Friday, January 31, 2014

Dolphin Whisperer Forms Close Bond with Mammals

Captain Larry Hartmann has watched thousands of bottlenose dolphins ride the bow of his 30-foot boat, but until Friday he had never seen the mammals develop such a close bond with one of his passengers.  The accompanying footage shows several dolphins swimming to the outstretched hand of Taylor Carty and looking her in the eye, and taking turns rolling over, as if craving to have their bellies rubbed.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

'Puppy Love' Super Bowl Ad

We hadn't seen any major breakout hits among the 2014 Super Bowl teasers and full ads this week. But this 60-second Budweiser spot from Anomaly, released Wednesday morning, is destined for great things.  It's a sequel of sorts to last year's "Brotherhood," one of the strongest and best-loved Bud ads in a long time, about a baby Clydesdale and its trainer. Sticking with the baby theme, this year's spot is about a 10-week-old puppy who keeps escaping his adoption center and makes friends with the Clydesdales on a nearby farm.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

First Step Toward Freeing Lolita the Orca

With the popularity of the documentary Blackfish, which focuses on captive orcas at SeaWorld, public debate over keeping the endangered species in captivity has reignited.  For years, activists have tried to have Lolita, an orca held captive at the Miami Seaquarium, released. Today, federal officials announced that they are taking the first steps toward having Lolita included in the endangered species listing for Puget Sound orcas. It could be a possible path to having Lolita released to a more natural setting.

Monday, January 27, 2014

27 Naughtiest Cats In The World

It's their world and we just happen to live in it. I think cats are the most amusing creatures on the planet and here is why.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Rare Borneo Bay Cat Captured in Photo

An extremely elusive creature called a bay cat has been photographed in stunning detail in its native Borneo in Southeast Asia.  The new image, which was captured by a photographer working with the wildcat conservation organization Panthera, is one of the first high-resolution images taken of the enigmatic species. Previously, grainy camera-trap images were the main evidence of the cat's existence.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Brazil Dolphin First New River Species Since 1918

Scientists in Brazil have discovered the first new river dolphin species since the end of World War One.  Named after the Araguaia river where it was found, the species is only the fifth known of its kind in the world.  Writing in the journal Plos One, the researchers say it separated from other South American river species more than two million years ago.  There are believed to be about 1,000 of the creatures living in the Araguaia river basin.  River dolphins are among the world's rarest creatures.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Seven Things To Never Say to a Dog Lover

Some things are better left unsaid. No matter how good something might sound to you-before you utter it aloud-there are some basic "no no's" when it comes to talking with a dog owner. Here are 7 definite comments you should never say. See how many of these have been hurled your way.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Video: Husky Understands How You Feel

Remember the days when your mom would try to wake you up at dawn for school and you clung to your bed, muttering "no, no" and pretending it wasn't real?  Blaze the husky totally gets that.  This adorable pooch simply did not want to go to the kennel as much as his owner tried to take him. The video of his whining is now going viral, probably because we've all been there.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Dolphins See the World The Same Way Humans Do

Dolphins see the world in a similar way to humans according to new research.  Despite living in such different environments, the study concluded that dolphins, humans and chimpanzees perceive the world "in fundamentally similar ways".  Researchers at the University of Kyoto in Japan carried out a study comparing the different animals.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Your Cat Thinks You’re Just Another Cat

As an overly-exuberant animal lover, I’m somewhat ashamed to confess that I am not a cat person.  Sure, cats are as cute as the next fuzzy mammal and kittens are all-out adorable, but felines enjoy hunting and killing things, and they don’t seem to care much for humans either. Unlike the “I’ll-love-you-and-be-your-best-friend-forever-no-matter-what!” enthusiasm you get from a dog, cats always seem to be giving me the side eye, and in turn, I usually feel the need to give it right back.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

According Animals Dignity

As of late Monday afternoon, when I was finishing this column, the most frequently emailed story on The Times’s website for the previous week wasn’t about the polar vortex, Chris Christie or “Downton Abbey.”  It was about cats.  I suppose that’s no big shock. On blogs, on Facebook and all around the Internet, claws and clicks go hand in hand (or is that paw in paw?). While the meek may be inheriting the earth, the furry have already claimed cyberspace.  But what is surprising — and indicative of a new chapter in the interactions of Americans and the animals around us — is the focus of the cat story in question.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Who Are the Animals in Animal Experiments?

