Elk And German Shepherd Play ‘Tag’ On Different Sides Of The Fence

Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet – and nobody embodies this philosophy better than a dog. Our pets are incredibly amiable, and they mix well with others. You can put a dog into any situation, and they will come out with a new BFF. 

The staff working for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife are often subject to nature scenes playing out all around them. But there was one in particular that really touched their hearts as it has been going on for several years. Every year, there is a herd of elk that passes through. One of the park’s officer’s dog, Trygge, has become friends with one of the elk.

It has turned into a friendship that results in a friendly game of tag every year that they see one another. The staff have been quite taken by the way that the German Shepherd and the giant bull elk interact with one another. They’ve never shown aggression towards one another, just a mutual respect and a joy at seeing one another. 

Watch them below:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=cesarmillan&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1204464563942412288&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cesarsway.com%2Felk-and-german-shepherd-play-tag-on-different-sides-of-the-fence%2F&siteScreenName=cesarmillan&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

Huge black bear spotted relaxing in a pool is one big summer mood

By Lauren M. Johnson, CNN

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/25/us/huge-black-bear-in-pool-trnd/index.html

Updated 2:10 PM ET, Sat July 25, 2020A large black bear wandered into Regina Keller's yard and decided to stay awhile. A large black bear wandered into Regina Keller’s yard and decided to stay awhile.

(CNN)A woman in Virginia was delighted when a large black bear decided to take a nap in a kiddie pool she had in her backyard.Regina Keller, no stranger to bears, has been taking pictures of the wildlife in her backyard for 12 years.Her home is remote and backs up to the George Washington National Forest in Fort Valley, Virginia, so she is used to a variety of furry visitors including deer, bears, foxes, and squirrels.On July 19, she was watering her flowers when a large male bear wandered into her yard.

Do Animals Think or Feel?

Research shows cows are bright and emotional and pigs are intelligent, emotional, and cognitively complex

“…the question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being?” —Jeremy Bentham

An email about a report called OFA [Ontario Federation of Agriculture] submission to the Standing Committee on General Government regarding the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act (Bill 156), which contained a quotation emphatically stating, “We simply do not know if animals are capable of reasoning and cognitive thought,” shocked me. I immediately read through the report and lo and behold, the authors did make this unscientific and ludicrous claim. And, not surprisingly, there isn’t a single citation in the entire in-house report.

Here is the full quotation, because I don’t want people to think I’m fabricating what these thoroughly uninformed people wrote.

“The concept of ‘sentient beings’ refers to beings with the power to reason and think. The term also implies beings with an awareness of their surroundings who respond to sensations, have cognitive thoughts and have the capacity to perceive and experience life subjectively. Feeling is a subjective state, available only to the animal feeling it. As animals and humans are built and function differently, it is unfair to automatically attribute the sensations experienced by humans to be the same as those experienced by animals. Humans have the ability to communicate their experiences, and what they feel. Since animals cannot communicate with us, there’s a huge assumption by animal activists that animals have emotional responses and the ability to reason and think, in the same way that humans do. We simply do not know if animals are capable of reasoning and cognitive thought, therefore we cannot attribute human qualities of reasoning and cognitive thought on animals as the activists would like.” (My emphasis) —OFA [Ontario Federation of Agriculture] submission to the Standing Committee on General Government regarding the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act (Bill 156)

When I read this, I was shocked. It’s clearly anti-science given what we know about the cognitive and emotional lives of numerous diverse nonhuman animals (animals), including so-called “food animals.”And it’s also extremely misleading because humans shouldn’t be the templates against which nonhumans should be measured. Few people criticize studies of animal cognition and emotions because nonhumans don’t resemble or equal humans. There’s no reason they should.

People who know anything about the field of cognitive ethology (the comparative study of animal minds and what’s in them) pay careful attention to what other animals know and feel, capacities and adaptations that allow them to be card-carrying members of their speciesnot ours (or that of other nonhumans). Intelligence is a slippery concept and should not be used to assess suffering. Asking if chickens suffer less than pigs, or if pigs are as smart as dogs, is meaningless and idle speciesism.

