Tag Archives: Animals

Giraffe populations are rising, giving new hope to scientists | Animals | National Geographic

Giraffe numbers are 20 percent higher than in 2015, an increase linked to conservation efforts and more accurate survey data.

By Douglas Main, Published January 12, 2022• 6 min read

Two male giraffes in South Africa’s Madikwe Game Reserve. The total population of wild giraffes is up significantly since 2015.
Photograph by Shannon Wild, Nat Geo Image Collection

Giraffe numbers have increased across Africa, new research shows, a rare spot of good news in the conservation world.

According to a recent analysis of survey data from across the African continent, the total giraffe population is now around 117,000, approximately 20 percent higher than it was thought to be in 2015, when the last major survey was published.

This rise is a result of genuine growth in some areas, but also stems from more accurate census data, says Julian Fennessy, executive director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, based in Namibia.

“It’s great to see these numbers increasing,” says Fennessy, a co-author of the new research. Giraffes were once considered a single species. But recent genetic evidence shows there are likely four species of giraffe, three of which have increased considerably in number: northern, reticulated, and Masai giraffes. The fourth, southern giraffes, have remained relatively stable.

Source: Giraffe populations are rising, giving new hope to scientists

What is consciousness like for other animals and when did it evolve? | New Scientist

The conscious experiences of non-human animals, from whales and birds to octopuses and bees, are revealing fresh clues about when consciousness evolved and what it’s for

Life 7 July 2021

By David Robson

Each arm of an octopus could be independently conscious
Azoor Wildlife Photo/Alamy

Children know the fun of throwing a ball into the sea, only to watch the waves fling it back. Jennifer Mather and Roland Anderson at the Seattle Aquarium were surprised to find octopuses playing similar games. Their toy was a floating pill bottle, which they were free to ignore or explore as they wished.

Six of the aquarium’s octopuses soon lost interest, but two showed childlike curiosity, pushing it with their arms or shooting jets of water to move it against the tank’s current. It is hard to interpret this as anything other than play, which many researchers argue requires some form of conscious awareness.

Many animals exhibit behaviours similarly suggestive of an inner life. Conscious creatures may include our primate cousins, cetaceans and corvids – and potentially many invertebrates, including bees, spiders and cephalopods such as octopuses, cuttlefish and squid. The challenge, of course, is to understand how the inner lives of these creatures differ from our own.

Editor’s Note: Sorry, excerpt only, full article is behind a paywall…

Source: What is consciousness like for other animals and when did it evolve? | New Scientist

Best Places to Spot Wildlife in South Carolina | Travel + Leisure

Credit: SCPRT/Photo by Lee Wilson
Credit: SCPRT/Photo by Lee Wilson

By Sucheta Rawa, February 26, 2021

The state of South Carolina is home to a variety of landscapes, from steep mountains and salty marshes to cypress forests and sandy beaches. It has many species of birds, nocturnal mammals, and marine life.

Source: Best Places to Spot Wildlife in South Carolina | Travel + Leisure

The Children Inside — rachelmankowitz

Generally when I write in my blog, or anywhere else, I’m writing from the point of view of my most grown up, most presentable self, because that’s what people do. When I leave the house to interact with other people I generally dress up in a certain way and use certain words and facial […]

The Children Inside — rachelmankowitz

Recommended read.. great post on animal spirits, our different selves, etc.

Why scientists are teaching AI to think like a dog

Robotic canines could assist elderly people and those with disabilities.

Source: Why scientists are teaching AI to think like a dog

A Very Old Man for a Wolf

It’s the nature of the wolf to travel. By age two, wolves of both sexes usually leave their birth packs and strike out on their own, sometimes covering hundreds of miles as they search for mates and new territory. Whatever the reason, when wolves move, they do it with intent—and quickly. Humans don’t know how they decide which way to go, but the choice is as important as any they’ll ever make.

Source: A Very Old Man for a Wolf