Crazy-smart bees. Rogue wolves. A world-famous pig. Animals are more complex than we give them credit for. This Friday, we’ve collected some of the best stories out there on the unique creatures, furry and otherwise, that enrich our lives.
The Crane Who Fell in Love With a Human
Sadie Dingfelder, Washington Post
Cranes mate for life. But when one white-naped crane earned the reputation as a black widow, an intrepid zookeeper found an unlikely way to fight extinction.
The Dog Who Took the Witness Stand
Christopher DeCou, Narratively
Tracing the origins of the animal rights movement to one truly bizarre 1922 court case.
The Charmed Life of Esther the Wonder Pig
Jason McBride, The Walrus
What one celebrity pet can tell us about our curious and complicated relationship with animals.
How The Octopus Got Its Smarts
Elizabeth Finkel, Cosmos
Did the octopus evolve its unique intelligence by playing fast and free with the genetic code?
A Very Old Man for a Wolf
Emma Marris, Outside
He was the alpha male of the first pack to live in Oregon since 1947. For years, a state biologist tracked him, collared him, counted his pups, weighed him, photographed him, and protected him. But then the animal known as OR4 broke one too many rules.
WATCH: What Are Animals Thinking and Feeling?
Carl Safina, TED
Using discoveries and anecdotes that span ecology, biology and behavioral science, a conservationist argues that just as we think, feel, use tools and express emotions, so too do the other creatures—and minds—that share the Earth with us.
Bees May Understand Zero, a Concept That Took Humans Millennia to Grasp
Kate Keller, Smithsonian.com
If the finding is true, they’d be the first invertebrates to join an elite club that includes primates, dolphins and parrots.
In Search of the Heart of the Online Cat-Industrial Complex
Gideon Lewis-Kraus, Wired
If you want to know why the Internet chose cats, you must go to Japan.
How Animal Psychics Helped Untangle a Mixed-up Horse
Sterry Butcher, Texas Monthly
Healing a spooked horse takes time, patience, and skill. And maybe a little help from beyond.
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