In addition, the way in which people treat or mistreat other animals and how they feel about it isn’t a matter of how smart they are. Rather, nonhumans are sentient beings, and it’s a matter of how they suffer, not if they suffer. So-called dumb animals experience deep and prolonged suffering, and, in fact, they’re not really dumb!

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture claims we don’t know if nonhumans think, so therefore they don’t. Both are anti-science, defy reality, and are inane. Animal sentience and animal emotions matter very much; animal sentience is not science fiction, and the life of every single individual matters because they’re alive and have intrinsic or inherent value. They don’t matter because of what’s called their instrumental value—what they can do for us.

I wanted to know more about what was happening on the ground in Ontario, so I contacted Camille Labchuk, a lawyer and the Executive Director of Animal Justice. Here’s some of what she wrote. The Canadian province of Ontario is currently trying to ram through an ag-gag law in the midst of a pandemic. The bill would outlaw whistleblower exposés on farms and in slaughterhouses, and is fiercely opposed by animal advocacy organizations, consumer protection groups, civil libertarians, and journalists. Instead of acknowledging their own wrongdoing, the response from the powerful farming industry has been to lobby for so-called ag-gag laws that make it illegal to film and expose cruelty in the first place. The legislative hearings on Ontario’s ag-gag bill have given us a rare glimpse of the utter indifference that many farmers still have for animal suffering, and indeed their denial of basic science about the emotional and cognitive abilities of animals.

Canada unfortunately has some of the worst animal protection laws in the Western world, and Ontario’s ag-gag bill is about to make a bad situation far worse. Governments do not regulate animal welfare conditions on farms, and farmers are typically exempt from general animal cruelty laws. Farmers engage in a variety of standard yet painful practices with impunity, such as slicing off chicken beaks and piglet tails without anesthesia. To make matters worse, there is no public inspection of animal facilities. With no legal standards to enforce, what would be the point? Instead, the farm industry is left to make up its own rules.

Most people have compassion for animals but are often unaware of how badly animals suffer on farms. When they learn the truth, their trust in the farming industry plummets, and they consider dietary changes to avoid contributing to suffering.

Where have all the science and scientists gone? 

As a scientist, I often wonder: Where have all the science and scientists gone, and why hasn’t every scientist spoken out against such trash. Why aren’t they outraged by OFA’s utter nonsense? And the OFA isn’t alone in putting forth such junk. In the United States, laboratory rats and mice and other fully sentient animals aren’t considered to be animals under the guidelines of the Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). No joke. The science that clearly shows these rodents are sentient beings continues to be totally ignored.1,2

To summarize, who (not what) we eat is a moral question and scientists must speak out. Concerning the notion of who we eat, Ms. Labchuk writes, “Of course, considering the ‘who’ is a massive public relations problem for farmers. The meat industry’s business model depends on ignoring their suffering by crowding chickens raised for meat into dark, windowless warehouses; stuffing egg-laying hens into tiny battery cages; and confining mother pigs in gestation crates so small that they can’t even turn around or play with their babies. Animals are trucked to slaughter when their short lives are over. The victims of the meat industry have few opportunities to experience positive emotional states, and experience significant pain and suffering.”

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s conceptualization of the cognitive and emotional lives of clearly sentient beings is pure fiction and should be read as such. Their misguided views support and will continue to perpetuate the extremely cruel and brutal treatment of “food animals” and ignore a wealth of scientific data. It’s high time to bridge the “knowledge translation gap” and use what we know to truly help other animals. The “knowledge translation gap” refers to the practice of ignoring tons of science showing that nonhumans are sentient beings and going ahead and causing intentional harm in human-oriented arenas.

How we treat these and other clearly sentient nonhumans isn’t necessarily a matter of rights. Rather, it’s a matter of decency and depends on using what we know—and have known for a long time—on the animals’ behalf. Indeed, we are obligated to do so.

References

Notes:

1) Here are some essays on the emotional lives of so-called “food animals.”

