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Bonobos Find Their Inner Martha Stewart

Written by Michelle Kretzer | January 6, 2012

Bananas? We don’t need no stinkin’ bananas. At least Kanzi the bonobo doesn’t. He taught himself how to make fire and cook food.

Chimpanzees have their own emergency broadcast system. They use special sounds to warn their unaware friends about danger, but they don’t send out a warning when the other chimpanzees already see it. This turns the belief that only humans recognize that others are not informed on its head.


Shiny Things | cc by 2.0

Clever pigeons are once again showing why “birdbrain” is a compliment. The birds are proving that they can count by putting groups of items in order by quantity.

We all read City Mouse, Country Mouse, but what about city bird, country bird? When flirting, urban birds adjust their voices to be heard over the din of the city, so they sing differently from their country cousins.

Deer and cows certainly aren’t cousins, but they can become best friends. When a cow named Wanda escaped from a farm, she eluded capture for five months, living with a herd of deer who would stomp on the ground to let Wanda know that their acute senses detected people approaching. Wanda now has a home on a farm and is not in danger of being slaughtered.

Of course, for a best friend whose loyalty is unmatched, one need look no further than a dog. A Russian dog stood guard over the body of his deceased canine companion for two weeks in temperatures of negative-58 degrees Fahrenheit. Animal advocates caught him and took him to a local animal shelter, where he will stay while they search for a permanent home.

For more amazing animal stories, check out an article on the new book Animal Tool Behavior.

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  • Lucille Pilkington says:

    Every animal on earth has its own intelligence, superbly adapted to its habitat. Unless we are zoologists we can hardly realize the scope of its intelligence or its subtly. Because of our limited imagination and knowledge of the marvels of the animal world we should humbled and respectful of all animals, even those we hate or fear. We can learn from all animals, and should do everything in our power to respect and defend them. Anyone with an iota of humility toward the natural world — its beauty and its marvels — will deplore such things as factory farms, animal testing, fur farms, circuses, rodeos. One doesn’t need PETA to explain why! However, most people have many years of social conditioning that excuses such horrors with evasions, complacency, apathy, lies and cynicism — and they all take their toll. Do we really want to live in a world without animals. The planet earth is headed in that direction unless we change our ways. Does one persons actions matter? YES. If we all do the best we can to withdraw from the “consumption” of animal food and animal “products” the ruthless and brutal production of these products will wither up.

  • Toby says:

    Deer & cows are distant cousins though: closer cousins than deer & pine tress, more distant cousins than chimps & humans. Every organism on Earth is family: scientific fun fact!

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