KQED came and filmed my research subjects a few months ago for a feature article as part of their Deep Look series, in which we (sort of) recreated my study of fox squirrels' responses to frustration. The final video and article are posted and just waiting for you to watch!
Appetite for Destruction
Squirrels turn off the lights
But it’s not just squirrels
Other wildlife may be to blame, including possums, racoons and even the occasional bird that gets into a power substation.
Why do they do it?
Attraction to warmth and lack of traffic (which presents less of an obstacle) are factors that lead squirrels to the wires.
#CuteOff focus: the "uncute"
There was a recent craze on twitter to post pics of cute animals, using the hashtag #CuteOff. Despite the tendency for us to find vertebrates cuter than invertebrates (think fuzzy, big eyes, the kinds of things we find cute), there are plenty of examples of cute sponges, jellies, and worms out there in the world! Check them out!
See the results on twitter here.
Squirrels steal bird food...and bird calls?
Squirrels are infamous for busting into birdfeeders, but now they are stealing bird calls? Huh? Turns out that when predators are in the area, birds and squirrels join forces to spread the news, even using a similar warning sound to get the message out more effectively.
Hearts across the animal kingdom
Heart disease: common in humans, rare in the wild. By placing heart monitors on many species and training them to use a treadmill, scientists at UC Santa Cruz have compiled some interesting data on how hearts and heart disease differ across species! Even the laziest lion is an elite athlete compared to most of us desk-bound humans, and your cat's heart is smaller (relatively speaking) than a dogs, because of their stalk-and-rush hunting style. Read more here!
All weekend long! #SPARCS2015
Once a year or so, there's a canine science conference, and it's happening again this weekend. You can live stream the whole thing FOR FREE!!! DO IT!! Or at least drop in for a few talks. This year's speakers include Katheryn Lord, Hal Herzog, James Ha, and my friend @DogSpies will be there too!
I've reported on many power outages caused by squirrels, and now I have been the victim of one.
Cats and Squirrels is off to the Big Apple for a six-day-vacay! Back next week!
Another CO3 (Comparative Cognition Conference) has come and gone. Every year, a small (250-ish) group of scientists who study animals (from bees to humans) gathers on the beach in Melbourne, Florida to share snippets of research and make friends with others who share the same fascination with how animals think, solve problems, and perceive the world.
First, throw back time! Here's an interview with California magazine that I did almost two years ago...about....squirrel hunting? And other squirrelly things.
Squirrels and pumpkins
Too lazy to carve a Halloween pumpkin this year? Let a squirrel do it for you!