Category Archives: animal behavior

Raccoon mom and offspring form procyonid chain to rescue cub

All I can say is that we’ve had videos similar to this one before, and they show that raccoons (Procyon lotor) are a lot smarter than we think. (See, for instance, here, here, and here.) Below is the YouTube caption of a video posted just two days ago: Occurred June 16, 2016 / Camdenton High School, Camdenton, Missouri, […]

How to straighten a pig’s curly tail

I bet you didn’t know this trick. Don’t try this at home—unless you live on a farm.

Do cats understand the laws of physics?

Betteridge’s law of headlines would suggest that the answer is “no”, but the authors of a new paper in Animal Cognition beg to disagree. This short report (reference and free pdf below) tests the idea that cats can identify a rattling sound in a box as denoting an object in the box, and then, when the […]

Just to clarify about cat roaming

Yesterday I posted some range maps of Australian cats, showing wide roaming detected by putting GPS sensors on their collars.  (I’ve added one below.) Some readers claimed that the long trips might have been visits to the vet’s, another that virtually all the excursions were “artifacts.” Virtually nobody accepted cat tracks like these: Well, the study was replicated […]

Fox cub survives brush with death as it holes up in dishwasher

Dr. Simon Hayes, a vet in north London, found a fox cub in his dishwasher. As the Torygraph reports, how and why it got there is a mystery, but the paper has a video of the cub huddled inside the appliance. Hayes chased it out with a broom and, according to the news, the fox […]

Electric eels jump out of water to shock potential predators

Let’s start this summary of a new paper (by Kenneth Catnia in Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA; reference and free download below) with a historical incident that helped motivate the work. This is how Catania’s paper begins: In 1807, Alexander von Humboldt published his account of a battle between electric eels and horses. The stage for this event […]

Chipmunk caught red-pawed purloining seeds

In line with the end-of-the-day-feel-good policy, here’s a chipmunk caught at the bird feeder, dumping his ballast to make a hasty exit. Look how many seeds it can pack in those pouches! Poor thing. . .

The Cincinnati gorilla incident: what would you do?

As many of you know, a 4-year-old boy, with his mother’s attention distracted, went through the fence separating the gorilla enclosure from the visitors at the Cincinnati Zoo last Saturday. The child then made his way through the vegetation, falling into a deep moat around the gorilla space. Hearing the splash, a male silverback gorilla named Harambe jumped […]

You won’t believe the cutest animal video ever!

Well, if there’s a mom-and-brood animal video cuter than this family of Procyon lotor, I don’t know what it is. Look at the solicitude with which Mom Lotor ensures that all her babies are inside, helping the clumsy and recalcitrant ones. h/t: Taskin

Do chimps grieve?

Over on the BBC website, there’s a piece and a video (click on screenshot below) that raises the provocative question of “Do chimps grieve?”  What you see in the 5-minute clip (apparently an excerpt from a 20-minute clip) is the reactions of groupmates to the death from pneumonia of a nine-year-old chimp, Thomas, in a reserve […]

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