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Below are the 13 most recent journal entries recorded in Animal Studies.'s LiveJournal:

Thursday, November 15th, 2007
1:27 am
A film about beetles
This is my first post here, so I don't really know how appropriate this is, so let me know...

I made a film about an entomologist searching for a beetle, and I thought some of you might be interested in seeing it. Even if you aren't interested in insects, I think the website my film is on ( www.lifeonterra.com )is a great source for short nature/science videos. Most of the films were created by people in my graduate program (MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University).

This is the trailer for my film:

The full (13min) film is here: http://www.lifeonterra.com/episode.php?id=121
Wednesday, April 25th, 2007
5:13 pm
New Community Promo - Animal_training.
Hi guys, just letting you know that smirnoffmule and I have created a sparkly new, open-minded training community called animal_training. This community includes a number of professional trainers, and people studying training (two of which are smirnoffmule and I).

Although this community will, no doubt, lean toward dog training, training of all animals is open for discussion, from equestrian sports to rat agility (yes, it exists!).

I hope this can be a place where expression of all opinions and discussion of all training methods are welcome, without personal attacks or judgment. Of course, debate is very welcome as long as members remain civil.

It will be a place where academic articles, essays or training practices will be on the table for discussion. I know there are a number of professional trainers here, and others with an interest in training, so please join up. Even if the community is an intimate one I expect it will generate interesting discussion.

If you're a novice trainer who is seeking advice or tips, it will be a place where judgment is reserved in favour of constructive advice from many experienced individuals with a variety of different ideas and beliefs.

I'm a firm believer that not all training methods work for all dogs or all situations so this community will be ideal for those open-minded individuals who are prepared to try different techniques.

So if this sounds like something you may be interested in please join up!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007
2:28 pm
Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
3:56 am
Logical Fish.
According to a recent study, fish show 'human-like' logic.

The more I read about fish, the more I'm convinced we're all just puppets in their bid for world domination. The only thing preventing them from truly enslaving us in their sophisticated syndicate of world-conquering evil is the land barrier. It's only a matter of time, people. I say panic.

And for the link-shyCollapse )
Monday, February 26th, 2007
3:01 am
Ghey Koalas.
So apparently koalas are quite into the girl on girl scene. Who knew.

The Independent Online Edition - Australasia.

And for the link avoidantCollapse )
Sunday, February 11th, 2007
11:15 pm
Cat Lover, and Cat owners...
I was looking at my cat today, thinking of how much I love him and I thought about making a journal where everyone could do JUST that. So I decided to create a new community for us.

Do you have something to say to your cat(s)? Do they need a little reminding to NOT wake you up at 5am? Or would you just like to simply say how much you love them?

Share your Dear Cat letters here.

And have fun too! dear_cat
Monday, January 15th, 2007
9:50 am
African Grey Shows Superior Communication Abilities.
Parrot's Oratory Stuns Scientists.

Scientists have discovered an African Grey parrot who has a vocabulary of over 900 words and shows signs of a sense of humour.

Alex eat your heart out.
Wednesday, December 20th, 2006
8:22 pm
Friday, December 15th, 2006
8:53 pm
Training Bees.
So we've ascertained that it's highly likely fish can be trained. This is pretty interesting considering most have long associated this type of learning with creatures of a higher intelligence. So were there baseless assumptions made about fish intelligence or lack-there-of, or is training ability falsely attributed to intelligence?

I think the answer to that question becomes even more hazy when you come across articles such as this one, in which bees are said to take ten minutes to train to become explosive detectors as opposed to dogs who take three months.

Here is another, slightly more detailed article on the subject.

While I found this article both fascinating and thought-provoking I did wonder how well they'd thought the venture through. It seems the bees would be easily addled by honey based decoys and prompted to lose their stingers in the presence of insecticide. Am I just attributing to much foresight to explosives planters?

Anyway. Check out the articles. It's worth a read.
12:16 am
More intelligence related material.
And while we're on animal intelligence, I don't know if any of you have heard the latest about fish training. Yes. Fish training.

And I quote:

Fish School employs two techniques long used to train animals - positive reinforcement and shaping. The basic idea is to reinforce successive, increasingly accurate approximations of a desired behavior. In training an animal to press a lever, for example, simply turning toward the lever will be rewarded at first. Then, only turning and stepping toward it will be rewarded. With a little time and repetition, the animal will learn to perform the complete behavior to receive the reward.

It is a commercial venture (or it appears to have become one somewhere along the line), so I'll let you draw your own conclusions. However there are some pretty cool videos of fish performing tricks at the above site.

Here is a link to part of a radio segment about the people who created the Fish School site. It explains how they came to train fish, among other intricacies of the operation.

When I get my betta, he shall be an agility champion.
Thursday, December 14th, 2006
1:57 am
Ducks, pigs and chickens. Intelligence and other facts.
Browsing through the http://www.goveg.com/ site, I came across a few interesting facts about farm animals of which I was previously unaware. I was particularly taken with the research conducted on chickens which indicates they have both culture and high intelligence.

I've pulled out a few random paragraphs which I found interesting for the link shy or those who don't want to read entire articles, but there is much more info at the links provided. It's still rather long, so I've cut it to save teh flist.

Fascinating facts about farm yard animal intelligenceCollapse )
Saturday, December 9th, 2006
12:12 am
Animal womb pictures!
Okay, so this is sort of old news, but I thought it was pertinent.

Has everyone else seen the pictures of animals in the womb? The National Geographic Channel is making a TV show about it. They have a website here with pictures.

There's also a news story here.

I love that picture of the elephant!

I'm in Developmental Bio this semester, so things like this really interest me since I'm learning the science behind it.

Current Mood: cheerful
Friday, December 8th, 2006
9:36 am
Introductory post.
Hello and welcome. My name is Naomi, I live in Australia and I have long held an interest in both science and animals. Why I didn't study biology/zoology at university I don't know. But who needs formal academic qualifications when you have a little study-based ElJay community to piss around in?

That's right. No one. So embrace your inner scientist/behaviourist and live your academic life vicariously though this shiny new community as I intend to do.

Thanks for joining and enjoy your stay.
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