June 3, 2009

"Your dog may not share Hamlet’s dithering melancholia, but he might have something in common with Woody Allen."

Animals and their regrets.


rhhardin said...

“These animals are not as emotionally sophisticated as humans,

But they are more sophisticated than behavoural scientists.

rhhardin said...

To see a scientist at work look inside Vicki Hearne's Adam's Task and search for "frey."

Bissage said...

Something in common with Woody Allen?


Some dogs will bang their daughter.

bearbee said...

Favorite quote:

Henry Beston
Author (1888-1968)

"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth."
~ "The Outermost House"

Other Nations

bearbee said...

Elephants mourning:

Echo, the Great Matriarch of Amboseli recently died at the estimated age of 67. Her family continues visits her death site.

The Late Echo’s Family: Pay visits to the carcass frequently

Rich Beckman said...

I love discussions of "conscious experience" in animals. We have no evidence that animals have consciousness. We have no evidence that they do not.

We as yet have no ability to say exactly what consciousness is, how it comes about, or what is its purpose.

Bissage said...

Benjamin Franklin, as Poor Richard, is famous for having said: “He who would keep bluebirds must first dispatch his house sparrows.”

Okay, that’s not true.

But my point is that a mating pair of house sparrows had a nest and two eggs in one of our bluebird houses. Last Sunday, I removed the nest and installed a trap. After I left and took cover, the female returned and looked inside. Then, she tracked down the male and they had a conversation on a fence top about twenty feet away. This went on for about three minutes after which time they seemed to agree on a course of action.

The two of them then started rummaging through the shrubs and they returned to the house, each holding an identical-looking piece of translucent plastic sheeting maybe two inches square.

Then they both perched on top of the bluebird house as if discussing who would go in first. This is significant because during these negotiations, both had intermittently taken the time to look inside the house where they each doubtless saw the tripping bar that would spring the trap. Both knew something was amiss.

They went back and forth with each other for maybe five minutes until the female finally went in the box. This was notable because she showed none of the hesitation she had before. It was as if she had resolved to assume the risk with courage.

And next, of course, I then sent her to her avian God as humanely as reasonable under the circumstances.

The male watched the entirety of those distasteful proceedings from the safety of a nearby Maple tree. He then flew away and he has yet to return.

But he’ll be back soon enough, with another female, the bastard.

You can count on that.