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pour mettre son âme en paix et résoudre le paradoxe de la viande, le carnivore humain “démentalise” les animaux de boucherie (alors même qu’il “anthropomorphise” les animaux de compagnie). Ce déni d’esprit, disent les auteurs, n’est probablement pas le seul outil dont il dispose dans ce but : le poids de la tradition culturelle est sans doute aussi présent, ainsi qu’une faculté à occulter le lien viande-animal. Ces psychologues suggèrent également de reproduire ce genre de tests dans les pays où l’on mange les animaux, tabous chez nous, que sont le chien et le chat.

Posing as black market gorilla buyers, the rangers recovered the infant male unharmed inside a backpack and arrested three poachers, who were seeking to sell the gorilla—now named Shamavu after his rescuer-for as much as U.S. $40,000, according to park authorities.

Shamavu is the fourth baby gorilla Virunga rangers have recovered from poachers in 2011—the highest number on record in a single year, suggesting that baby-gorilla trafficking may be on the rise in the region.

(via Pictures: Baby Gorilla Rescued in Armed Sting Operation)

Finally, EEG-like recordings have been done in both octopus and cuttlefish, leading to the general (but very preliminary) finding that cephalopods have complex, low-frequency “background” electrical activity in some parts of their brains that seems to vary with their states of consciousness. In addition, they show sensory-evoked changes in this activity, in the same way that human EEGs do. This suggests that some of the gross functional properties of the cephalopod brain might resemble those of mammals on a system-wide level.

All of the arguments by analogy should be taken with a grain of salt, because while it is interesting to consider the possible theoretical importance of the apparent similarities between octopus and vertebrate brains, it seems premature at this point, given how little we know about them. While laterality, distributed low-amplitude electrical activity, and a certain kind of memory system architecture are found in the brains of animals who are almost definitely conscious (eg. mammals and birds,) it’s hard to say that their presence in such highly divergent nervous systems (eg. those of vertebrates and cephalopods) has the same set of functional consequences in all cases. (via Cephalopod Consciousness Part 3: The Case for Cephalopod Consciousness | Cephalove

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"We’re living in a world that’s full of creatures. You’re not the center of the world."

Story from North America (via kirstenlepore)

Anjana the chimp Primate mum: Anjana the chimp helps zookeepers to care for orphaned puma cub, Sierra The chimpanzee, who is five, has lived her whole life at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS) in South Carolina, in the U.S.. She learned to care for little big cats while in the charge of resident feline curator China York. Park director Dr Bhagavan Antle said: ‘Chimpanzees are great learners and imitators so it wasn’t long before she took on the right behaviours that were necessary to keep the kittens in line. (via I’ll be your mummy and you be my little kitty cat: Anjana the chimp shows off her parenting skills…with a puma cub | Mail Online)

An Australian zoo was evacuated after an “ingenious” orang-utan escaped from her enclosure by short-circuiting an electric fence today. Staff at Adelaide zoo said 137lb (62kg) Karta used a stick to short-circuit the electric wires around her enclosure before piling up some more sticks to climb out. But the 27-year-old ape only ventured as far as a surrounding fence, still metres from members of the public, during her 30 minutes of freedom. The zoo’s curator, Peter Whitehead, said she seemed to realize she was somewhere she was not supposed to be and returned to her enclosure. Karta was spotted by a member of the public and, although she returned to her enclosure, the zoo was evacuated as a safety precaution. Whitehead said the orang-utan was not aggressive and had not been close to members of the public. However, vets stood by with tranquilizer guns in case of trouble. Zookeepers believe that Karta was driven to make an incredible escape attempt by grief at the loss of her longtime mate. (Link 1 | Link 2) (via 10 Strangest Animal Incidents - Oddee.com

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Real bears playing Hockey (via Iwantjustice1)

Alors que je ne supporte guère les vidéos de chats mignons, celle-ci m’a tout de même bien interpelé. Mais c’est sans doute parce qu’en réalité il s’agit d’une vidéo de perroquet.

(via Lilysis)

Since it was published, the picture and story have gone viral, turning up on websites and TV shows and in newspapers around the world. For readers who’d like to know more, here’s what I learned as I interviewed the photographer, Monica Szczupider.

After a hunter killed her mother, Dorothy was sold as a “mascot” to an amusement park in Cameroon. For the next 25 years, she was tethered to the ground by a chain around her neck, taunted, teased, and taught to drink beer and smoke cigarettes for sport. In May 2000, Dorothy—obese from poor diet and lack of exercise—was rescued and relocated along with ten other primates.

The management at Sanaga-Yong opted to let Dorothy’s chimpanzee family witness her burial, so that perhaps they would understand, in their own capacity, that Dorothy would not return.

Some chimps displayed aggression while others barked in frustration, but perhaps the most stunning reaction was a recurring, almost tangible silence. If one knows chimpanzees, then one knows that [they] are not [usually] silent creatures.”

United in what appears to be deep and profound grief, a phalanx of more than a dozen chimpanzees stood in silence watching from behind the wire of their enclosure as the body of one of their own was wheeled past. Until recently, describing scenes like this in terms of human emotions such as ‘grief’ would have been dismissed by scientists as naive anthropomorphising. But a growing body of evidence suggests that ‘higher’ emotions - such as grieving for a loved one after death, and even a deep understanding of what death is - may not just be the preserve of our species. (via Is this haunting picture proof that chimps really DO grieve? | Mail Online )