Crows Go Into the Used Car Parts Business

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

Are crows into Grand Theft Auto? These brainy birds steal windshield wiper blades for reasons known only to themselves, although having fun with them might be the answer.

Ravens seem more interested in studying sign language. Like primates and humans, the birds use gestures to communicate—in this case, pointing with their beaks.

SteveD | cc by 2.0

Octopuses have bird brains (read “big brains”) too. Some octopuses in captivity make toys and games out of items in their tanks. Some let the people they like stroke their heads, while a person on an octopus’s bad side may get squirted.

Fish enjoy the calming effects of touch, too, but not from people. They will allow small fish who work as full-time cleaners to nibble at their scales even when they don’t have parasites because they like the gentle massage.

Dogs, of course, love affection from people, and their devotion to their guardians doesn’t usually fade when that guardian passes away. A faithful dog in China refuses to leave his guardian’s grave, and the townspeople plan to build a doghouse there for the grieving canine.

After being stolen from his home, held for five years, and then apparently dumped after he developed a medical problem, a precocious pup who loves to travel hopped on a bus. When he was spotted by the driver and taken to a vet, his microchip guaranteed that the next trip he took was back home to his family.

Another clever canine is a hero after she grabbed a bag of kittens someone had tossed onto the highway, pulled it off the road, dragged it home, and cried until her guardian opened it.

Resourceful deer, raccoons, blue herons, and other animals have figured out how to safely cross the road (without instructions from chickens).

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind