Category Archives: animal behavior

Gus is right-pawed

Reader Taskin, staff of Gus, took a tip from Simon’s Cat Logic—those episodes of Simon’s Cat in which Nicky Trevorrow of Cats Protection gives cat-tending advice. One of her suggestions for cats who were housebound and possibly bored was to give them some stimulation by making them search for their food. She suggested building a […]

Pelican spiders (again)

In January I called your attention to “pelican spiders” (also called “assassin spiders”), a group once known only from amber fossils but which has recently been described from Madagascar, Australasia, and Southern Africa (as you’ll see in the video, that distribution makes evolutionary sense). The “assassin” name comes from their extraordinarily long chelicerae (jaws), which […]

A smoking elephant?

Yes, Alice in Wonderland had a smoking caterpillar, but that was fiction. Here’s a smoking elephant that’s for real. (Well, it’s not really smoking, as that would burn its mouth; it’s apparently ingesting charcoal and ash and then exhaling the ash.) According to the Guardian, which I don’t find persuasive here, it could be self […]

Lynx battle in the trees!

Here’s an amazing battle between two Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) that appeared on the Famous Amos Photography Facebook page. The notes: I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life watching 2 lynx mating/fighting with the male chasing the female up a tree twice but the female fighting him off! Here is a […]

Cat sticks a perfect landing

Another fantastic cat gif. What a moggie (from the Cheezburger site)! This cat wins the gold in the Feline Biathlon. h/t: Su

Mother squirrel rescues baby with help of kindly man

This appears to take place in India, and, from its five stripes, this appears to be a Northern palm squirrel (Funambulus pennantii), common in northern India. But what a nice guy to take care of it, and what a lovely rescue by the mother! I’m giving my ducks extra food today: the mallard hen may […]

Cockatiel sings iPhone ringtone

I’m not sure why parrots, cockatoos, and mynah birds have an amazing ability to imitate sounds that their ancestors would never hear in nature. It’s surely the byproduct of some other adaptation that has nothing to do with imitation, but what that is baffles me. Nevertheless, I’m still mesmerized by the ability of some bird […]

Mutualistic birds roost in the armpits and bellies of giraffes

This is a short but sweet report on a new 3-page paper documenting the nocturnal activities of the yellow-billed oxpecker (Buphagus africana). It shows that, at night, these birds actually roost on the bodies of large mammals in Africa. There are actually two species of oxpecker in Africa: the yellow-billed and the red-billed (Buphagus erythrorhynus). […]

Eagle flies from a balloon

This is the closest I, at least, will ever come to know what it’s like to be a bird. Apparently someone strapped a camera to a trained eagle and released it from a balloon. I find the video amazing—especially the landing, where the bird comes in at high speed and rapidly decelerates. It’s like a […]

Corvid altruism?

Reader Amy called my attention to this new video, which seems to show a crow not only sharing his bread with a mouse, but actually bringing it to the mouse. Could it be he’s trying to trap the mouse to eat it? I don’t think so. Could it be altruism? Hard to believe! Judge for […]