Evelyn Metric from Honest Paws has sent us an interesting infographic on cat sleeping positions:
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.
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.”
From Artnet -
Pets of the Art World! Meet 15 of the Adorable (Yet Edgy) Furry Friends Keeping Artists, Gallerists, and Curators Sane These Days
Perhaps the only beneficiaries of the pandemic today are pets, who are suddenly getting around-the-clock attention while their owners work from home. And the joys are mutual: With their fluffy cuddles, unconditional love, and inability to talk back, pets make great quarantine companions for people, too.
We asked art world insiders to share pictures of their whiskered work-from-home buddies, and how they’re helping to make this difficult time a little bit sweeter.
Here is one and there is a link to see the rest at the bottom of this post.
(Caroline Goldstein’s Jug [Jack Russell x Pug])
“Princess Buttercup is thrilled to have a captive audience whilst her humans are social distancing.”
—Caroline Goldstein, editorial assistant, Artnet News
He’s never gonna stop talking about this. The kākāpō, a flightless, nocturnal parrot, has been named New Zealand’s Bird of the Year in its annual online competition. It’s the first bird in the contest’s 15-year history to win twice, beloved as the heaviest and longest-lived parrot species on Earth. The competition was marred by vote rigging in favor of the little spotted kiwi, but authorities spotted the fraud and disqualified the suspect votes. While the win doesn’t carry a cash prize, it’s hoped it will raise awareness and affection for the critically endangered bright green birds.
Casper mattresses has produced a fun and informative guide on dog sleeping positions and what they mean. Just like humans, dogs sleep in a variety of positions. From sleeping on their side to sleeping on their back with their paws in the air, we can learn a lot about our furry friends through their sleeping positions and habits. And here is an insight into dog beds.
Dog sleeping positions are like little clues that can give insight into how they are — both physically and mentally. To truly understand the meaning behind common dog sleeping positions, we tapped the minds of dog experts to reveal what 10 common dog sleeping positions mean. Read on to learn more about the adorable meaning behind these sleeping positions.
1. The Side Sleeper
Just like humans, dogs love to sleep on their side. Lying on their side with their legs extended is one of the most common sleeping positions for dogs. This sleeping position is especially prominent in puppies and older dogs who may be suffering from stiff joints.
Meaning: When your dog sleeps on their side, it means they feel relaxed and safe in their environment. According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, who serves on the advisory board for Pup Life Today, “dogs will sleep in this position when they are feeling comfortable with their surroundings and are at a comfortable temperature.”
It’s also when they’re likely to get the most deep sleep. Jen Jones, a professional dog trainer, behavior specialist, and founder of Your Dog Advisor, says that “this position is also where you’ll often notice ‘sleep running’ and twitching during your dog’s dreams, as their paws are loose and free to move.”
2. The Lion’s Pose
The lion’s pose sleeping position (also called ‘the sphinx’) is when your dog sleeps with their head on top of their paws — similar to statues of lions you might see outside of large buildings. Your dog can also fall asleep in this position with their front paws tucked in and their back legs at one side.
Meaning: When dogs sleep in this position it means they are resting, but not sleeping deeply. According to Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ, and the vet expert at Pumpkin Pet Insurance, “dogs will often start out in this position if they feel like they will need to jump up quickly.”
3. The Superman
The superman position is when your dog lays sprawled out on the ground with their belly pressed to the floor, their back legs behind them, and their front legs stretched forward. This is a common position among puppies and very playful dogs.
Meaning: When your dog sleeps on their stomach in the superman position, it means that they’re tired but ready to play if the opportunity arises. Jen Jones says that “this position allows for dogs to snooze quickly, but be ready to hop up at a moment’s notice to play.” This is a common sleeping position for high energy dogs during the day.
4. The Donut
The donut position is when your dog sleeps curled up in a ball with all of their limbs tucked close to their body. Sometimes their nose will touch their hind legs and they may even drape their tail over their body.
Meaning: This position keeps all of the dog’s vital organs tucked and hidden. When a dog sleeps in this position, it means that they seek to protect themselves while sleeping or that they’re still getting used to their environment. This is especially common in stray or new dogs.
This is also a favorite position for dogs when they are cold. By curling up in a ball, they are attempting to preserve their body heat. Dr. Linda Simon, a Veterinarian and Veterinary Consultant for ThePets, says that this is a popular position “when the weather is cold and/or windy, as it would have protected dogs from the elements when they slept outside.”
5. The Cuddler
One of the most adorable dog sleeping positions is ‘the cuddler’ position. This is when your dog prefers to sleep on top of you or another dog cuddled up. This is a great position for those that love to let their dog sleep in bed with them.
Meaning: Peter Laskay, a pet expert and pet care blogger at Petworshiper, says that this position is a clear sign of bonding and “that the dog wants to get close to you or other dogs.”