On World Day for Farmed Animals, Let’s Honor Who They Are.

Going “Cold Tofu” to End Factory Farming.

What Would a Mother “Food” Cow Tell Us About Her Children?

Cows: Science Shows They’re Bright and Emotional Individuals. (A new essay reviews the detailed science that demonstrates bovine sentience.)

Is an Unnamed Cow Less Sentient Than a Named Cow?

The Cow’s Nose Shows How They’re Feeling About Life.

Do Cows Moo “Get me the Hell out of Here” on Factory Farms?

The Emotional Lives of Cows: Ears Tell Us They’re Feeling OK.

Dead Cow Walking: The Case Against Born-Again Carnivorism.

Happy Cows: A Heart-Warming Video Offers an Important Lesson. (Watch rescued cows free to run gallop around with unmistakable joy and glee.)

Babe, Lettuce, and Tomato: Dead Pig Walking.

Pigs Are Intelligent, Emotional, and Cognitively Complex.

Are Pigs as Smart as Dogs and Does It Really Matter? (Intelligence is a slippery concept and should not be used to assess suffering.)

Why Sheep Matter: They’re Intelligent, Emotional, and Unique.

Sheep Discriminate Faces, So What’s In It For the Sheep?

The Rich Emotional Lives of Chimpanzees and Goats.

The World According to Intelligent and Emotional Chickens.

The Thanksgiving Day Massacre: A House of Horrors.

2) In the 2002 iteration of the United States Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) we read, “Enacted January 23, 2002, Title X, Subtitle D of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act, changed the definition of ‘animal’ in the Animal Welfare Act, specifically excluding birds, rats of the genus Rattus, and mice of the genus Mus, bred for use in research.

‘Grieving’ ponies keep all-night roadside vigil after herd member killed by motorist

Mother and half-sister of animal ‘definitely showing signs of distress’

A herd of ponies look on after a member was killed by a passing car

A herd of ponies look on after a member was killed by a passing car ( Facebook/Sarah Simmons )

A herd of “grieving” ponies appeared to keep an all-night roadside vigil after one of their family members was killed by a motorist.

Sarah Simmons shared an image of the scene on social media in a bid to urge drivers to slow down in the New Forest, where ponies are allowed to roam freely.

“Broke my heart this morning seeing another pony killed on the Forest Road. Even more that her friends were looking on,” Ms Simmons wrote.

“In this case, Hazelhill’s mother and stepsister stood especially close vigil, and that makes sense as they were quite likely to have been emotionally close to Hazelhill.”

Hazelhill Scrap the pony was killed after being clipped by a passing motorist (Cathy Stride)

She added: “Horses feel deeply – joy as well as grief – and they think about their lives.”

The nine-year-old pony, which died from internal injuries and a broken leg, was Ms Stride’s third to be killed on the same stretch of road. She said it would have taken around 20 minutes to die.

“I don’t know what the answer is apart from to keep trying to educate the drivers,” Ms Stride said, adding: “They do grieve, and maybe that might make the drivers think.”

Ms Simmons, whose post has been shared thousands of times, wrote: “I hope by posting this it may make people realise that it’s not just the owner who it upsets but their herd members too.

“Slow down day/night on forest roads, these ponies have more rights to these roads than you do.”

Study Finds that Cows Talk and Show Compassion Just Like Humans

STUDY FINDS THAT COWS TALK AND SHOW COMPASSION JUST LIKE HUMANS

cows talk

When we think of compassionate, intelligent creatures, cows normally don’t come to mind.

However, cows actually communicate how they feel to one another through their moos, according to a new study. The animals have individual vocal characteristics and change their pitch based on the emotion they’re feeling, according to research at the University of Sydney.

Alexandra Green, a Ph.D. student at the university and the study’s lead author, said:

“Cows are gregarious, social animals. In one sense it isn’t surprising they assert their individual identity throughout their life.”

She said it’s the first time they’ve been able to study voices to obtain evidence of this trait.

