Friday Faves September 11, 2015

Are cats hard to understand?

grumpyNot if you try to understand how they communicate! Scientists agree: cats communicate with purring, meowing, and body language. Yours truly briefly quoted within, along with some of my cat-scientist heroes, John Bradshaw and Sharon Crowell-Davis.



By the numbers: Monks parakeets work out ranks

When these social birds first get together, they don't know who is "on top." After observing parakeets interacting with others, individuals figure out where they fit in the pecking order. They choose to pick on someone their own size, avoiding fights with birds either much higher or lower than they are in the hierarchy.

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Pigeons are everywhere, but where are the babies?

Baby pigeons spend a lot of time in the nest (around 40 days), which means by the time they fledge, they look pretty adult. Read more about the development of one of my favorite birds here.

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If you want to feel productive, study dormice

dormouseDormice usually hibernate over the winter, then wake up in time to mate and have a snack. But when scientists started tracking the behavior of these cute little rodents, turned out many of them just woke up from hibernation and went right back to bed. Turns out if food and mates are scarce, they're better off just going back to sleep, getting 11 months of shut-eye if necessary.



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