6. The Burrower
Have you noticed that your dog seeks out pillows, clothes, or blankets to sleep under? If so, your pooch likes to sleep in the burrower position.
Meaning: When dogs sleep in the burrower position, they are searching for comfort and security. They often need lots of attention and affection to fall asleep.
7. The Belly Up
Arguably one of the cutest dog sleeping positions, the belly up position is just as it sounds. This position is when your dog lies on their back with their belly up and paws in the air. As uncomfortable as this position may look, this is a sign of true comfort and relaxation in dogs.
Meaning: Dogs who sleep on their back with their tummy and paws in the air do so for a few reasons. One of them is to keep cool. Jen Jones says, “dogs sweat through their paws and their belly is a source of heat. When they sleep on their back with their belly in the air and paws up, they are trying to keep cool.”
Because this is such a vulnerable position to be in, when dogs sleep on their back with their paws in the air, it also means that they are fully trusting you and their environment. Dr. Sarah Wooten says that “because they are exposing their belly and their vital organs to the world, you have to know that they feel really secure to fall asleep in this position.”
As dogs age, you’ll notice that they no longer sleep on their back as much. According to Steffi Trott, a professional dog trainer and the owner of SpiritDog Training, this is due to arthritis and you should not assume that your dog is no longer trusting you.
8. Back to Back
Similar to the cuddler sleeping position, when a dog likes to sleep back to back, it means they like to cuddle up and get as close as possible by placing their back next to either you or another dog. In the simplest form, this position is a sign of love and comfort.
Meaning: Sleeping back to back indicates a sense of intimacy. When a dog sleeps in this position, they are showing you affection and trust. According to Jen Jones, “dogs may choose to sleep this way with one person in the home they feel safest with.” This can include additional family members or other dogs and cats.
9. On a Cold Surface
Whether it’s lying face down on the kitchen floor or sprawled out on your pavement, dogs tend to sleep on a cold surface when they are hot. This type of position can take the form of the superman pose or could be similar to the lion’s pose. Whatever it is, your dog is likely making sure their tummy is touching the cold surface.
Meaning: This position is directly related to temperature. “Dogs may be hot if they sleep sprawled out on cool surfaces, particularly when they’re on their bellies with legs extended maximizing the amount of unhaired skin that touches the cold floor or ground,” says Dr. Jennifer Coates. If you notice your dog seeking out cold surfaces to sleep on, try your best to cool them down and give them some water.
10. Head and Neck Raised
Some dogs seek out a sleeping position where their head and neck are raised. They will usually leverage the side of their dog bed or a couch cushion.
Meaning: If your dog likes to sleep in a position where their head and neck are raised, it could mean that they may have issues breathing properly — something commonly seen with chronic heart disease and other health problems.
According to Dr. Linda Simon, if your dog sleeps in this position “keep an eye out for worrying symptoms such as faster breathing rate, noisy breathing, or a reduced ability to exercise.” If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure to contact your veterinarian.
The New York Times just reported on NYC's latest celebrity.
‘I Had to See That Owl’: Central Park’s New Celebrity Bird
New Yorkers are so obsessed with Barry the barred owl that some are concerned he could be scared away. So far, he seems to like the attention.
It was late afternoon in the North Woods of Central Park, and the sun was setting fast. Joshua Kristal, a photographer with a penchant for birds, was starting to feel despondent as he searched along the creek, looking for any movement. This was the third time he’d traveled more than an hour from Brooklyn to see Manhattan’s newest celebrity bird: an ethereal and majestic barred owl.
Currently known as Barry, the owl has intense black eyes and elegant poufs of white feathers streaked with brown and gray. He looks like a perfect stuffed animal from a high-end toy store. But Barry is also unusual. Though owls are typically nocturnal, he makes regular daytime appearances, and has become something of a performer. Practically vogueing, he stares, preens and swoops into the shallow stream to wash and flick his feathers. Barry will turn his head 270 degrees right and left and up above to check for his archenemy, the hawk. He plucks chipmunks with his talons and devours them, seemingly unfazed by adoring fans and the paparazzi, many of whom have already made him Instagram-famous.
Barry the Barred Owl was first spotted on Oct. 9 by a group of devoted birders including Robert DeCandido, a New Yorker who has conducted bird walks in Central Park for some 32 years and is known as Birding Bob. The owl was an overnight sensation, not as flamboyant as the Mandarin duck two years ago but no less magnetic. Birders flock from all over to the Loch, a creek near 103rd Street and Central Park West, for a chance to see Barry.
Owls are more common in the city than people realize, and they have been spotted in every borough, Mr. DeCandido said. In Central Park, though, only one or two owls are usually spotted in a year, he added, and Barry is believed to be the only one in Central Park at the moment.
Barry most likely flew in from up north for a warmer temperature in which to hunt, but “only God knows,” Mr. DeCandido said. Barry is not nesting, as owls haven’t been found to nest in Central Park. He is roosting and putting on weight.
