from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Animal behavior is getting more and more attention as researchers discover that our animal friends exhibit emotional responses seemingly similar to ours. It’s hard to “prove” animals experience complex emotions or thoughts (in fact, you never prove anything in science… you can only disprove things), but mounting evidence seems to suggest that many animals have reactions that we might predict based on our own psychological knowledge. Here are just a few interesting studies on animals acting like us somehow.
- Do animals worry like we do? Elephants have been observed to suffer symptoms similar to PTSD after traumatic experiences. Traumatized chimpanzees also appear to have mood and anxiety disorders, and various pet owners have reported anecdotal evidence of domestic animals with separation anxiety and other fears. [url]
- Dog owners probably don’t think scientists needed to perform an experiment to determine if dogs feel jealousy, but now there’s published evidence for this canine emotion. Not all of the dogs in the study showed signs of jealousy, but a majority did. Anyone want to try this experiment with cats? [url]
- There’s actually a “mouse grimace scale” that measures several features such as ear and whisker positions and eye squinting to estimate a distress level for a lab mouse. Researchers have discovered that lab mice react differently to pain, depending on whether men or women are present during a grimace measurement. When men are around, mice seem to suppress their distress. (But it should be noted that it’s not just men causing this effect. Items of fabric that have the residual scent of men or male animals also produce similar results.) [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.