Fear of Humans Is Making Animals Around the World Go Nocturnal

Red fox scavenging in London at nightJAMIE HALL Even non-threatening activities like hiking are changing creatures’ sleep cycles. by MICHELLE NIJHUIS In 2011, the wildlife biologist Justin Brashares and his students set up a series of camera traps in and around Ruaha National Park in southern Tanzania. They were studying the effects of human activities on antelope reproduction, but their cameras soon revealed an odd and far more obvious pattern. While the antelope inside the park were active during the day, those outside the park, closer to human settlements, were active primarily at night—even though lions, which prey on antelope … Continue reading Fear of Humans Is Making Animals Around the World Go Nocturnal

How Much Pain Should Animals Endure for Science?

NATHAN BENN / GETTY Animal suffering is incredibly difficult to measure. So is whether or not it actually benefits research. by INGFEI CHEN Each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, roughly 820,800 guinea pigs, dogs, cats, and other animals covered by the Animal Welfare Act are used in research in the United States; of those, about 71,370 are subjected to unalleviated pain. These stats don’t track the millions of mice and rats that are used in lab experiments and excluded from the animal protection law (although the rodents are covered by other federal regulations). Scientists and their institutions say they’re … Continue reading How Much Pain Should Animals Endure for Science?

Life, Death, and Reincarnation as a Dove

image edited by Fernando Kaskais Video by Xavier Marrades When filmmaker Xavier Marrades discovered that his distant relative, Ramon, was closely bonded with an unusual animal, Marrades knew he had to meet him. “My mum showed me a picture of them together and it was quite unbelievable,” Marrades told The Atlantic. “A couple of months later, when I had established trust between me and Ramon, I asked him if he would be okay if I shot [a film] with him and his pet dove, Cucli.” Over the course of four weekends, Marrades filmed Cucli, an exquisite short documentary about love, loss, acceptance, and … Continue reading Life, Death, and Reincarnation as a Dove

Octopuses are officially the weirdest animals on Earth

image edited by Fernando Kaskais //content.jwplatform.com/players/pk7COT5l-puACk8ZV.html By David Anderson and Abby Tang Octopuses have blue blood, can change colors, and regrow their tentacles. But what really makes them stand out is even weirder: they can edit their own RNA. Following is a transcript of the video. Octopuses are the weirdest animal on earth. I know what you’re thinking… Is it because they have three hearts? Blue blood? That they can regrow their limbs? Or how they’re known to use tools? Or change colors whenever they want? And of course, all that is cool, but it’s just the beginning. Turns out, octopuses — … Continue reading Octopuses are officially the weirdest animals on Earth


by Anna Hunt, Staff Writer Waking Times New research shows that children raised around animals and dusty, bacteria-filled environments grow up to be more resilient to stress. When the immune system responds effectively to stress, the result is a decreased risk of mental illness. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal published the findings from this research. Sterile Environment Isn’t Necessarily Healthy Researchers from the University of Ulm in Germany and the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) examined if overly-sterile environments can result in health problems. Professor Stefan Reber led the study at University of Ulm. His team recruited 40 German men, ages … Continue reading A PET-FREE, CITY UPBRINGING MAY BE HARMFUL TO CHILDREN’S HEALTH

Die like a dog

Cris Cristofaro holds his dog Dino as his beloved pet is sedated during an in-home euthanasia on 9 May 2012 in New York City. Photo by John Moore/Getty Pet dogs often have a peaceful death that forestalls protracted suffering and pain. Why can’t we do the same for humans? BY Joseph Pierre is a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles and chief of the Hospital Psychiatry Division at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. He writes the Psych Unseen blog for Psychology Today. Edited by Pam Weintraub I killed my dog last year. Mika was a shelter mutt, so … Continue reading Die like a dog

A pet’s death can hurt more than losing a fellow human

Deciding when to take a suffering pet to be put down can leave owner’s with a lot of guilt. Deposit Photos Social norms are wrecking your grief experience. By Dyani Sabin The perfect coffin for a gerbil is a Celestial Seasonings tea box. With the tea bags removed, the white wax-paper bag inside is the ideal size funeral shroud for a tiny body. This unfortunate factoid, like much of the information about how to dispose of a beloved pet’s body, comes from personal experience. I buried four gerbils in my backyard as a child, complete with incense on their graves and … Continue reading A pet’s death can hurt more than losing a fellow human