Friday, December 26, 2008

Animals that lie

In a New York Times article about the biology of deceit notes that among primates there's "a direct relationship between sneakiness and brain size." It offers this story:
chimpanzees or orangutans in captivity sometimes tried to lure human strangers over to their enclosure by holding out a piece of straw while putting on their friendliest face.“People think, Oh, he likes me, and they approach,” Dr. de Waal said. “And before you know it, the ape has grabbed their ankle and is closing in for the bite. It’s a very dangerous situation.” Apparently dolphins are also capable of deceit:
After dolphin trainers at the Institute for Marine Mammals Studies in Mississippi had taught the dolphins to clean the pools of trash by rewarding the mammals with a fish for every haul they brought in, one female dolphin figured out how to hide trash under a rock at the bottom of the pool and bring it up to the trainers one small piece at a time. My cat is definitely capable of deception. Sometimes she'll pretend to be sleeping, but when you walk by her, Whack!, she gets you with her paw.
*Rocky our neighbors dog is pictured above. He travels a mile and a half almost every day to our home , then he follows our family members from outside - watching us through our windows. Changing windows as we change rooms. He barges into our home when the door is cracked open, and he runs over my children, and myself. He is the most emotionally needy dog that I have ever met. He can't get enough affection. Still the dog is very sweet, and he obeys some commands. He does kiss us on the lips so we have to cover our faces. I almost died when this happened to me. All I could think about were the petri dish cooties- on my own lips.


Adrienne said...

What a sweet face. (I'm a dog kisser - tell him to visit me for "doggie kisses.") Father Bill won't kiss his dogs so I have to go next door and kiss them for him. They love doggie kisses.....and I'm a very sick woman!

belinda said...

I'm with Father Bill, that many cooties would kill me.;)

Melody K said...

My cats were very curious about baby Emma, our 6-month old granddaughter who was here with her parents. I didn't let them get too up-close and personal. When she learns how to walk they will be hiding from her!

Melody K said...
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