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Tag archives for animal behavior

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.

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.

Equine Emotions in “War Horse”

The plot of the new movie War Horse is driven by the deep, powerful bond between a boy named Albert and his horse, Joey, who both end up serving in World War I. Watching it made us wonder: What do we really know about horses’ emotions? Carissa Wickens, an assistant professor in equine science at the University of Delaware, provides answers…

Cat Fight? Try Guppy Fight

It doesn’t matter what your species is: the opposite sex causes you nothing but trouble. Scientists at the University of Exeter found that female guppies are more likely to fight with each other if a male is present.

Why ‘The Zookeeper’ Shouldn’t Listen to Animal Advice About Love

In the new film Zookeeper, Kevin James stars as a bumbling zookeeper who seeks relationship advice from his closest friends—the animals. Different animals at the zoo take turns giving their view on how to get the girl. But do these cinematic animals know what they’re talking about? We talked to biologists to get the truth about animal mating. Here’s a look at the animals’ advice in the movie, and whether or not it holds up:

Cat Hugging Kitten Video: What’s Really Going On?

This brief, adorable home video of a sleeping kitten and its mother has gone viral in the past week, attracting more than 18 million views on YouTube. One version is titled “Cat Hugs Baby Kitten Having Nightmare.” To find out if feline science backs up that anthropomorphic explanation, we talked to Dr. Nicholas Dodman, director of the animal behavior clinic at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine…