Friday, April 29, 2016

Animals Are Smarter Than Humans Give Them Credit For

Is your dog smarter than your friend’s baby? Are cats smarter than dogs? What about Inky the octopus, who recently made a daring escape from his tank in a New Zealand aquarium — is he smarter than those internet cats whose owners “trapped” them in circles made of tape?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

German Shepherd Helps Rescue Children From Burning Home

Authorities in central Florida say a German shepherd helped firefighters locate the two young children of his owners in heavy smoke as a blaze destroyed their home.  The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office says that the dog named Maxx helped firefighters find the 4-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl Monday night in their home in the Orlando suburb, Longwood.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tiny Ocean Animals Get "Drunk" on Algae, Act Crazy

Even tiny ocean animals get soused—and not just in seawater.  A common species of plankton in the northern Atlantic Ocean becomes intoxicated when it slurps up toxic algae, a new study says. And just like drunk partygoers, "drunk" plankton take questionable risks. (Related: "Do Animals Get Drunk?").  In contrast to the wobbly gait of inebriated people, plankton under the influence swim faster and on a straighter path, making them more susceptible to predators. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Blind Elephant Just Can't Accept That Her Best Friend Is Gone

A blind elephant named Jokia is still mourning the loss of Mae Perm, her close companion of 17 years who died earlier this month at Thailand's Elephant Nature Park (ENP), a sanctuary and rescue for elephants.  When Mae Perm first passed away, Jokia spent six hours standing over her friend's lifeless body, "touching and nudging and leaning against" her, Lek Chailert, the founder of ENP, wrote at the time.

Monday, April 25, 2016

These Animals Live in the Most Powerful City in the World

Walking along the trail on this April day, wildflowers and blossoms dot the ground: bluebells, violets, spring beauties, trout lilies, jack-in-the-pulpit, mayapples, and bloodroot. Redbuds and cherry trees flower along the park’s roadways as bicyclists power up its steep hills.  It may be surprising, but this leafy wilderness is just miles from the White House, in the bustling, traffic-laden city of Washington, D.C.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Rescue Dogs Hug When Asked “Who’s Your Best Friend?”

Border Collie Lottie and her German shepherd brother Grizzly were both adopted and have learned mant tricks, but one thing they have taught themselves is to give each other hugs.  Taylor Duguay of Sudbury, Ontario adopted Lottie when she was four months old.  A year later, she adopted seven-week-old Grizzly.   From the very beginning, the two dogs developed a very close bond.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

How to Save a Billion Animals

Small changes by businesses and consumers can make a big difference in saving the lives of animals worldwide, said Wayne Pacelle, chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States.  "If we just reduce our meat consumption by 15 percent, we'd save a billion animals," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Watch the Ultimate Animal Cuddlefest

What's cuter than cute?  How about meta-cute? That's pretty much the only way we can describe this wrecking ball of cuteness watching cuteness be cuddled by cuteness.  Confused? Let's break it down.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How Animals Think

For 2,000 years there was an intuitive, elegant, compelling picture of how the world worked. It was called “the ladder of nature.” In the canonical version, God was at the top, followed by angels, who were followed by humans. Then came the animals, starting with noble wild beasts and descending to domestic animals and insects. Human animals followed the scheme, too. Women ranked lower than men, and children were beneath them. The ladder of nature was a scientific picture, but it was also a moral and political one. It was only natural that creatures higher up would have dominion over those lower down.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Like Us, Animals Suffer

Re “What I Learned Tickling Apes” (Sunday Review, April 10):  As Frans de Waal beautifully describes, what looks like intelligence in animals is intelligence.  The other critical similarity between species is suffering. The misery animals endure at the hands of human animals is nearly unimaginable; “experts” since Descartes have tried to persuade us that the behaviors of suffering animals — seen in pain, depression, loneliness and heartbreak — represent anything but the feelings we ourselves feel.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Better Ways to Handle Animals Than Through Government

The last time I was in an animal shelter, I adopted a furry 8-year-old puss named Gus. The shelter was clean but depressing: It was filled with whelping dogs (mostly pit-bull mixes) and terrified cats that, most likely, were not long for this world. It was one of the nicer shelters I've been to, but it had the charm of a county jail.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Tell Humans About Health

What do a French bulldog and a 3-year-old girl with atopic dermatitis have in common? Is there a tie between sleep apnea in an American bulldog and a 40-year-old obese man? What can human heart disease tell us about the heart problems of giant apes?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Igor the German Shepherd Raises Tigers and Chimps

A caring canine is giving new meaning to the term 'doggy day care' by becoming a surrogate parent to a range of animals including tigers, monkeys and a hyena.  Igor the German Shepherd is helping to raise the animals at the Zoological Wildlife Foundation, a sanctuary in Miami, Florida.  Owners Mario and Maria Tabraue brought Igor to the sanctuary in the hopes of him making friends with the baby animals - but little did they know the lovable pooch would become an unofficial member of staff, tending to the animals' emotional needs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others

I've killed birds by suctioning their brains, and I’ve sacrificed the lives of tiny kittens. I’ve withheld water from a live macaque. But in all the time I spent in graduate school for neurobiology, the most diabolical procedure that I performed in the name of scientific research—the one that haunts me still—was my very first: the perfusion of a mouse.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Better Ways to Handle Unwanted Animals

The last time I was in an animal shelter, I adopted a furry 8-year-old puss named Gus. The shelter was clean but depressing: It was filled with whelping dogs (mostly pit-bull mixes) and terrified cats that, most likely, were not long for this world. It was one of the nicer shelters I’ve been to, but it had the charm of a county jail.

Friday, April 8, 2016

How Do Animals Know When To Come Out Of Hibernation?

We will soon begin to see some of Minnesota’s most-beloved creatures come out of hibernation.  Different species of bats, bears, turtles and snakes all hibernate here, and many rely on more than warm weather to wake up.  So how do animals know when it’s time to come out of hibernation?  Garter snakes hibernate in the hundreds, and in some cases thousands. And when they wake up, it is like a squirmy ball of green spaghetti.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hedgehog Cafe Launched to Promote the Animal

As if cat, rabbit, owl, hawk and even snake-themed cafes aren't enough in a country which loves all things cute, Tokyo residents wanting to spend time with animals have a new choice - a hedgehog-themed cafe.  Customers at "Harry" - a play on the animal's name in Japanese - have been lining up to spend time at a bright room in the Roppongi entertainment district where 20 to 30 hedgehogs of different breeds scrabble and snooze in glass tanks.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Animals Have to Live Fast to Survive Next Extinction

How do you survive when the world is crumbling around you, and basically all of your neighboring species are going extinct? You can either use tools to adapt to your new environment, or you can start having lots of kids in the hopes that maybe they can make something of themselves in this strangely spacious new world.

Monday, April 4, 2016

NY Academy of Art Has Animals as Models for Class

At the New York Academy of Art in TriBeCa, it wouldn’t be insulting to say that the live models are a bunch of animals.  That’s because for one of the MFA program’s drawing classes, they are.  Wade Schuman, the director of the graduate school’s painting academy, came up with the idea about four years ago. Ever since, he’s brought in all manner of species to the classroom.

Friday, April 1, 2016

For These Trickster Animals, Every Day is April Fools

The weekend's finally here, which means it's time for Saturday's Weird Animal Question of the Week.  April Fools! It's actually Friday, but we couldn’t wait to take the author’s prerogative to talk about some animal tricksters that don’t limit their sneakiness to one day a year. (See "Gotcha! 5 of History's Most Outrageous April Fools' Day Hoaxes.")