Cute raccoon

How Environment Influences Animal Intelligence

Depending on the characteristics of the environment it lives in, an animal species may develop a wide range of physical adaptations to help it survive there. But mental adaptations can occur as well, sometimes sparking the […]

Small Falcon Predator

Ruthless Raptors Use Fire, Prisons & Mind Games

Predatory birds have been making the headlines lately with hunting tactics that seem downright villainous – and eerily human. Raptors have been spotted playing mind games with their prey, imprisoning them, and even setting fires to drive their prey out from cover. […]

primate personalities

Primate Personalities

People who keep animals as pets will often talk about their pet’s personality – identifiable traits that appear to be displayed in a consistent manner across contexts and time. Although it was once considered anthropomorphic to talk about nonhuman animals as having a ‘personality’, today, studies dispute this view, with many researchers […]

Rattlesnake Close Up

Rattlesnakes are Surprisingly Social Animals

Melissa Amarello is one of the founders of Advocates for Snake Preservation, an organization committed to improving human tolerance of snakes and our peaceful coexistence with them. She studies their unique behaviors and mysterious social lives. Q: Your research focuses on the social behaviors of snakes. Few […]

Spear-Hunting Chimps

Spear-Hunting Chimps

Fashioning spears and wielding them to hunt – these sound like typical activities of our human ancestors. But the surprising fact is that not only are tool-use and tool-building carried out by other animal species, they’re done in the context of hunting as well. Chimpanzees in the Fongoli savanna of Senegal have been observed

Lizards are Flexible Problem-Solvers

Research has revealed that lizards are surprisingly adept at solving novel problems, and in some tests, perform better than other animal species that are thought to be more cognitively advanced. The study was done at Duke University by biologists Manuel S. Leal and Brian J. Powell. After seeing an experiment […]

Shocked cat

The Animals that Love Doing Drugs

Since time immemorial, humans have amused themselves through intoxication. Whether it was our cavemen ancestors chewing on hallucinogenic plants, medieval villagers unwinding with a cup of mead, or the hippies of the 60’s indulging in psychedelics, it’s safe to say that drug use is one of our oldest pastimes. However, humans […]

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