Category Archives: animal behavior

Animals who use drugs

Humans clearly use drugs for pleasure, not just to remove withdrawal symptoms if you’re addicted. Alcohol is a solvent, dissolving anxieties and making it easier to socialize; marijuana has a variety of pleasant effects depending on the consumer (I tend to giggle and get a bad case of munchies); and psychedelic drugs truly can give you an […]

Another species of crow uses tools

The definition of “tool use” in animals is a bit controversial, depending as it does on whether the object is modified before it’s used as a tool. In its list of animal tool use, Wikpedia gives a widely-used definition proposed by Shumaker, Walkup, and Beck in their 2011 book Animal Tool Behavior: The Use and Manufacture of Tools by Animals: […]

Dan Barker’s “little friend”

I’m not the only atheist who’s tamed wild rodents! This video by Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, was on his Facebook page this morning, but I persuaded him to put it on YouTube so I could embed it. On his FB page was this caption: I have a little friend. The past […]

Panda twins born in Atlanta

This is the best video I’ve seen yet of a panda giving birth. Lun Lun, a female panda at the Atlanta zoo, gave birth to twins. This just happened, and the BBC reports: Lun Lun, a 19-year-old giant panda, has given birth to twins at Zoo Atlanta. The zoo will use the same cub-swapping method […]

Cat drums with its staff!

I’m braining on other stuff today, including upcoming talks in Pittsburgh, Singapore, and Hong Kong (I always get my talks done way in advance), so you’ll have to be satisfied with persiflage. As Thomas Wolfe once wrote, though, “I have a thing to tell you” (one of his great set pieces., go here and advance […]

The juggling otter

Reader Kieran sent this video, and by the time you see it I’ll have gone home, for Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus) has a tummy ache. Enjoy the Juggling Otter (Amblonyx cinerea), whose YouTube video says this: The Otter at Dudley Zoo enjoys his pebble juggling while waiting for his feeding time.  Oriental small clawed otter [sic] […]

Seal leaps into boat to avoid orcas

Poor seal! It’s being stalked by nasty and hungry orcas, and these people let it stay in their boat till the murdering whales left. Here’s the YouTube notes: We were out with the family looking for whales and a pod of 12 trainsiet killer whales where chasing the seal. It ripped towards the boat in […]

Canadian lynx baked on catnip

Reader Christopher M. called my attention to this video, apparently showing a TAME CANADA LYNX (Lynx canadensis) named Max. The YouTube note says this: I received a mighty large heavy-duty catnip pillow from Mountain Weaver of Averill Park, NY. I know Max loves catnip but he destroys his toys very quickly. I believe this one is […]

Biker encounters adorable skunk family

Several readers called my attention to this video on Facebook, but reader Michael D. found it on YouTube and sent a link to some information about it. Most people who sent it know that I had a pet skunk when I was a grad student and postdoc. His name was Pinkus (after my father’s fraternity brother […]

Bird bounces golf ball—for fun?

This is said to be a Brazilian bird (please identify the species), and it sure looks to me as if it’s playing, though, I suppose, one could say it’s trying to crack what it thinks are eggs. (The velocity of hurling, however, seems to great for that.) Birders—any guesses? h/t: Ant