THE STUDIES ON THE COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN COWS

Studying a herd of 18 Holstein-Friesian heifers over the course of five months, Alexandra found that the cows gave individual voice cues in different positive and negative situations. This behavior helps them communicate with the herd and express excitement, arousal, engagement, or distress.

Talking about the animals she studied, Ms. Green said:

“They have all got very distinct voices. Even without looking at them in the herd, I can tell which one is making a noise just based on her voice.”

She would record and study their “moos” to analyze their moods in various situations within the herd.

“It all relates back to their emotions and what they are feeling at the time,” she said.

adorable photos
Check out these adorable pics of babies and pets.

Previous research has discovered that cow moms and babies use their voices to communicate individuality.

However, this new study shows how cows keep their individual moos throughout their lives, even if they’re talking to themselves. The study found that the animals would speak to each other during mating periods, while waiting for or being denied food, and when being kept separate from one another.

The research analyzed 333 cow vocalizations and has been published in Scientific Reports.

“Ali’s research is truly inspired. It is like she is building a Google translate for cows,” said Cameron Clark, an associate professor at the university.

Ms. Green said she hoped this study would encourage farmers to “tune into the emotional state of their cattle, improving animal welfare.”

cows
Here are 16 vegan tofu recipes to try.

ANIMAL COMMUNICATIONS

Studies have shown that animals communicate with one another in similar ways to humans, taking turns in conversations. This is beneficial in the animal kingdom to communicate needs, such as where food sources are at or if the herd needs to move locations. It can also help animals communicate about an incoming threat so they can respond accordingly.

FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT COWS COMMUNICATING

This research shows that animals are intelligent, sentient beings and deserve our respect. Vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise as people are waking up to how eliminating meat from our diets can positively impact health as well as show compassion to other living beings. Also, cows contribute greatly to greenhouse gas emissions, producing 37% of methane emissions resulting from human activity. One study showed that one cow, on average, produces between 70-120 kg of methane a year.

This is significant because across the globe, there are around 1.5 billion cattle. Many scientists are coming together to talk about how a plant-based diet could greatly help to slow down climate change.

A pigeon that can’t fly befriended a puppy that can’t walk. Yes, it’s as cute as it sounds

Lundy (left) and Herman (right) are friends. Yes, they're a chihuahua and pigeon, respectively, but the species barrier hasn't stopped them from snuggling up at their Rochester, New York, rescue.

(CNN)Meet Herman and Lundy, recent cuddle buddies and rescue animals.

The two are an unlikely pair: Herman, a pigeon, suffered neurological damage more than a year ago. He can’t fly. Little Lundy, a newborn chihuahua puppy, can’t use his back legs.
But stick them together, and the two will snuggle up as though they were members of the same litter — or nest.
The two met through the Mia Foundation, a rescue organization in Rochester, New York, that rehabilitates animals with birth defects and physical deformities. Sue Rogers, the nonprofit’s founder, sends most of her rescues to foster homes around the US but keeps a few of them for school programs about bullying.
Their interspecies friendship has inspired scores of supporters to donate to the foundation. And the animals, Rogers said, make each other better.

Two rough beginnings

Herman was found over a year ago in a car dealership parking lot, where he sat on the pavement, unmoving, for three whole days. Eventually his rescuers realized the poor pigeon couldn’t fly.
Neighboring wildlife rescues said he couldn’t be rehabilitated and would need to be euthanized, so Rogers took care of him herself.
He now rests in a baby crib for some of the day, but she takes him outside daily to stimulate him.
Little Lundy, an infant chihuahua, is a new arrival. His breeders in South Carolina sent him to Rogers because he had trouble using his hind legs, a condition known as swimmers syndrome.
At just 6 ounces, he was small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. Rogers said she suspects Lundy’s difficulty walking is due to damage to his teeny spinal cord.

When Lundy met Herman

The two were bound to meet eventually. Rogers set them together while attending to Lundy and saw the way the two snuggled up almost immediately — Herman didn’t peck, and Lundy didn’t nibble.
Besties!

