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The Thoughtful Animal

The Thoughtful Animal

Exploring the evolution and architecture of the mind

Where Did The Thoughtful Animal Go?

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve no doubt noticed that things have been a little quiet around here. While this blog isn’t dead, per se, it’s on an extended hibernation.

September 22, 2014 — Jason G. Goldman
Talking Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria

Talking Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria

Earlier this week I sat down with my friend Cara Santa Maria to chat on her excellent podcast, Talk Nerdy. The conversation was wide-ranging: we talked about the discovery of a new group of insects in which the females have what many are calling a “penis-like structure” (but which the researchers have labeled a gynosome), [...]

April 23, 2014 — Jason G. Goldman

Is It Good For Kids To Have A Pet?

People overwhelmingly believe that having pets is overall a good thing for children. Indeed, a 2003 paper by developmental psychologist Gail F.

April 17, 2014 — Jason G. Goldman
Best of March, 2014

Best of March, 2014

March was a busy month! Here’s everything I wrote last month. Here on The Thoughtful Animal: Oil Pollution is Making Gulf Dolphins Sick Studying Contagious Yawning Might Help Us Build Better Societies The Turtle with Human Eyes When Animals Act Like People in Stories, Kids Can't Learn At Conservation Magazine’s Conservation This Week blog: Move [...]

April 9, 2014 — Jason G. Goldman

More Oarfish And This Time They’re Alive

In October, two oarfish mysteriously washed up dead on beaches in Southern California. It’s unusual to find one intact oarfish carcass, so the fact that there were two within days of each other had scientists scratching their heads.

April 7, 2014 — Jason G. Goldman
The Turtle with Human Eyes

The Turtle with Human Eyes

At first glance, most eyes look the same. There’s a small opening through which light passes. That light goes through the transparent liquid behind the lens and strikes the retina, a thin film of light-sensitive nerve cells that line the back of the eye.

March 19, 2014 — Jason G. Goldman
Studying Contagious Yawning Might Help Us Build Better Societies

Studying Contagious Yawning Might Help Us Build Better Societies

We often turn to dogs and to chimpanzees to understand our species. Chimpanzees are our closest relatives (with bonobos), while centuries of selective breeding have turned dogs into a species uniquely suited to comprehend our own social cues.

March 13, 2014 — Jason G. Goldman

Oil Pollution is Making Gulf Dolphins Sick

For eighty-seven days in 2010, 210 million gallons of oil from wells below the Deepwater Horizon poured into the Gulf of Mexico. Researchers announced recently that as a result, Bottlenose dolphins in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay are suffering from a host of maladies, including lung disease and adrenal problems.

March 4, 2014 — Jason G. Goldman
Cows Learn Better With Friends

Cows Learn Better With Friends

My schoolteachers took effort to separate close friends when arranging their classroom seating charts. The idea was that we’d pay more attention to our lessons if we were distracted by our buddies.

February 28, 2014 — Jason G. Goldman

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