The Thoughtful Animal

Archives for October, 2010

Happy Halloween!

A nice video from our friends at BBC Earth: …although I’m not sure why some of the critters in there qualify as scary. In any case, have a Happy (and Safe!) Halloween!

Meet Rio. Rio is a California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus). She was born in captivity at Marine World in Northern California, and due to insufficient maternal care from her biological mother, she was transferred to the Long Marine Laboratory at UC Santa Cruz when she was just a few days old. There, she was raised…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week. This was an awesome week for psychology and neuroscience blogging! I had a hard time picking just three or four, so here are six: Korsakoff’s Syndrome is a fascinating neuropsychiatric disorder marked by fantastic stories, told by patients, about things that have happened to them.…

Robot Lizard Push-ups

Have you ever been walking through the forest and thought to yourself, “Damn, its loud here…it’s really, really hard to hear anything anybody else is saying”? Well, maybe that’s what prompted Terry J. Ord and Judy A. Stamps, respectively from Harvard and UC Davis to investigate lizard exercise routines. You ask: What do lizard calisthenics…

Last night, I was a guest of the National Geographic Channel at the historic Saban Theater in Beverly Hills for the United States premiere of Great Migrations, which airs internationally on Sunday, November 7. Great Migrations is a 7-part TV “event,” paired with an issue of National Geographic magazine, a set of kids’ books, iPhone…

Check out this awesome David Attenborough video: So far the readers of this fair blog have managed to fully fund two Donors Choose science education requests. We can do better. Do you like the stuff that you read here? Do you like David Attenborough? Consider donating to this project. Mr. T teaches at a “high…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week: “Amazingly, babies as small as 12 months old show some understanding of the difference between the deliberate and goal-directed “agents” that can cause order, such as a person, and those randomly acting inanimate objects that cannot, such as a bouncing ball.” Daniel Daza of the…

In 1975, Edward Tronick and colleagues first presented the “still face experiment” to colleagues at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development. He described a phenomenon in which an infant, after three minutes of “interaction” with a non-responsive expressionless mother, “rapidly sobers and grows wary. He makes repeated attempts to get…

Learn to Speak Primate

Non-human primate, that is. Ape actor Peter Elliott shares his knowledge of chimpanzee and gorilla vocabulary and facial expressions. via IMDb: Peter Elliott is the film industry’s primary primate. He both as a performer, in films like Missing Link and The Island of Doctor Moreau, and as a choreographer of other performers, as in Gorillas…

Does Fido see the cup as half full? Is your dog pessimistic? Last time we saw headlines like these they were about a certain barnyard animal. Remember “Pampered pigs ‘feel optimistic’”? I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now. Roughly half of the population of dogs in the UK are likely to…