Essential Reads

Animal Envy, by Ralph Nader: A Review

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 17, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Ralph Nader's visionary fable, Animal Envy, was motivated by his mostly unknown but obviously longstanding concern for animals. The core message: Animals and humans need one other.

Helping Your Neighbor

We often help others with expectations of help in return at a future point. Turns out, this is a basic feature of what it means to be human.

Psychological Consequences of Having Tree-Dwelling Ancestors

Renowned evolutionist Gordon Gallup has extensively studied the psychological correlates of handgrip strength. To understand why, we need to look to our arboreal past.

Why Do We Exist?

Why do humans exist? Because of evolution. And this is a beautiful thing.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

Did Szenja the Polar Bear Die of a Broken Heart?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 19, 2017 in Animal Emotions
It's highly likely that Szenja, a polar bear at SeaWorld, died of a heartache after her best friend of 20 years, Snowflake, was shipped to the Pittsburgh Zoo to make more bears.

Train Too Much and a Dog Won't Remember

Back to back training sessions involving different tasks impairs a dog's long-term memory of what he has learned

How Men Attract Women

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 18, 2017 in The Human Beast
How men attract women is a much more difficult question than vice-versa because women are both more selective, and also more individualistic in what they want.

When Elephants Are Blessed

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on April 14, 2017 in Bear in Mind
A Thai Elephant sanctuary walks the trans-species ethical path of compassion and kindness.

The "Guilty Dog" Look and Other Borrowed Signals

The guilty dog look and the human handshake have similar roots in the evolution of animal communication.

The Nature of a Dog's Eye Can Make Problem-Solving Difficult

Dogs have limited visual abilities when compared to humans, and this may make solving certain problems difficult.

Mice Aren't Furry Little People: Sloppy Science Fails Humans

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 12, 2017 in Animal Emotions
"Most potential new drugs fail when they're tested in people. These failures are not only a major disappointment, they sharply drive up the cost of developing new drugs." (NPR)

Do Donkeys Act? A Myth-Busting Film about Endearing Beings

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 11, 2017 in Animal Emotions
In "Do Donkeys Act?" donkeys themselves show us who they truly are. This film subverts the notion of the “dumb beast” and portrays donkeys as deeply emotional and caring beings.

Rabbits, Fish, and Even Crickets Are Good for Mental Health

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 10, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Many different nonhuman animals are able to help people feel more positively and see the light of day. And, it's not only animals of the cuddly kind, but also fish and insects.

Get Down and Dirty With Your Dog: Bow, Hug, and Tug

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 07, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Playing with and hugging your dog can be a great way to maintain a special bond, as long as it's done on their terms.

The New Best Remedy for Health Is a Dog

In California dogs are doing rounds at hospitals. Can a dog heal patients? Here is a personal story about a therapy dog showing that a dog can be the best medicine. Read more...

Is Clicker Training the Most Effective Way to Train Dogs?

New data resolves the controversy as to whether clicker training is better than using a word of praise when training dogs.

The Psychology of Watching April the Giraffe

By Peg Streep on April 05, 2017 in Tech Support
What has so many people totally obsessed with a pregnant giraffe? Why can't they look away from April?

Consciousness in Other Animals

This post discusses the challenge of determining whether or not the experiences of other organisms have the same phenomenal quality of our typical conscious experiences.

Trumping Rodents: Scientists Benefit by Supporting Alt-Facts

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 31, 2017 in Animal Emotions
The Animal Welfare Act maintains that rats and mice are not animals, but they are. When such alt-facts are presented as facts, researchers should vigorously and openly protest.

Becoming Dogs

By Mark Derr on March 30, 2017 in Dog's Best Friend
It took time to make a dog.

Are We Bullying Our Dogs?

By Jennifer Arnold on March 30, 2017 in Through a Dog’s Eyes
Stop telling your dogs to obey. Start asking them to cooperate!

Late by Four Days?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on March 29, 2017 in The Dolphin Divide
How to not be kept waiting. When the desire for instant gratification meets perpetual procrastination, what’s to be done?

Why Men Trophy Hunt: Showing Off and the Psychology of Shame

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 28, 2017 in Animal Emotions
If the "hunting for status" hypothesis is correct, then shaming could be an effective strategy for those opposed because shaming tends to erode the status that trophy hunters seek.

Why Do Dogs React to Cats?

Is it the sight of the cat, the sound of a cat, or the smell of a cat that excites dogs the most? The answer might surprise you.

Animals Need More Freedom, Not Bigger Cages

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 28, 2017 in Animal Emotions
As the late Tom Regan stressed, "...the only adequate moral response to vivisection is empty cages, not larger cages." Animals in all human dominated venues need more freedom.

Does Fixing Pets Need Fixing?

A new book on the ethics of keeping companion animals raises many hitherto undebated issues.

The Inner Life of Cats Reveals Fascinating Feline Secrets

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 28, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new book called The Inner Life of Cats blends science and stories and shows that these fascinating, mysterious animals are sentient individuals who are loving and social beings.

The Animals' Agenda: An interview About Animal Well-Being

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 25, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new book titled "The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age" argues animal welfare needs to be replaced with the science of animal well-being.

How Much Solidarity Do You Feel With Animals?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in Animals and Us
A new scale helps researchers study why some people identify with animals and others despise them.

Pets of the Homeless: Attachment Figures and Social Support

By Zazie Todd Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in Fellow Creatures
Why do homeless people have pets? It turns out that homeless youth with pets are less depressed and lonely than those without, but pets bring disadvantages too.

Bowsers on Botox: Dogs Get Eye Lifts, Tummy Tucks, and More

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Just when you think you've heard it all, we learn dogs get face lifts, lip tucks, and testicular implants as part of a thriving industry to make them more lovable and cuddly.

Why Would a Chimpanzee Use a Tool to Clean a Corpse's Teeth?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 18, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A novel observation of a female chimpanzee cleaning a corpse's teeth raises many fascinating questions. This discovery forces us to consider what other animals know about death.

Not Just Walking the Dog

A new study help us see what dog walking reveals about human-animal relationships and negotiations of power.

Dog Owners Are Wrong About the Health Benefits of Raw Diets

Despite dog owners' beliefs that raw animal product dog foods are healthier data suggests that they are unsafe.