Rogers snapped some pictures of their cuddles. The “oohs” and “ahhs” followed soon after.
People from every corner of the world flooded Rogers’ inbox with donations, messages of support and, naturally, pleas to adopt Lundy or the other cute pups in her care.
“I was blown away,” she said.
And the donations keep coming — the foundation raised $6,000 in two days, she said. That’s enough to cover the high-end cost of a veterinary surgery that many of her rescue animals require.

Lundy needs to get stronger to be adoptable

Herman will likely stay in Rogers’ care for the rest of his life. She’s hopeful Lundy stays strong and survives.
“With animals born with defects, there’s a chance we could lose them,” she said. “So we don’t want to make anyone really excited. But now I think we’ve gotten a thousand emails asking, ‘Please, don’t ever separate those two!'”
One of Lundy’s rescuers fell in love with him while traveling with him to Rochester, so he may already have a new home lined up. The question, then, is if Herman will ask to tag along too.

MAYBE IT’S TIME TO TAKE ANIMAL FEELINGS SERIOUSLY

Dog with eyes closed in car
This expression is commonly known as ‘having the sh*ts’. Source: Flickr

Many recent studies have confirmed what you always knew: your dog has feelings.

Dogs can read human emotionsSo, it appears, can horses. Whales have regional accents. Ravens have demonstrated that they might be able to guess at the thoughts of other ravens — something scientists call “theory of mind,” which has long been considered a uniquely human ability. All of these findings have been published within the past several weeks, and taken together they suggest that many of the traits and abilities we believe are “uniquely human” are, in fact, not so unique to us.

That statement probably sounds as if it is veering perilously close to anthropomorphism, and if you know anything about research concerning animal behavior, you likely know this: Anthropomorphism is bad. Animals are animals, and people are people; to assume that an elephant, for example, experiences joy in the same way a human does is laughably unscientific. This has been the prevailing mode of thought in this line of scientific inquiry for most of the last century — to staunchly avoid, and even ridicule, any research project that dared to suggest that animals might be thinking or feeling in the same way that humans do.

But new studies like these, along with a slew of recent books by respected biologists and science writers, are seriously considering the inner lives of animals. Now some prominent scientists are arguing that, though the impulse was well-intentioned, decades of knee-jerk avoidance of all things anthropomorphic may have mostly served to hold this field back. “It ruined the field,” biologist and author Carl Safina told Science of Us. “Not just held it back — it’s ruined the field. It prevented people from even asking those questions for about 40 years.”

New studies … are seriously considering the inner lives of animals. Though the impulse was well-intentioned, decades of knee-jerk avoidance of all things anthropomorphic may have mostly served to hold this field back.

The theme of Safina’s book Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel pairs nicely with a forthcoming title from famed primatologist Frans de Waal called Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? Both scientists make the case for something the biologist Gordon Burghardt called “critical anthropomorphism” — using your own human intuition and understanding as a starting point for understanding animal cognition. “Thus, saying that animals ‘plan’ for the future or ‘reconcile’ after fights is more than anthropomorphic language: These terms propose testable ideas,” de Waal writes.

Animal behavioral science began in the 1910s and 1920s by focusing on description in order to combat superstition (cats are not witches’ familiars, tortoises are not especially tenacious, and grasshoppers are not lazy, etc). The problem is that, eventually, “[d]escription — and onlydescription — became ‘the’ science of animal behavior,” Safina writes in his book, which was published last summer. “Wondering what feelings or thoughts might motivate behavioral acts became totally taboo.” Here’s an example Safina uses: A “good” scientist’s notes might say something like, “The elephant positioned herself between her calf and the hyena.” A bad, anthropomorphic-leaning scientist, on the other hand, would observe the same scene and write, “The mother positioned herself to protect her baby from the hyena.” How can the scientist prove what the mother elephant was intending to do? You can’t see a thought; you can’t observe a feeling. Therefore, to presume that animals possessed either of these things was considered unscientific.

