Category Archives: animal behavior

Rabbits and cat living in harmony

Reader Brigette Zacharczenko, a grad student in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Connecticut at Storrs (she has an insect website), sent me some lovely photos (in an email titled “Some fluffy kitty belly for you to enjoy”) of her rabbits and new kitty that I’m posting with her permission. Her description is indented. My […]

An evolutionary tradeoff: “flying” in fish helps them escape fish predators, but exposes them to avian ones

I don’t know how the BBC manages to get this kind of footage, but their nature shows far outstrip any I’ve seen from other organizations. This short video on flying fishes comes from the “Hunger” episode of the “Oceans” series, and shows how the “flying” adaptation exposes them to new dangers, and new selection pressures. […]

The cephalopod-faced display of Costa’s Hummingbird

Reader Michael sent a short (2-minute) video clip showing a male Costa’s hummingbird (Calypte costae) courting a female; it’s from a PBS show called “Super Hummingbirds” that will be shown on October 12th. Don’t miss it.  This is a must-watch and, a Michael noted, the real fun begins 40 seconds in: “Spring is the time […]

Panda Act of Love rudely interrupted

Two giant pandas were making the beast with two backs when they were rudely interrupted by an Act of Gravity. How sad! ❤ lol — *GIF*WORLD* (@wordstextings_) October 2, 2016 I bet the zoo, which wants more pandas, was even more upset.

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] […]