Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Recent Animal Research Findings

1. "Sheep might be dumb ... but they're not stupid"
"Studies show that farmyard animals have a range of emotions and a sharp
 intelligence... The findings ... offer compelling evidence that creatures
 caricatured as mindlessly dumb can feel emotions usually associated with
 humans, such as jealousy, love and loss. Some are crafty enough to hatch
 machiavellian plots worthy of those who stalk the corridors of Whitehall"

2. "Dogs understand language, researchers say"
"A clever border collie that can fetch at least 200 objects by name may be
 living proof that dogs truly understand human language, German scientists
 have reported"

3. "Psychologists dissect the multiple meanings of meow"  [expired link]
"[C]ats may display many alterations of their standard vocalization
 depending on why at that time they want humans' attention"
[most cat-owners wouldn't find this all that surprising]

4. "What's in a quack?"
"To the untutored ear it might just sound like a load of quacking, but
 British researchers have discovered that the country's ducks - much like
 its people - have distinct regional accents"

5. "Pet behaviour expert invents mood swing 'wagometer'"
"A dog expert has invented a device which can tell an animal's exact mood
 by measuring the wag of its tail"

6. "Ouch, that hurts: Scientist claims fish do feel pain"
"For years anglers have claimed that fish feel no pain when they are hooked.
 But now a new British study appears to provide evidence that fish do suffer"

7. "Sparrows name that tune from song snippets"
"Baby songbirds can sing a complete melody after hearing only snippets of
 the tune, researchers have found"