Animals

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Myths and theories abound about how and why the zebra got its stripes. Reuters/Goran Tomasevic

The riddle behind zebra stripes

There are a number of reasons why zebra's stripes are useful to a zebra. The key question is: could some of them benefit society?
Guppies who are under constant threat of predation do worse than those who live without predators. Reuters

What animals can teach us about stress

Humans can learn a thing or two from animals on how to deal with stress.
Thomas Piketty’s book provides new tools to consider the property status of animals in contemporary society. Morgan Lieberman

Piketty’s Capital should force a rethink on animals as property

Should animals be treated like other forms of property such as land, machinery and “stocks”? What role do animals that are owned by humans play in the concept of global wealth?
Not hard to read. Eddy Van 3000

Do animals feel pain like we do?

Pain is a subjective experience that often relies on talking to patients so it's harder to know what animals think.
The story of Johnny Depp’s dogs and their potential fate attracted global media attention. AAP/Dave Hunt

Johnny Depp’s dogs show evolving ideas of animal ‘citizenship’

Behind the uproar over Johnny Depp's dogs lies a serious and evolving idea: our animal companions have an important place in our lives that entitles them to rights akin to a sort of citizenship.
RSPCA inspectors seized these dogs from one of the puppy farms that meet much of the pet shop industry demand. AAP/RSPCA

War of words: how cute puppies become 250,000 abandoned dogs

The pet industry meets 'demand' driven by the 'right' to own a puppy. Animal welfare advocates respond with a 'vigil' to mark the 'shameful' fate of 250,000 dogs abandoned each year.
Don’t give up the day job, Nelly. Dennis Jarvis

Can animals ever be artists?

The natural world throws up all kinds of beautiful creations, but many still say art is for humans.
Secret footage revealed that Australian greyhound trainers are still using the banned practice of live baiting. Animals Australia

Greyhound racing in disgrace as riches push trainers to barbarity

Australia’s greyhound industry is reeling from the ABC’s Four Corners expose, featuring graphic footage of racing dogs tearing other mammals apart in the illegal training practice of live baiting. The…
Australasian Gannets are one reason to get out bird-watching this weekend. Martin Sharman/Flickr

Six extraordinary Australian birds you need to see

Here’s an activity for you this weekend: either staying at home or heading bush, count the number and type of birds you see. It’s all part of BirdLife Australia’s Challenge Count, an annual event that’s…
Jane Goodall is one of many scientists who have revealed how much there is to learn from animals about social organisation and communication. AAP/Julian Smith

If we could talk to the animals, what might they tell us about politics?

To endow animals with human emotions has long been a scientific taboo. But if we do not, we risk missing something fundamental about both animals and us. – Frans De Waal Some time ago I began reading scientific…
Zoos provide succor for species having a tough time of it in the wild. B. A. Minteer

Can zoos save the world?

Today, many zoos promote the protection of biodiversity as a significant part of their mission. As conservation “arks” for endangered species and, increasingly, as leaders in field conservation projects…
A number of studies link the abuse of animals in childhood with human abuse later in life. elizabeth tersigni

With animals, like humans, we can hurt the ones we love

When we talk about violence, there is an implicit assumption that we mean human-to-human violence. Yet behind the veneer of our civilised society, economy and culture is a massive edifice of violence of…
Our relationship with non-human animals must be understood as a question of morality. Patrick Bouquet/Flickr

Morality and our lives with animals

The traditional point of view in western intellectual thought – and one which is reflected in our own day-to–day views – is that of human exceptionalism, or anthropocentrism: the belief that humans are…

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