DailyDirt: Learning About Our Pets
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
People love their pets, but sometimes pet behavior is hard to understand. Sure, there are technologies like Bowlingual and Meowlingual to help us understand cats and dogs, but automated translations are notoriously imperfect. So here are just a few interesting links on studying domesticated animals.
- A study from the University of Georgia tracked the behavior of 60 outdoor cats with video cameras. Over 2,000 hours of video show how cats
eat lasagna and make snide remarks about their ownershunt for neighborhood rodents and birds. [url]
- An expert on canine genetics discusses how the dog genome has affected research since its first publication 6 years ago. Researchers can compare different dog breeds on a genetic level and show that man’s best friends are all descendants of grey wolves. [url]
- Domestication is usually a human-lead process of taming wild animals, but some animals seem to be getting kinder and gentler all on their own. Aggression is somewhat costly behavior in nature, and under certain conditions, more peaceful species can evolve. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.
Filed Under: animal, behavior, biology, bowlingual, cats, dogs, domestication, meowlingual, pets
Comments on “DailyDirt: Learning About Our Pets”
Must link to Pixar's Up
mandatory YouTube link for this:
From a scientific viewpoint, an experiment in Russia that has spaned many decades provides insight into to process of domestication and physical changes that occur as domestication takes hold. A very informative video concerning this experiment can be found at:
There is an interesting set of experiments run out of Siberia that looked at selective breeding for tameness and aggression. The first was an attempt to tame Silver foxes. In just a few generations they were able to get animals that show very little fear of humans and crave contact with people. A side effect of the process is that many of the animals started showing up with curly tails and blotched patterns. It appears that these traits are linked to the genetic variants that make a creature less fearful and aggressive. If you have a few grand for shipping and customs clearance they are selling some of the animals as pets to try to fund continuation of these experiments. Another interesting experiment involved breeding both ultra-tame, and hyper-aggressive rats. The aggressive rats can only be handled wearing thick gloves, while the tame ones again crave affection. Both very cool experiments that show that the taming process does not have to happen over hundreds or thousands of years.
Tame Foxes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L58NPPQ5eI
Rat Experiment: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/08/beyond-room-101-the-hyperaggre.html
The domestication of foxes experiment is pretty cool… and reminds me of the Savannah cat breed:
Savannah cat is the name given to the offspring of a domestic cat and a serval?a medium-sized, large-eared wild African cat. The unusual cross became popular among breeders at the end of the 20th century, and in 2001 the International Cat Association accepted it as a new registered breed. Savannahs are much more social than typical domestic cats, and they are often compared to dogs in their loyalty. They can be trained to walk on a leash and even taught to play fetch.
Re: Re: Re:
Oh I love the Savanah. If they hiss at you it means they like you. The wild part in them causes them mostly to hiss when they are startled but generally like you. They can jump up to 12 feet in the air from a stand still.
Although my cat Lady Boo (Kentucky Parlor Panther/Bombay) could jump 6 feet on a stand still at 4 weeks.
And it seems that great minds think alike…
Oh the hunting habits of a cat ^_^ My mother told me an interesting story from her days in Nursing School:
“I had this cat named Putty. My room mate and I had an appartment off campus and were living next to a corn field. For the first few months I kept coming home to these pink worms on my kitchen floor in front of my stove. Couldn’t figure it out for months until one day I came home with a half eaten field mouse at my door.”
Needless to say, cats love bringing home trophies to those they care about 🙂
On the subject of trophies, my wife and I frequently throw a toy mouse out for my cat and she brings it back for more. Of course, she plays with it until it’s “dead” and then saunters back with it in her mouth and tail up.
Re: Needless to say, cats love bringing home trophies to those they care about :-)
No, it?s just that they get enough to eat, but no amount of food can suppress their hunting instinct. So they still have to kill things, even though they have no appetite for eating them.
Re: Re: Needless to say, cats love bringing home trophies to those they care about :-)
Hence the reason we the owners of such felines get “trophies” from them. Case in point: my wife’s cat when she was growing up. He curled up with her in her bed and she started petting what she thought was her cat. The next morning she found a dead squirrel where she thought she was petting the cat.
You don’t want to know more about your pets than is required to take care of them.
For instance, my cat wants to kill all jews and my dog is a pimp with 324524 bitches working for him.
i had a cat that ate spaghetti he died from cancer but if i had the chance i would of tried giving him a plate of lasagna