Created in His/Her Image … Noodly Apendages and all

August 17, 2015

Is the intelligence and complexity of the members of the cuttlefish family (octopi, squid, cuttlefish) proof of the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?


But, it sounded like a good introduction to a highly interesting article about the complexity of the octopus genome, the mapping of it, and the intelligence of this family of creatures.


Decoded octopus genome reveals secrets to complex intelligence

Farms No Longer Exist

January 10, 2015

How much more would you pay for humanely raised and treated meat?

(Sorry ECA, this is the sad state of farming today.)

Found on UpWorthy.

Real Life Dr. Doolittle? At What Level Can Humans and Animals Communicate?

December 22, 2013

I have aspects of this on which I am skeptical. So, please don’t take this video as something I believe 100%. That said, it is quite impressive. To avoid any chance of spoiling the video, I will reserve any comments I have until at least some of my regular readers have viewed the video. I am very curious to hear your opinions.

Prairie Dog Squeak Equals Human Sentence

May 19, 2013

I must say that I find it quite incredible that inside the very short squeak of a prairie dog is a complete sentence of the form “Danger, a thin human in a yellow shirt is approaching the colony.”

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God Goes on a Bender

October 3, 2012

From the description on Amazon, this sounds as plausible as most mainstream religion and more plausible than some newer ones like Mormonism and Scientology. I probably won’t read this, but do find the description funny. Perhaps if I end up with a bit of extra time on my hands and need a good laugh, I’ll give it a try.

God Goes on a Bender

8 Animal Misconceptions

February 15, 2012

I love the somewhat misanthropic tone of this as well as the obvious corrections on these misconceptions.

2 things I’d add:

1. Lemmings often over breed in good years only to be followed by very successful predator breeding as they feast on the lemmings, making it appear that the lemmings died en masse and possibly creating the myth about them.

2. Dodos did not die because of their behavior but rather because of ours. We humans killed them all.


August 30, 2010

Here’s an interesting brief article with video on the intelligence of the kea, the mountain parrot of New Zealand. When I was there, I had a ball watching these birds. They play like kittens. The video is quite cool, and is narrated by David Attenborough. It’s just under 10 minutes and well worth it. Apparently, their intelligence may rival monkeys.

Smart Parrot Gets Smarter

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Octopus Builds a House

January 12, 2010

In another wonderful example of animal intelligence, this video shows an octopus deliberately collecting two coconut shell halves and making a spherical home for protection/hiding.

The video and full article on the subject can be found on the site for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Aussie scientists find coconut-carrying octopus

New York: Our bears are smarter than your bears … and some hikers

July 26, 2009

Bear-Proof Can Is Pop-Top Picnic for a Crafty Thief

This is very cool, IMNSHO. I like that Yellow Yellow can open a canister with which some hikers struggle. I also found the possibility of some level of teaching of other bears to be fascinating. I love this stuff!

I am glad that they are not talking about harming or removing this non-aggressive bear. I hope that someone will realize that the right solution is probably to put permanent truly bear-proof steel structures at the documented camp sites in the Adirondacks. Perhaps I’ll send email to the Adirondack Council.

Thanks rit.

Orangutans Join the Ranks of Apes With Medical Knowledge

August 24, 2008

I’m probably a month late and thirty dollars short on this one. However, last month, an article in New Scientist detailed the observation of orangutans self-medicating with an anti-inflammatory topical balm. The observation of rubbing an ointment into the fur is also a newly documented type of self-medication for any non-human ape. I love this type of information. It shows once again that the vast majority of differences between humans and other animals are differences in magnitude, not in kind.

Wild orangutans treat pain with natural anti-inflammatory

More Evidence of Surprisingly High Non-Human Animal Intelligence

March 4, 2008

When people think of highly intelligent animals, most think of primates, dolphins, and possibly elephants. Some will add parrots and members of the crow family, but only if they’ve read quite a bit on the subject. Most of us also sort of intuitively get that most predators are smarter than most herbivores, despite exceptions like elephants.

However, even though I have read quite a bit about animal intelligence, I was still surprised by the level of intelligence, especially social intelligence, being shown by spotted hyenas.

Hyenas — Sociable and Smart

I hope this will also provide yet another bit of strong evidence for our moral responsibility toward the other intelligences with whom we share this beautiful and unusual planet. Please see my Moral Considerability post for a further and ongoing discussion of interspecies morality.