Friday, June 12, 2015

World’s strongest and fastest animal!

Copepod is the world’s strongest and fastest animal. Copepods usually travel in groups, they are small crustaceans found in the ocean. They are about 1-mm long. They can jump at a rate of half a meter per second. They are over ten times stronger than any other known species on the planet. They are also stronger than any mechanical motor produced to date. If you were to have the skill sets of this animal, you would be able to jump about a half a mile in one second. 

The Honey Bee Dance

Honey Bees dance when they are directing their fellow bees to a certain location, for example locations where food can be found or a new home. This is known as the waggle dance. There was a study done where the only source of food for a colony was placed on the far side of a mountain. The bees could not fly over the mountain. But, when they communicated where the food was to be found, they used the angle across the mountain relative to themselves to get to the food. More studies have shown that bees have the ability to take into account the roundness of the earth and they include this information is their waggle dances. 

Body language originates from animal communication

The origin of body language comes from animals. The relation of body language to animal communication has often been discussed because body language is a product of both genetic and environmental influences. For example the genetic makeup of humans causes blind people to smile and laugh in a funny situation even though they have never seen a smile. Animals’ ideal way of communication compared to humans is completely different. But animals do have perks, for example when participating in a group conversation there is only one person speaking whereas when humans are in a group conversation they may be multiple interruptions because it’s verbal.

Are we taking animals for granted!?

I found this posted at the college ten bus stop. It quotes “The animals of this world are not here for human purposes any more than women are here for men, or blacks for whites.” The first part of the quote illustrates that us humans take animals for granted. We use them as resources and make materialistic items out of scavenging them. This quote in a way reinforces the unspoken act of using animals in order to acquire a better lifestyle. This issue is still concurrent in this day and age. The second and final part of the quote relates this issue to similar issues that are mainly subjected to humans. This as a result provokes the thought and awareness of not taking anything for granted.

Orcas hunting a crab-eater seal.

Orcas are really amazing animals. This video shows them working together to hunt a crab eater seal. It is hypothesized that they do this to teach younger calves to hunt. They are working together to dislodge a crab-eater seal (which is a pretty cool animal).

Crab-eater seals don't actually eat crabs. They mainly feed on krill. They have these awesome teeth that allow them to filter out the water when they are feeding.

Dolphins can't breath automatically!

My friend was telling me some interesting facts about animals. He shared an interesting fact about dolphins; I thought I would share it. Dolphins don't breathe automatically, it's always consciously done. This is fascinating because they have to be conscious to control their breathing. This means they can never truly be unconscious, so when they sleep they must still have some level of consciousness. Being mammals their brains do need to enter a type of unconsciousness every so often in order to function properly. Dolphins have evolved and learned how to put one half of their brains to sleep while the other half is still conscious and active. They enter and stay in this state roughly about eight hours a day. As a result they are still conscious to control their breathing and go to the surface of the water to breathe.   

Shark Files

A Southern California beach just recently started utilizing a drone to spot if there are any sharks near the area. Usually when they assume a shark is nearby they send a lifeguard out on a jetski to see what's going on, but now they have been trying out this drone and the results are much faster. Normally when a lifeguard goes out on a jetski the time it takes for all the procedures to go through is often hours long. With the drone it only takes about 20 minutes and they are able to take motion pictures and even determine the size of the sharks. Technology these days is so incredible in the things it allows us to do.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Domesticity and Mindfullness

There has been a majority of the course material which I feel has diverted away from focusing on domestic animals and the ways we may interact with them in our homes. Upon arriving home, I am more aware of the anthropocentrism many owners go through. The course has led me to be mindful of our interaction with animals. It is said that human interaction with infants and toddlers can have a significant impact as they grow into adulthood. Domestic animals could carry the same standard of emotional response. Animals brought up in class such as bonobos, wolves, crows, etc. -- a multitude of animals we do not regularly interact with or see in the home space -- don't experience the same level of human interaction than dogs or cats. I've reinforced the idea (by taking this lecture that we are more distinct from animals than the obvious language differences). But perhaps domestic animals can share similar spectrums of emotions as human beings.
Albeit within this video, YouTube comments may claim a scientific explanation for the noises the dog is making. It is a more likely claim for me to believe that the dog is mourning over the loss of its owner. It's important to realize that many of the domestic relationships we carry with pets are (as all of our other relationships are) an extension of ourselves.

Animals seeing themselves in the mirror

My friend sent me this video randomly on Facebook and I thought it was cool enough to share. What stood out to me the most was how all the animals (except the elephant?) had a reaction to seeing themselves in the mirror. However, I don't think they understood that they were seeing reflections of themselves. The gorilla's reaction was the most entertaining, he saw his reflection as a threat more so than the other animals did. Also what I find interesting is that my pet cat doesn't have any reaction when she sees herself in the mirror, and she doesn't like other cats. I don't know how to explain that though. Do your pets notice themselves in the mirror?

Here's the video, I encourage you to watch it!

Eating Animals

At the beginning of the summer, I always like to think about what books to read for fun between June and September, when I'm not swamped with assigned readings for class. After having taken this class, I'd like to read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I've read and really enjoyed two of his other books, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Everything Is Illuminated, so I think it'll be interesting to see what Foer thinks about eating animals and vegetarianism. The summary on the book's website says Foer swung between omnivore and vegetarian until his son was born, at which point he became more concerned with issues of animal welfare/rights since he was now responsible for making food choices for another person. It looks like a fun read!