Friday Faves September 26, 2014

"Thanks for the ride, lady"

(That's a line from Creepshow 2, in case you don't remember)

Scientists using camera traps with motion sensors weren't surprised to find a variety of animals among the nighttime photos in a South African park. But they were a little surprised to find a tiny mongoose relative, called a genet, using both rhinos and buffalos as a means of transport. The same genet was seen riding on the backs of several animals, in the same evening. Lazy or innovative? Or both?

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Monk parakeets have BFFs

bromanceA recent study of these little parrots demonstrated the importance of social bonds for them. Like many birds, they form strong mate pair bonds. But it turns out that some of their other friendships are just as important, even if not reproductive!

Guilty of Idiocy?

(Humans, that is). For some reason, humans really love to put other animals on trial! In the past, this often meant sentencing them to a public execution or demanding that they leave town on a particular day (apparently the animals weren't always cooperative). This article focuses on animal trials in European history; animal trials in more recent  years have taken a different spin, a la vicious dog trials, where owners may be ordered to euthanize their dogs. Or the case of Mary the elephant, who suffered greatly during her public execution during the early 20th century after she killed her handler (although there was no formal trial, I believe). Like animals don't suffer enough at the hands of humans!

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