Zoos, aquariums, and animal sanctuaries are really important because they support animal conservation, species survival, insightful animal research, and educational programs. However, there’s a lot of misinformation and misconceptions about zoos and animal sanctuaries that animal activists, such as PETA, use in order to deter people from enjoying, learning from, and supporting facilities that house wild animals…
Tag: animal behavior
A beginner’s guide to Bloomington birds
Step outside in Southern Indiana and you’ll be greeted by a symphony of chirps, calls, and songs from a myriad of local birds. Home to over 400 species, Indiana is a birder’s paradise. Warblers, eagles, and owls alike call Bloomington home and are frequently spotted on the campus of IU Bloomington. Birds are a vibrant part of Bloomington culture, so it’s worth getting to know a few…
Do chameleons change their color to match their environment?
Hopefully, we’ve all seen Disney’s Tangled, featuring the cute little chameleon Pascal. Throughout the film, Pascal takes on a range of colors depending on his background as well as his emotions. We see him blending in with teal walls and purple flowers, but we also see him turning red with anger. We’ve grown up thinking chameleons are able to blend into any background, but you may be wondering, is this true? Do chameleons really change their color to match any background or emotion?
Science with Nemo: Ethics of Care in Animal Research
We are all familiar with the plot of Finding Nemo: a scuba-diving dentist takes a small clownfish, Nemo, from a reef, keeps him in a fish tank in his office, and Marlin (Nemo’s father) goes on a whirlwind adventure to rescue his son. Obviously, Disney’s creative fiction is just that — fiction. However, many millions of fish are kept in tanks in the real world, for both recreation and research. Although we cannot know the fate of home-kept fish, for fish used in scientific research, there are specific rules for ethical treatment and proper care for fish of all kinds. How and why do scientists use fish in research anyways?
Animals play a key part in concussion research
Currently, there are no effective treatments for concussions. People typically heal over time. Doctors treat the symptoms (e.g.. headaches, concentration problems, trouble sleeping, memory), but do not tackle the actual problem (i.e., how the injury affects certain functions of the brain). This is due to the inability to see what is happening to the brain as it receives a concussion. Because of that, researchers use animal models (e.g., lab rats, mice, etc.) to assess how the brain is affected by concussions.
Ethics in Research: What is the IACUC?
The Animal Welfare Act of 1966 was brought about by two major media publications. In Sports Illustrated, Pepper, the Dalmatian, had disappeared from her family’s front yard, only to have been found at an east coast hospital and after having been euthanized, following an experimental medical research study involving an early model of a pacemaker. Pepper had been snatched from her owner’s front yard, and then sold for use in medical research, all without their knowledge…
What’s it like to work with primates? Interviews from the Ape Initiative
In this post, ScIU blogger Chloe Holden interviews staff members at the Ape Initiative in Iowa. She covers topics like: What is it like working with nonhuman primates on a regular basis? What surprised you the most when you were getting to know the bonobos? What’s your favorite part about working with the bonobos? and others…
You’re not too important to pick up poop: The quirks and perks of working with primates
For the past three and a half years, I have been volunteering at the Ape Initiative as part of my research interests in primatology and cognition research. The Ape Initiative is a non-profit research and conservation facility that is home to 7 bonobos (Pan paniscus) and counting! Bonobos are one of the closest living relatives to humans, sharing about 98-99% of their DNA…
World Elephant Day
World Elephant Day, coming up on Monday, August 12th, was established in 2012 as a way to celebrate these wonderful mammals and promote conservation efforts. There are two main genus’ alive today: the African elephant (Loxodonta) and the Asian elephant (Elephas). The African elephant genus is split between two species the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana)… Read more »
The early bird gets the worm, part II: How behavioral ecology is connecting the dots between early-life stress and aging
This is the second post of a two-part series on a day in the life of a behavioral ecologist, which features the stories and research of members of Dr. Kim Rosvall’s laboratory in the Department of Biology. Click here to read the first post of the series! In Part I of this series, I discussed… Read more »