Category Archives: dolphins

The Center of Everything

“‘(…) Yes, I do believe humankind holds a special place in the world. It’s the same place held by a mockingbird, in his opinion, and a salamander in whatever he has that resembles a mind of his own.

Every creature alive believes this: The center of everything is me.

Every life has its own kind of worship, I think, but do you think a salamander is worshiping some God that looks like a big two-legged man? Go on! To him, a man’s a shadowy nuisance (if anything) compared to the sacred business of finding food and a mate and making progeny to rule the mud for all times. To themselves and one another, those muddy little salamander lives mean everything’”(217).

- Prodigal Summer

This quote from Prodigal Summer (a book I recommend! Interesting…) reminded me of a book I read in high school. My teacher, a friend of mine and I discussed this subject. Our topic was more along the lines of: Our creation myth or story ends with the appearance of man. But a rabbit’s creation myth ends with the creation of the rabbit.

Point being – we’re all self-absorbed! Ta da! No… While true, that wasn’t the entire point. Simply that every animal only really knows itself and who it is. We’ll never truly understand another species, even if we sit around watching them our entire lives. We can only talk for ourselves. We have no right to say: birds think this and cats feel this. I’m so much better than them. In your mind, you’re the best. In their mind, they are.

It’s in our blood to believe that our species is everything. But I love pondering this, and how each animal feels about themselves (as an individual) and their species (as a group).

Ponder, ponder, ponder…

Think, think, think…

 

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Filed under Animals, Behavioral musings, Birds, Booklist, Dogs, dolphins, elephants, Horses, Human & Animal Interactions, Humans, Quotes

Apps for Apes

It’s not enough, apparently, that technology permeates all aspects of our daily lives. Now apes, ape-arently, are next!

Apes using iPad apps? “It’s not a gimmick,” Orangutan Outreach founder, Richard Zimmerman, told Yahoo News.  “If they don’t want to do it, they won’t. There are actual measurable benefits.”

It’s true that apes in our modern-day zoos are well-fed, socialized and cared for. But all too frequently, they’re also bored and lonely, at times. The long hours spent indoors stunt their social growth and development – not something they would normally experience in the wild, so succumbing to the fascination of technology is not all that surprising.

“They need stimulation, especially indoors,” Zimmerman continues. “The zoo keepers can see the benefit from this sort of enrichment. We’re doing this as enrichment as opposed to research. But researchers are getting involved, that’s just not our jurisdiction.”

Apes aren’t the only ones catching on: iPads have already been used as a language interaction device between dolphins and humans. There are even iPad games made specifically for cats! The times are definitely changing, and “iAnimal” is helping us understand how animals see the human world.

They definitely understand more than scientists formerly believed possible. Does this help prove that they do, in a way, think like us?

Zoos are hoping to have Skype and Facetime set up for their orangutans once the primates become more accustomed with the technology. This will hopefully allow Orangutans to easily communicate with their Orangutan friends living in other zoos.

The biggest barrier at the moment is finding the funding for all of these ipads…

Who will pay for these? Will people find it worthy enough for donations? What if Apple made a specific iPad or other, custom-made Apple device specifically for animals?

Orangutan Outreach believes that donations should be used towards Orangutan conservation and rescue, not this “iPad movement.”

If you’d like to make a direct donation to Orangutan Outreach, you can do so here, as well as view the original article here.

 

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Filed under Article Discussion, dolphins, Human & Animal Interactions