by Ian Lecklitner  Advice from a neuroscientist who studies the canine brain, an author who writes about how dogs see the world, a world-renowned dog trainer and a dog yoga teacher Parenting a pet, no matter what kind, can be a frustrating and bewildering experience. Animals can’t tell you what they want and need (directly, at least), so we’re here to help you answer any questions you have about your favorite companion — whether they be furry, slimy, feathered, scaly or anything in between — with insight from the experts. This is “Basic Bitch,” an advice column for pet parents … Continue reading LIKE, WHAT DO DOGS THINK HUMANS ARE, MAN?

Book Review: Exploring the Biology of Friendship

In her new book, Lydia Denworth argues that friendship has a direct bearing on our mental and physical health. BY ELIZABETH SVOBODA ON THE PUERTO RICAN island of Cayo Santiago, it’s the monkeys, not the humans, who are in charge. Yet this palm-fringed haven — home to about 1,000 rhesus macaques—can feel strangely similar to a weekend watering hole or middle-school cafeteria. Among these gregarious macaques, cliques, best-friend pairs, and social climbers are all much in evidence, giving scientists a close look at the primate origins of our drive to affiliate. As science journalist Lydia Denworth visited places like Cayo, she grew … Continue reading Book Review: Exploring the Biology of Friendship

All we owe to animals

It is not enough to conserve species and ecosystems. We have an ethical duty to care for each individual animal on earth Jeff Sebo is a clinical assistant professor of environmental studies, affiliated professor of bioethics, medical ethics and philosophy, and director of the Animal Studies MA Program at New York University. He is co-author of Chimpanzee Rights (Routledge, 2018) and Food, Animals, and the Environment (Routledge, 2018). Edited by Pam Weintraub At the time of writing, Australia is on fire. The fires have killed at least 25 humans and more than a billion animals. Animals such as koalas are especially at risk, since their … Continue reading All we owe to animals

The Brain Cells That Guide Animals

New evidence the neural rules of navigation are universal. BY ADITHYA RAJAGOPALAN It may seem absurd to compare a tiny fruit fly’s brain to that of a majestic elephant. Yet it is the dream of many neuroscientists to find deep rules that very different brains share. As Gilles Laurent, a neuroscientist at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany, who has studied a variety of animals, from locusts to turtles, has said, “Neural responses can be described by the same mathematical operation … in completely different systems.” Vivek Jayaraman, a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research … Continue reading The Brain Cells That Guide Animals

Courageous Border Collie Leads 900 Sheep to Safety During Australian Bushfires

By Jessica Stewart  When tragedy strikes, communities pull together and this is exactly what has been happening across Australia due to the devastating bushfires. Among some of the biggest heroes, particularly when it comes to protecting and rescuing animals, have been some incredible working dogs. Now, a new story is emerging about Patsy, a 6-year-old border collie and kelpie mix who was essential in helping save her owner’s farm and livestock. Collies are known for their incredible drive and work ethic, which is being put to good use in this urgent time of devastation. Just like Bear (another border collie mix who has helped … Continue reading Courageous Border Collie Leads 900 Sheep to Safety During Australian Bushfires

Canine exceptionalism

Trainers working with dogs every day have documented extraordinary talents and skills. Will science ever catch up? Jessica Hekman is a postdoctoral associate at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. She is interested in the genetics of canine behaviour, and writes a blog called The Dog Zombie.  Edited by Pam Weintraub Iam a dog-training geek. Much of my life revolves around training dogs, taking training classes, and listening to dog-sports webinars. Although my dogs share my house, my hobbies and my couch, as a veterinarian who studies canine behaviour, I’m appalled by how little I or … Continue reading Canine exceptionalism


by John Vibes, Truth Theory Waking Times According to a new study published on Tuesday in Frontiers in Marine Science, manta rays and whale sharks in Indonesia are consuming between 63 and 137 pieces of plastic pollution per hour. A team of scientists from Marine Megafauna Foundation and Murdoch University, determined this number by collecting and counting plastic waste fragments in the water around reefs across Indonesia, where whale sharks and mantas are known to feed. Then they took their samples back to the lab to find out how much plastic pollution was in these feeding areas. Marine biologist Elitza Germanov, who … Continue reading STUDY ESTIMATES SHARKS AND MANTA RAYS CONSUMING UP TO 137 PLASTIC PIECES PER HOUR