We know that whales fall in love, horses feel pride, and primates can even become embarrassed and envious. And now it appears that dogs get jealous, too. A new study out of the University of Vienna is the first time scientists have observed and documented envy in a non-primate species, though people who own dogs may have already seen it in action.
The research team asked 14 trained dogs to “shake” in a series of experiments. To test for jealousy, the researchers put the dogs in a room alone, or put them in the company of another familiar dog (either an acquaintance or another dog from the same household). And while the researchers didn’t offer the dogs a bone, they did give one or the other of the dogs either sausage or bread when they wanted to reward the dogs for performing the task. When the hungry dogs realized they were doing the same work but not getting any food in return, they became jealous of their companion, who was getting fed.
In fact, the dogs who were denied treat would eventually stop shaking the researcher’s hand entirely, and would look away from the researcher and even scratch, yawn, and lick their mouths.
Just as the Census of Marine Life announces the existence of amazing new wonders in the Southern Oceans, a battle over the oceans’ largest inhabitants rages on. While many have criticized Japanese whalers for illegally terrorizing (and slaughtering) whales, the Japanese are now turning the tables and accusing the television channel Animal Planet of terrorizing their whaling ships.
The accusations stem from Animal Planet’s new seven-part series, Whale Wars, which documents the militant anti-whaling escapades of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The Sea Shepherds have been using harsh and combative— though, they insist non-violent—strategies like hurling stink bombs, throwing acid, and spreading propeller-tripping steel cables to stop Japanese whaling ships from doing their job. The group says they prevented 300 whale deaths last winter. Japanese whalers have killed thousands of whales since the 1980s, and claimed they were in the name of research.
Start spreading the news: Whales want to be a part of New York.
Cornell University researchers have detected whale song in the waters near New York City. The team, led by Chris Clark, hoped to track the migrations of humpback, fin, and North Atlantic right whales on their migrations from their calving waters in Florida to their feeding areas in the waters off New England. This week their detectors, deployed only 13 miles outside the entrance to New York harbor, heard their first traces of the marine mammals singing.