Even raising the mere question of animal awareness was once enough to potentially ruin a career. In the 1970s, the biologist Donald Griffin published a book that did almost exactly that: Question of Animal Awareness. Griffin at this point was a well-respected scientist who had recently made the discovery that bats use echolocation, or sonar, to navigate their surroundings. But after the publication of his book, his professional reputation was largely ruined. Even Jane Goodall caught some flak for going so far as to “humanize” her chimp research subjects by giving them names, and as recently as the 1990s, a writer in the prestigious journal Science advised that research concerning animal cognition “isn’t a project I’d recommend to anyone without tenure.”

Even raising the mere question of animal awareness was once enough to potentially ruin a career.

Better data, including advances in neuroimaging technology and videos from scientists doing fieldwork, is now forcing many to reconsider some very basic questions of animal cognition. Today it sometimes seems like barely a week goes by without the publication of some new study that shows evidence of one species or another demonstrating what might’ve once been considered a strictly “human” ability or emotion.

Evidence of empathy, and even comforting behavior, has been observed in a variety of species

A recent study proposed that the humble prairie vole, a rodent found across the United States and Canada, appears to console its fellow vole after mean scientists stress it out by giving it a (small) electric shock.

Behaviors that look a lot like consolation have also been observed in animals known for their sociability, like elephants. When one Asian elephant sees that another elephant is agitated, scientists have observed that the calmer one will respond by touching the distressed animal with its trunk. “I’ve never heard that vocalization when elephants are alone,” Joshua Plotnik, who led the study, told Discovery. “It may be a signal like, ‘Shshh, it’s okay,’ the sort of sounds a human adult might make to reassure a baby.”

Contagious yawning, some scientists argue, is another signal of empathy and has recently been observed and recorded in chimpanzees.

Some research suggests that a few animals have demonstrated signals of self-awareness

The best way scientists currently have of measuring this admittedly abstract concept is the mirror recognition test (though some recent work has called the accuracy of this method into question). This usually involves marking the subject with some kind of conspicuous, but odorless, dye and placing it in front of a mirror. Passing the test involves examining the mark in the mirror, and then examining it on their own body; this suggests that the animal grasps that the reflection is a representation of them. Apes and monkeys seem to be able to figure the game out.

In the early 2000s, a pair of scientists found that bottlenose dolphins could also pass the mirror test with flying colors. In her new book Voices in the Ocean, science writer Susan Casey nods to that study, and notes that, in subsequent years, elephants and magpies have also taken the mirror test and passed. (For context, humans don’t pass this test until they are about two.)

Some animals appear to be capable of understanding the perspective of others 

Beyond the raven’s newly discovered behaviors, there is evidence that scrub jays are able to see the world from another scrub jay’s viewpoint, which helps them hide their food. Male Eurasian jays seem to be able to make a good guess at what sort of food female Eurasian jays might like to eat. “It was long thought that only humans could do this,” University of Cambridge psychologist Nicola Clayton told Wired of the jay research. “What we’ve shown in a series of experiments is that doesn’t seem to be the case.”

To be sure, in an era of viral videos, it’s easy to take this idea —Anthropomorphism is okay now! — and get carried away with it. A perfect recent example is a back-and-forth over a picture of a trio of kangaroos. According to the Facebook caption accompanying the photo, the female had recently died, and the male and baby were “mourning” it. Media outlets took this at face value and ran with it, with headlines like “Dying Kangaroo Mom Spends Last Moment Holding Her Baby.”

And then, as is the circle of life for a viral news story, came the debunkings: The male kangaroo was just trying to have sex with the female, these articles scolded, and to believe any differently was a sign of “naive anthropomorphism.” Safina’s impression of the photo, incidentally, is that there really isn’t much we can tell one way or the other from a still photo. Really, the photo — or, more specifically, the instantly polarized online reactions to the photo — tell us more about ourselves than they do about kangaroo behavior.

