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.
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.