The Thoughtful Animal

Archives for February, 2011

Dogs Can Hear How Big You Are

Lots of animals are well aware that bigger means scarier. In stressful or aggressive situations, for example, the hair or fur of chimpanzees, rats, cats, and even humans stands up on end (in humans, given our lack of fur, this results in goose bumps) in an effort to dissuade a potential attack. Elephant seals use…

PsychBytes is an experiment: three recent findings in psychology, each explained in three paragraphs or less. Generally, these are papers that I wouldn’t have otherwise covered in this blog. Please share your thoughts on this model in the comments. What works, and what doesn’t? Would you like more PsychBytes in the future? What’s In A…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week: To start us off, a pair of killer posts by tag-teaming science-blogging super-duo Kate Clancy and Scicurious. First, check out The cerebellum and premenstrual dysphoric disorder at Sci’s place, and then read Kate’s take on the same research at Context and Variation. Or read Kate’s…

There is a small bit of land, only about a square kilometer, that has added a new wrinkle to the story of animal domestication. This bit of land located in Northern Jordan, just southeast of the Sea of Galilee near the banks of the Jordan River, is home to an archaeological site known as ‘Uyun…

“At home, a young man should be dutiful towards his parents; going outside, he should be respectful towards his elders.” -Confucius (Chinese philosopher, 551-479 BCE) “Your real boss is the one who walks under your hat.” -Napoleon Hill (American author, 1883-1970) Those two quotations reflect a cultural difference in how people construct their own conceptions…

Yesterday I posted this photo and offered up a prize for the best caption. “Well, me and Joan been together…oh, ‘most forty years now. Eats a lot, but she’s been good to me, sure enough! Hey, don’t make fun of the uniform… [whispers] Joan kinda’ likes a man-in-uniform, servin’ her dinners, knowwhatImean? [wink]“ The winner…

This Photo Needs A Caption

This photo, titled “Zookeeper Ernie Bowman and Hippopotamus, Joan, London, 1934″ comes to us via The Guardian. Comment with your best photo caption – as many as you want. Winner will get a limited edition Scienceblogs Thoughtful Animal mug. I will chose a winner in 24 hours. The photo is © 2011 Curatorial Assistance, Inc/E.O.…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week: I believe this is the first time I’ve featured a cartoon in my weekly editor’s selections. Learn all about the Dunning-Kruger effect at Lost in Transcription. Krystal D’Costa of Anthropology in Practice asks, Is A Kiss Ever Really Just A Kiss? and provides a nice…

Part 2 of the n00b Science Blogging 101 series concerns the big questions of blogging: audience, purpose, and so on. You can find part 1 here, in which I discussed my own experiences with blogging to provide adequate context for this and the remaining posts in the series. What audience do you have in mind…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Painstaking scientific research has identified seven dating tips that could boost your chances on Valentine’s Day … including shouting in his right ear and scaring him witless. Whether or not you have a Valentine this year, head on over to check out to my latest piece in The Guardian: Valentine’s Day dating tips from lovestruck…