The Thoughtful Animal

Archives for August, 2010

Food for Thought

That animals help each other is far from a new observation, but it’s puzzling nonetheless. If all that matters is survival of the fittest, shouldn’t animals refrain from anything that fails to benefit themselves? Why help another get ahead? There are two main theories: First, that such behavior evolved to help kin and offspring, hence…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week: In a post that is sure to stir up some controversy, The Neurocritic discusses a recent paper that failed to find an association between personality (which appears to be highly heritable) and specific genes. Dr. Dan Simons of the Invisible Gorilla blog writes about a…

The Carnal Carnival

Sometime late Saturday night, it seems I agreed to shepherd (cat-herd?) a new blog carnival. It all started when I noticed that people seem to be blogging about poop a lot. It was pointed out that some blog about urine. Carin Bondar wanted to add barf and blood to the mix. So, Bora and I…

Hands Off My Bone!

Different dog growls mean different things, right? Probably. But can you tell the difference? Here’s a dog growling when someone is trying to steal its food: link to mp3. Here’s a dog growling at a stranger: link to mp3. You probably can’t tell the difference. Neither could I. Dogs can. Surprised? Probably not. But, this…

Extra, Extra

Science and Science Writing You’ve checked out the new blog, Child’s Play, I’m writing with Melody Dye over at Scientopia, right? She started us off with an *awesome* series on delay of gratification and the cookie task (start here). Apparently monkeys hate flying squirrels. And I hate the deck of this article. As long as…

Dear friend of the blog and frequent commenter the Dog Zombie just got her masters!!!!! She studies dog brains by pursuing DVM and MS degrees. One degree down, and two to go! She writes (via email) that she was a little worried that people would think “why do I care about something touchy-feely like whether…

Blogging with Substance

Apparently, Mike the Mad Biologist thinks that I have a blog of substance. Or something like that. This appears to be a meme that Bora started, with two rules: 1. Sum up your blogging motivation, philosophy and experience in exactly 10 words. 2. Tag 10 other blogs to perpetuate the meme. (Only ten? This will…

Late last week you might have seen headlines that went something like this: “Pampered pigs ‘feel optimistic’” or, this: “Can you ask a pig if his glass is half full?” or, “Pigs have feelings, too (and they prefer a bit of luxury)” The headlines came, respectively, from BBC News, EurekAlert, and the Daily Mail. This…

BBC Earth “Amazing”

Several weeks ago, BBC Earth contacted me to let me know about this awesome new website they were building: Life Is. The website, created by Firefly Interactive and The Brooklyn Brothers, will showcase some of the best images, videos and stories that the BBC Earth Natural History Unit has accrued in over 50 years of…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week: “Touch imagery has always been a useful storytelling tool,” says Livia Blackburne of her eponymous blog. “We talk about warm smiles, slippery personalities, getting caught between a rock and a hard place.” But does touch imagery serve a larger purpose, perhaps helping give structure to…