in as many varied ways you could imagine.

Rewilding: A Cultural Meme for Rehabilitating Our Hearts

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 31, 2014 in Animal Emotions
My new book "Rewilding Our Hearts" calls for a personal/spiritual transformation of our relationships with all beings and their homes. In a video interview I recount how rewilding is necessary to undo the unwilding that occurs in all of our lives. Rewilding is a cultural meme and is all about rehabilitating our hearts and souls. It is about acting from the inside out.

Halloween Partying: Celebrate the Spirits Without Spirits

By Mendi Baron on October 30, 2014 in On the Verge
Some easy tips to celebrating Halloween clean.

Does Evolution Preclude Religious Faith?

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on October 29, 2014 in Pura Vida
Does evolutionary science preclude traditional religious belief? In my opinion, it doesn't, although it does make such belief substantially more difficult than it had been in pre-Darwinian days. In this post, I reprint an op-ed article I wrote for The New York Times, which generated a response avalanche - much of it misunderstanding what I was saying. Do you understand?

The Gentle Art, Part I

I recount my experiences shadowing a euthanasia veterinarian on her daily rounds.

The Gentle Art, Part II

What is it like to follow along with a euthansia veterinarian and see her work?

Keeping Dogs with Special Needs Happy, Healthy, and Active

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 29, 2014 in Animal Emotions
A new book called "No Walks? No Worries!" is a wonderful guide for dogs on restricted exercise. Written by Sian Ryan, who has a degree in clinical animal behavior, and Helen Zulch, a veterinarian, this book will be useful to the countless people who, from time to time, have to enrich their dog's life when she or he isn't allowed to frolic or take much exercise.

Working Hard or Slacking Off?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on October 28, 2014 in The Dolphin Divide
What down time tells us about our drive. Why workplace slacking isn’t really a question of character, but more a response to the nature of the workplace itself.

Is the Dog's Brain Tuned to Love People?

A recent MRI study shows that a reward center lights up in the dog's brain when he is reminded of a familiar human.

Beyond Blackfish: Symposium Marks a Rapid Heroic Response

By Rachel Clark on October 27, 2014 in Mothering Nature
Online symposium is a benchmark of rapid heroic response.

Becoming Conscious

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on October 27, 2014 in Hidden Motives
Contrary to our subjective beliefs, we make most of our decisions automatically, unconsciously. Professor Michael S. A. Graziano at Princeton recently reminded us of this.

Help! Max Won’t Let Me Sleep at Night

You've heard of Alzheimer's Disease in people, but do you know about 'Dogzheimer's' in dogs? This is a very real and often distressing disease in dogs. Find out how to recognise if your dog is developing dementia type changes and how to help.