Animals That Laugh

According to Smithsonian Magazine,

Dogs Do It, Birds Do It, and Dolphins Do It, Too. Here Are 65 Animals That Laugh, According to Science

Researchers suggest that laughter in the animal kingdom may help creatures let each other know when it’s playtime, so that play fights don’t escalate.

Two dogs—a yellow lab on the left and Weimaraner on the right—sit in grass with their tongues out and mouths agape facing the camera.

Most of the 65 species identified by the study, which was published last month in the journal Bioacoustics, were mammals, such as primates, foxes, killer whales and seals, but three bird species also made the list, according to the statement.

For animals, the researchers suggest, a laughing noise may help signal that roughhousing, or other behavior that might seem threatening, is all in good fun.

“[Some actions] could be interpreted as aggression. The vocalization kind of helps to signal during that interaction that 'I'm not actually going to bite you in the neck. This is just going to be a mock bite,'” Sarah Winkler, an anthropologist at the University of California, Los Angeles and the paper’s lead author, tells Doug Johnson of Ars Technica. “It helps the interaction not escalate into real aggression.”

Winkler witnessed firsthand that vocalizations often accompany animals playing during past work with rhesus macaques, which pant while they play, according to Live Science. To find out how widespread such play vocalizations might be in the animal kingdom, Winkler and Bryant scoured the scientific literature for descriptions of play activity in various animals. In particular, the study authors looked for mentions of vocalizations accompanying playtime.

Per Ars Technica, many of the animal laughs identified by the study sound nothing like a human chuckle. For example, Rocky Mountain elk emit a kind of squeal and, per Live Science, New Zealand’s kea parrot whines and squeaks when it’s time to have some fun.

Back in 2017, another study found that playing a recording of kea laughter around the parrots in the wild would cause the birds to spontaneously break into playful tussles.

Another key difference between human and animal laughter could be its volume and thus its intended audience, according to Live Science. Human laughs are pretty loud, so the whole group can hear, but most animals, by contrast, have laughs that are quiet and may only be audible to the play partner. (By the study's definition, cats hissing during playtime qualified as laughter.)

 

Winkler tells Ars Technica that though the study aimed to be comprehensive, that there may be even more laughing animals out there. “There could be more that, we think, are out there. Part of the reason they probably aren't documented is because they're probably really quiet, or just [appear] in species that aren't well-studied for now,” she says. “But hopefully there could be more research in the future.”

 

 


Carolina Raptor Center

Carolina Raptor Center

Latta Nature Preserve
Huntersville, North Carolina
 
Carolina Raptor center
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
From Atlas Obscura -

From golden eagles to peregrine falcons, this rehabilitation and education center is a haven for birds of prey. 

In 1975, an injured broad-winged hawk found its way to Dr. Richard Brown, an ornithologist at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Along with several biology students, Brown helped the bird back to health and released it into the wild—it would be the first of many rehabilitations.

Over the years that followed, more and more birds were brought into the makeshift clinic in the basement of the university’s biology building. In 1980, Brown and Deb Sue Griffin, one of his students, decided to make things more official. Together they founded Carolina Raptor Center, which has admitted some 20,000 birds over the last four decades.

In 1984, the center moved into a new home inside Latta Nature Preserve, which spans more than 1,400 acres. The preserve offers opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and paddling in the waters of Gar Creek and Mountain Island Lake.

Around 60 percent of the raptors admitted are rehabilitated and then released back into the wild. The birds that cannot be released become permanent residents at Carolina Raptor Center or another facility that can care for them.

Over the years the center has grown in size and complexity—helped along the way by the 300+ Boy Scouts who have completed Eagle Scout projects on its grounds. Today the center is home to 85 permanent resident birds from all over the world, many of which can be seen from the Raptor Trail that encircles the center. One of the highlights of the trail is the eagle aviary, where visitors can take in the impressive sight of golden and bald eagles. Other species on display include a peregrine falcon, red-shouldered hawk, spectacled owl, and turkey vulture. 

In 2016, the center began a project that will expand its educational offerings and ability to care for injured birds of prey. This includes Quest, a newly-built facility that will house both the Latta Nature Center and Carolina Raptor Center along with exhibit space, indoor classrooms, and an amphitheater.

Know Before You Go

Carolina Raptor Center is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children. Check the website for more information.

Note: Erosion prevention measures make the trail inaccessible for most powered wheelchairs, but the Visitor Center is wheelchair accessible. 

 

 

 

 

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Help The Buffy-Tufted_Ear Marmoset

Buffy tufted ear TEM 2 Rodrigo Bramili
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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San Diego Zoo’s Great Apes Receive First Experimental Covid-19 Vaccine for Animals

ChimpSmithsonian reports that five bonobos and four orangutans were treated with a synthetic form of the virus.

Elizabeth Gamillo reports that the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has vaccinated several apes with an experimental Covid-19 vaccine intended for pets, making the animals the first non-human primates to be vaccinated, reports Rachael Rettner for Live Science.

The vaccine, developed by the veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis, was provided to the San Diego Zoo after they requested help in vaccinating other apes when several gorillas tested positive for Covid-19 in January, reports James Gorman for the New York Times. The gorillas were the first known great apes in the world to test positive for coronavirus.

At San Diego zoo facilities, there are 14 gorillas, eight bonobos, and four orangutans living indoors, which leaves them more prone to the spread of Covid-19 infection, reports National Geographic. To help prevent disease spread among the apes, veterinarians with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance selected five bonobos and four orangutans to receive the experimental vaccine, reports Stella Chan and Scottie Andrew for CNN. The selected apes were deemed the most at risk. One of the vaccinated orangutans was Karen, an ape that first made headlines in 1994 for being the first orangutan to have open-heart surgery, the New York Times reports.

Zoetis's vaccine works similarly to the Novavax vaccine for humans by giving recipients of the vaccine a synthetic form of the Covid-19's spike protein that will prime and alert immune systems to fight infection, reports Live Science. To confirm if the vaccine was effective, blood will be drawn from the apes to look for the presence of antibodies. By February, the apes had received two doses of the vaccine, and no adverse reactions occurred within the apes, reports National Geographic. The gorillas previously infected with coronavirus will eventually receive the vaccine but are not a priority because they have since recovered, reports the New York Times.


Ben & Jerry's For Dogs

Dog breedsBen & Jerry’s unveiled plans to introduce a line of frozen dog treats. The first up to bowl is Doggie Desserts, four cups of ice cream that come in two flavors: pumpkin with cookies and peanut butter with pretzels.

This from the company's website -

Here at Ben & Jerry's, we love our dogs almost as much as we love our ice cream (okay, maybe the same amount). That's why we are proud to have dog-friendly offices, where we welcome our "K9-5ers" to join their humans at work each day. Members of the K9 crew start their day with a pup-friendly treat at the reception desk, and enjoy plenty of pets, cuddles, and walks throughout the day. It's a "ruff" life for this pack of K9 pals, to be sure. But as any Ben & Jerry's-er will tell you, having their furry friend by their side during the day makes all this hard ice cream work all the sweeter.

Doggie Desserts

Ben & Jerry's Doggie Desserts are the perfect frozen dog treat for your beloved pup! Just like you love Ben & Jerry's ice cream, your dog will love Doggie Desserts.