“The one thing that is almost never allowed, or never thought of, is that there can be nuance,” Safina said. “There can be a range of emotions that happen in nonhumans, just as there is in humans.” After a human death, for example, the person’s loved ones show a range of emotions — denial, confusion, even some terribly inappropriate laughter. “But with animals everything has to be either/or,” Safina continued. People either want to believe that animals are pure and kindhearted and all-around better than we are — or they want to believe the very opposite, that humans are the most remarkable creatures on Earth, and animal behavior is driven only by instinct. (As if human behavior isn’t, too.)

Rushing to an unsupported conclusion that animals are just like us is bad, biased science. But willfully ignoring evidence of animal behaviors that look suspiciously like human emotions is unscientific and biased, too. “The key point is that anthropomorphism is not always as problematic as people think,” de Waal writes, adding that this is probably particularly true of animals with brains like ours: apes, sure, but even elephants and some marine mammals like dolphins. After all, we’re animals, too.

This week Insight is looking at the emotions of dogs and their human companions. Do they actually love us? | Tuesday 26 April, 8:30pm SBS 

SOURCE SCIENCE OF US

TED Radio hour on Animal Thinking and Emotion

Anthropomorphic

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Anthropomorphic

Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing.

LISTEN TO FULL SHOWPLAYLIST

Mixed Emotions – InstrumentalBmby

Human BehaviorRon Locurto

Wild Wild LifeTalking Heads

Animals Are Becoming Nocturnal To Avoid Interacting With Humans

BY 

https://www.greenmatters.com/news/2018/06/18/ZiFOnK/animals-nocturnal-interference?fbclid=IwAR30NLVgFn09EaK1ViaesbwsB6MQ8-pXYzJG3mjjTOZtPQZxGnQKlTm8-8A

On Thursday, ecologists at the University of California, Berkeley, released a study published in Science Magazine that indicates animals are adjusting their habits to avoid the stresses of human encroachment on their habitat.

According to the research from Kaitlyn M. Gaynor, Cheryl E. Hojnowski, Neil H. Carter, and Justin S. Brashares, human population growth is having a profound influence on the way animals go about their business—specifically, when they choose to go about their business.

It seems that a number of mammalian species have become nocturnal in an effort to avoid us.

Scientists admit that this probably works for the animals, but could have potential “ecosystem-level consequences” we don’t yet fully understand.

It’s been acknowledged in the past that mammals have been adjusting to the presence of humans by moving less, retreating to remote areas, and spending less time looking for food, according to Phys.org, who spoke with Gaynor, the leader of the study. All these altered behaviors contribute to overall stress in the animals.

Gaynor’s study indicates that even things like camping and hiking could be having a negative effect on wildlife.

“It suggests that animals might be playing it safe around people,” said Gaynor. “We may think that we leave no trace when we’re just hiking in the woods, but our mere presence can have lasting consequences.”

The research was a cumulative meta-analysis of 76 studies of 62 species from six continents. That analysis revealed an increase in the nocturnality of animals in response to disturbance from humans by an average factor of 1.36.

It didn’t matter what continent they looked at, the findings were fairly consistent across species, habitats, and the activities of humans in the area, from hunting to farming.

While this shows remarkable adaptability in the animals, scientists warn “such responses can result in marked shifts away from natural patterns of activity, with consequences for fitness, population persistence, community interactions, and evolution.”

Some of the animals in the study included Tanzanian lions, otters in Brazil, coyotes in California, wild boars in Poland, and tigers in Nepal, showing a remarkable diversity of animal behavior changing across environment and species.

But it’s not necessarily all bad. There are animals that can be suited to life as night owls.

“Humans can do their thing during the day; wildlife can do their thing at night,” added Gaynor.

This would allow humans to share the environment with “many other species that are just taking the night shift while we’re sleeping.”

The comprehensiveness of the data is remarkable to other scientists, as this sort of information hasn’t been so exhaustively compiled before. Ecologist Marlee Tucker of Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany, helped with some aspects of the study, and remarked how it changed her perspective on the effect humans have on other living creatures.

“It’s a little bit scary,” she said. “Even if people think that we’re not deliberately trying to impact animals, we probably are without knowing it.”