As social media bird alerts have become popular, there are more unique and rare birds reported in the city — like a recent sighting of a Virginia rail in Central Park, Mr. DeCandido said. “Before, if you saw something rare, who would you tell?” Mr. DeCandido said. “Now there is E-Bird and Manhattan Bird Alert, where bird sightings are reported almost immediately.”
But there are disagreements among birders on how healthy it is for humans to be stalking Barry, some using recorded bird calls to lure him out, surrounding him (at a respectful distance) and brandishing their cellphone cameras to capture the perfect image of a creature who typically does not like to be bothered.
Mr. Kristal learned of the owl from Manhattan Bird Alert, a Twitter feed that posts bird sightings throughout the city. When a Barry alert goes out, dozens of people show up, and fast. Therein lies the problem, said Dennis Hrehowsik, president of the Brooklyn Bird Club, based near Prospect Park. Owls are much too sensitive to be thronged, he said.
Birding in the city has grown more popular during the coronavirus outbreak, said Mr. Hrehowsik, who has led hundreds of bird tours. The quiet, meditative search for special birds — as many as 300 species of which live and migrate through New York City — can be soothing. And it’s a fresh-air activity, a key detail when it comes to safe pandemic pursuits.
From Atlas Obscura -
At an unusually unruly library in Virginia, there’s food everywhere and droppings on the floor. Sometimes, visitors stand on the reception desk and squabble with abandon.
Welcome to Bird Library, a large bird feeder designed to resemble a public reading room, where feathered patrons from finches to sparrows (and the occasional squirrel) congregate. Perched in a backyard in the city of Charlottesville, it is the passion project of librarian Rebecca Flowers and woodworker Kevin Cwalina, who brought together their skills and interests to showcase the lives of their backyard birds. “Both of us have a love for birds, but once we set up the library we really got into it, making up stories for them,” Flowers says. When she noticed that mourning doves look like they’re wearing blue eyeshadow, for example, she created a character named Miss Dove. “I imagine her as a children’s librarian who doesn’t actually like children. We have pictures of her being lazy or making some strange faces.”
Flowers and Cwalina created Bird Library five years ago after they discovered the Piip-Show, a now-defunct live feed of a birdhouse decorated as a coffee bar that became one of Norway’s most popular TV broadcasts. Their feeder can likewise be observed on a 24/7 livestream, and its activity followed on a website where the couple regularly posts photographs of particularly comical or rare encounters. Recent visitors have included a striking rose-breasted grosbeak, a cardinal that looks like it’s vaping, and a trio of mourning doves seemingly caught in a serious meeting. Cwalina rebuilt and expanded the library last year, but the original one featured miniature, handmade books that common grackles would steal and leave scattered around the yard. “They all have their own personalities, and you can learn a lot about birds by watching their mannerisms,” Flowers says. “Mourning doves tend to be ground feeders, so they snack and stay a while. A nuthatch will fly in, grab a seed, and fly out. Some of the sparrows have a technique where they eat the food and fling it everywhere, like a dramatic explosion of bird seed. Cardinals can be a little aggressive to other birds—they’re often fighting with sparrows.”
As an activity that can be enjoyed in solitude, birdwatching has gained traction as a popular way to pass time during the COVID-19 crisis. Not only are more people going birding in nearby parks or woods; more people are also turning to webcams of birds, which offer individuals who do not have the luxury of accessing green space a way to connect with nature. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s live cameras, which spotlight avians from barred owls to red-tailed hawks, have received twice the amount of traffic during the months of March through May compared to that same period last year, according to the Lab’s Bird Cams Project Leader Charles Eldermire. Viewers are also spending three times the amount of time on those feeds despite a reduction in cameras this season. That spike might be attributed to a common yearning to find comfort in the natural world during a time of overwhelming uncertainty. “Watching birds can help provide the thread that stitches the fabric of an increasingly fractured-feeling-world back into something that approximates whole,” Eldermire says. “Birds offer a continuum of learning opportunities, with more common local residents that can be easy to get to know and observe intimately, and surprising visitors that might be new or transient. To catch a glimpse [of them] or a snippet of a recognizable song can spark excitement during these pandemic days when so much can seem the same.”
Birdwatching is also a calming activity, whether done in an open park or out one’s kitchen window. “It forces you to slow down, be quiet, and tune in more to your senses and surroundings,” Cwalina, who is a member of his local Monticello Bird Club, says. “You have to physically be still, too, so in a way there’s a meditation aspect to it.” Bird Library is mostly visited by common backyard birds, but monitoring it has been a simple way for Cwalina and Flowers to get acquainted with their local biodiversity. Collecting specific data on everyday visitors can also be a valuable citizen-science project: Project FeederWatch, launched by the Cornell Lab, invites people in North America to count their backyard birds to help track long-term population trends. “It’s fairly easy to build a bird feeder,” Flowers says. “Make it your own by having it relate to something you enjoy.”