Category Archives: animal behavior

Are dogs smarter than cats?

Yes, that’s the perennial question, and of course it depends on what you mean by “smarter”. Several people (mostly dog owners, of course) have sent me articles touting a recent finding that dogs are smarter than cats because they have more neurons in their brains. For example, this article reports a new article in Frontiers in […]

Mantis fly has a walking pupa that climbs trees before hatching

Although this observation and video don’t revolutionize science, they do provide some information that was missing about the life cycle of an insect, and, importantly, they allow the lucky finder to see something that presumably no other human had seen before. In this case it’s a substantial part of the lifecycle of a “mantidfly“, Ditaxis […]

Predation by a modern theropod

I’m pretty sure I put this up before, but if you’ve seen it, just take a pass. I’m told by a chicken owner that this kind of behavior is not at all uncommon, and that the speed with which this pullet chases down her prey is also typical. But OY! A terrifyingly brutal and shocking […]

The astounding way a fungus controls the behavior of “zombie ants”

You’ve probably heard about “zombie ants”: ants that become zombie-like when infected by a certain parasitic fungus. Like many parasites, some fungi can control the behavior of their hosts, and they do this to increase their own fitness, affecting the host’s morphology and behavior to make it more likely that the parasite will pass its […]

Kindly kayaker gives tired and lost iguana a four-mile ride to shore

I’m surprised that a reptile can swim four miles through salt water without dying, but this iguana wasn’t going to survive—until a kindly human in a motorized kayak came along. From laughing squid, we have this story of a man and his reptile. The description follows: A really affable guy named Steve of Key West Kayak Fishing was out […]

The bird-eating fish: now online

Five days ago I put up some information about and the trailer for the new BBC series”Blue Planet II”, narrated by David Attenborough and starting this Sunday from 8-9 UK time. In my post I much regretted the prequel not showing one amazing finding that the Torygraph singled out when describing the show: Among the most […]

Magpie attacks in Australia (and how to avoid them)

The Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), a native to the country, and an inadvertent import to New Zealand, is a lovely bird, but also a smart and cheeky one. Here’s what it looks like: I didn’t realize that magpie attacks were a regular thing in Australia, but it’s true. As Wikipedia reports, they get aggressive during breeding […]

D*g thinks that the Moon is her ball

Normally I’d put this video up to make fun of d*gs, but I’m feeling charitable here in Ivy Land, so let’s just say this is a fun video in which a canid mistakes the moon for her ball—a ball that she thinks has been thrown upwards and has stuck in the sky:

Whale breach

I don’t know who took this video or how they got it, but it’s amazing, with the camera put in just the right place at the right time: Coolest Whale Breaching EVER! 🐋 🐋 🐋#ThursdayThoughts #Travel #DrinkBeerDay #NationalPoetryDay pic.twitter.com/jt4ZlCqD91 — Tom Hall ☘ (@TomHall) September 28, 2017 Now why do whales do this? (I think this is […]

Jeremy, the lonely left-handed snail, finally mates—and then dies

On September 21 I put up a post about a rare left-handed mutant of the garden snail, Cornu aspersa, named Jeremy.  (That post explains why snails of only identical coiling can mate, due to their hermaphroditism and the position in which they copulate.)  Nearly all garden snails (and 90% of all snail species) have right-handed […]