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Tag archives for animal behavior

Killer whales pursuing a dolphin off Central California

By Jodi Frediani, with intro by Carl Safina Killer whales are astonishing creatures, extreme by every measure. I (Carl) wrote extensively about them in my recent book Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel. Several non-interbreeding “types” which are actually different species exist (though these are not yet formally recognized with different Latin names). And…

Pumas on the Edge: The Effects of Human Activity and Development

Post submitted by Max Allen of the Santa Cruz Puma Project. I currently work on the Santa Cruz Puma Project in California, studying pumas that live in the highly fragmented and human-dominated Santa Cruz Mountains. Pumas who live here must navigate through a landscape that is a mosaic of different levels of human activity and…

Watch Raccoons Escape Trash Can—Are Urban Animals Getting Smarter?

A new video suggests that these “perfect little urban warriors” may be smarter than their rural kin, a scientist says.

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Jumping Spiders, Angry Cats

Can elephants track scents? How can a jumping spider travel so fast? Read this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions column.

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Venomous Mammals, Octopus Mothers

Can venomous mammals attack? Did a record-breaking octopus mother eat her eggs to stay alive? Read this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions.

Strength in Numbers: Defending the World’s Biggest Nest

Gavin Leighton is conducting experiments among weaver birds in Africa to try to understand the evolution of their amazing societies. Plummeting temperatures change the game of survival not just for weaver birds, but also all of the animals around them.

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Animal Nests Explained

What do spiders have to do with hummingbird nests? Why don’t we ever see crows’ nests? Learn more in this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions.

Your Weird Animal Questions Answered

What is a honey badger, really? How do spiders not get stuck to their webs? See answers to these questions and more in our weekly Q&A column.

Weird Purple Frog Seduces Females From Underground

Males calls to females from beneath a thin layer of soil—the only frog known to have such an odd behavior, a new study says.

Leapin’ Lizards! Crocodiles Can Climb Trees

New research shows crocodiles frequently make their way up trees to bask in the sun and keep an eye on their environment. You might think of crocodiles as being at home in the water — but it turns out these toothy reptiles are also quite comfortable scaling trees. A new study  documents the surprisingly common…

Elephant Photobombs Tourists: How’d It Happen?

The curious pachyderm snuck up behind clueless tourists in Zimbabwe in “the photobomb of a lifetime.”

What the “Arrested Development” Chicken Dance Really Says About the Bluth Family

The dysfunctional Bluth family returns this Sunday with 15 new episodes of the canceled sitcom Arrested Development via Netflix. And you know what that means: more chicken dancing! Arrested Development is built on recurring jokes but one of the biggest crowd-pleasers of all is the Bluth family chicken dance, deployed to taunt other family members,…

Cool Math 101: Physicists Use Fluid Dynamics To Study Penguin Huddles

What do the members of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics discuss during their annual meetings? Math, usually. Lots of math. But this week they’ll also be talking about something a little different: penguins.

Should We Import Belugas for Display?

If you’re an animal lover, you’ve probably heard by now about the 18 beluga whales that a group of U.S. marine park and aquarium owners wants to import from Russia. The 18 whales were captured in the wild off the Siberian coast specifically to be put on display—that is, for our entertainment. And that’s where the issue gets sticky. Because we now know from numerous animal behavior studies—in laboratories and in natural habitats–that all mammals are thinking and feeling beings.

Scientists Study the Mystery of the Dung Beetle “Dance”

The dung beetle is an intriguing insect for more than one reason, but scientists have been particularly mystified by the “dance” the beetles perform while atop their balls of dung. In a recent study, a group of researchers set out to figure out what causes this unusual behavior.