I once attended a neuroscience conference featuring a talk about spinal cord injury. The presenter showed a brief video clip that haunts me still to this day.  The presenter showed a clip of his experiment in which he had crushed a cat's spinal cord and was recording the cat's movement on a treadmill. He had forcibly implanted electrodes into the cat's brain and she was struggling to keep upright, dragging her paralyzed legs on the treadmill. She repeatedly fell off the machine.  At one point, the experimenter lifted her up to reposition her on the treadmill and the cat did something that was utterly unexpected. She rubbed her head against the experimenter's hand.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What Your Cat Is Thinking

Cat owners speak to their cats, attribute many complex emotions to them and chide them when they bring small dead rodents into the house. People don’t pause to ask what is going on in the mind of the cat during these interactions, and perhaps that’s just as well. The role of a pet is to be relentlessly anthropomorphized. But for any who may wonder what their feline companions are really thinking, “Cat Sense,” by John Bradshaw, provides the best answers that science can give for the time being.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Video: Clever Beagle Caught Taking Food

After a roast disappeared from the kitchen, Rodd Scheinerman decided to set up a sting operation to determine the culprit. He had a feeling his Beagle, Lucy, was the master thief, so he hatched a plan to catch her in the act. After placing some chicken nuggets in the toaster oven, he set up a camera on the other side of the room and waited. 7 minutes into the video, his inkling proved correct as Lucy scaled kitchen counters to get the tasty treats.

Friday, January 10, 2014

We Are Animals and Therein Lies Hope for a Better Future

This past year was remarkable in terms of what we have learned about the cognitive, emotional and moral lives of nonhuman animals. A new and outstanding book called We Animals by award-winning photojournalist
 and activist Jo-Anne McArthur whose work also is featured in the wonderful documentary The Ghosts in Our Machine and a recent TEDTalk entitled "If We Could Talk To the Animals" by biologist Denise Herzing about the clearly smart and emotional dolphins she and her team study and her talk made me think of an incredible number of larger themes and "big" questions centering on the fascinating lives of the other animals with whom we share our magnificent planet. By paying attention to who other animals are we learn lessons about ourselves.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Video: Australian Dolphin Prefers to Play With Humans

A playful dolphin in Australia that appears to prefer human company to other dolphins has surprised wildlife experts after frolicking with swimmers and surfers at some of Sydney’s most popular beaches. The two-year-old female bottlenose dolphin has approached people in the water and spent hours playing with them, even if they showed little interest. It has allowed people to touch it and popped up around surfers, sometimes grabbing their leg ropes or jumping over their boards.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Heart-Warming Video: Cows Finally Set Free

This is a heart warming video of cows that were set free after a long winter season. Cows should be free to roam in large fields, and be completely free. Looking at the emotional response of excitement in this video is very heart warming. Although it’s nice that science has finally recognized the consciousness of animals, it’s something we already recognize from the first time we interact with an animal. Not everything needs to be “proven” by science in order to validate it as truth. A lot of information science has yet to confirm is already known inside of us and just plain obvious, we’ve just forgotten how to listen to listen to our hearts.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Milwaukee Zoo Animals Adjust to the Cold

Nama wanted to go outside and romp around in the snow Monday, but because it was so cold he was kept indoors.  So the Milwaukee County Zoo's cheetah registered his displeasure by loudly chirping and whining. To no avail. His keeper Jessica Munson knows his fur isn't thick enough and his foot pads would quickly freeze to the frozen ground.  Join the club, Nama.  "It's for his own benefit," said Munson, echoing countless parents who kept their children inside as dangerously frigid weather closed schools throughout southeastern Wisconsin on Monday. While humans hunkered down indoors to avoid the cold, animals also changed their routines.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Everyone Poops, But Dogs Do It With Magnetism

Dog owners have all been there when walking their canine companions.  Fido sniffs the ground and maybe turns around a few times. He searches. "No, not that patch," he seems to say. "Maybe this one. ... Or over here. ... Umm, maybe not."  Then, finally, he gets into position to ... well, let's just say leave that deposit that you'll have to pick up.  According to researchers from the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, the pooch might be aiming to poop along a north-south axis that lines up with the Earth's magnetic field.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Animals Get a New Leash on Life

They came in one by one, to applause, "aahs" and an "ooh" or two -- Cindy Lou Who and Horton and Mayze McGrew.  No one is trying to pass for Dr. Seuss here, but the spirit of the beloved children's book author was very much present Monday at Animal Friends' 17th annual New Year's Eve rescue.  The center took in 32 cats and 25 dogs that had been slated to be euthanized after either being lost, casually abandoned or reluctantly given up.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Animals to Make You Love 2014

It's 2014, and you're feeling seriously motivated to make some major life improvements.  You've imagined a year full of weight loss, wisdom, and sticking to a budget. Hours before the clock strikes midnight, imagining your new and improved self makes you feel kind of like this guy: