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Archive for August, 2012


Hey folks,

Due being sick on and off I’ve had a hard time updating my blog regularly but not to worry, I’m working on it.

Today’s post discusses a popular topic in science… ‘Are animals stupid?’

Well, any animal lover right off the bat would say “No! absolutely not!” others may disagree.

I can say from personal experience, that animals are not stupid. Here’s a question…

How many of you own a dog who not only walked by herself to visit a family member but knew which apartment door to knock?

My point, animals are intelligent creatures and many people tend to forget that.

Dolphins, Chimpanzees, Horses, Pigeons, Elephants, Pigs and Dogs are among the world’s smartest animals.

Studies have also shown animals have photography memory. Pigeons in particular can be released a thousand miles away from home but always find their way back.

Geese, butterflies, Wildebeests, Fish and other species who  migrate travel on the same path every fall and spring, something they have done for generations.

Sheep can remember their Shepherd’s voice and can recognize up to 15 members of their flock.

An animal by any other name…

Studies have shown like people, animals like to be called by their name and respond to it when called.

I’ve been around enough dogs, cats and other animals and strongly believe that.

There are many zoos and refuges who tag and name the animals in their care.

Some facilities prefer not to name their animals for different reasons.

Many people think this: “Once you name an animal, you get attached to it.”

Although this is true, there are farms, nature reserves and other places that use nicknames or serial numbers for identification purposes.

For instance at say, that a certain number of the coyote population in Southern California near the Hollywood Hills area. Nine times out of ten one out of five coyotes might have a radio collar with a number and nickname.

Example:

# C22

Description: Large gray and white male coyote

Nickname: Tiny

See my point?

One famous kennel in France that breeds and trains Foxhounds gives each and every hound a name.

Also, in many cases, an animal won’t respond to being called by a different name.

“And they call us dumb animals”

For decades, many people denied the idea that animals are living creatures who that can and do think for themselves.

For instance, many dinosaur species whose brains were the size of either an orange or some other small object were thought to be stupid. However, the Trodon, a smaller member of the raptor family is thought to be one of the smartest dinosaurs that ever lived.

Other reptiles such as Komodo dragons and monitor lizards can count up to six. Reggie, an alligator famous for avoiding being captured in a lake in Harbor City, CA in 2005 had figured out how to pick the lock on his enclosure at the L.A. zoo.

Crows and Ravens are good at problem solving. During a study at Oxford University in England, a raven was left on a picnic table, in front of him, a glass bottle with water at the bottom and a bowl of stones.

What did he do?

By dropping stones into the bottle, the water rose upward. After half an hour of trial and error, the raven used the stones to bring the water up to the top of the bottle, allowing him to get a drink.

Dodos, a member of the dove/pigeon family were also considered ‘stupid’ despite that pigeons quite intelligent.

Apes, monkeys and lemurs such as Gorillas, Chimps, Orangutans and Aye-ayes are also very smart. Many of them make tools using sticks and other objects found in trees and on the ground and use their hands much like a person does.

In the early 20th century, Thylacines, commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger were another so-called ‘dumb animal’. However there are cases that proves this to be wrong.  Footage of Benjamin,who was actually a female and supposedly the last of the Tasmanian Tigers, shows that during the years she spent at the Hobart Zoo she recognized and interacted with her caretaker on almost daily basis. In another case, a Tasmanian resident, Reg Trigg took in a female Tasmanian Tiger and nursed her back to health after finding her caught in one of his snare traps. Naming her Lucy, he kept her as a pet and later released her believing that a male Tasmanian Tiger was looking for her.

Two years later, Lucy had a brief reunion with her owner, making it obvious she remembered her home.

There have been cases where Tasmanian Tigers like Lucy and Benjamin were kept as exotic pets and behaved much like a house dog.

While Tasmanian Tigers are thought to be extinct, there have been many reports since 1936 of tigers being seen in different parts of both Australia and Tasmania. One area thought to have a small population of Tasmanian Tigers is the southern region of Tasmania which is rural and has remained untouched since the 1930s.

That being the case, these animals have learned to avoid human contact to a certain degree. Other animals that seemed to have also done this are the Honshu/Japanese wolf,  the Javan, Caspian and Bali tigers, Caribbean monk seals, Pink headed ducks, Ivory billed woodpeckers, Stellar’s Sea cow, Barbary lion, Chinese river dolphin and many others. These animals are thought to be extinct but reports of sightings have come in over the years, which suggests that they are not extinct but live in small scattered populations. The Barbary lion, Pink headed duck and Ivory billed woodpecker were rediscovered as well as a toad species in Israel.

It is not uncommon for a species to be rediscovered. New ones are discovered every year, there is an estimated 8.8 million plant and animal species alive on earth today but only a quarter of them have been discovered.

Getting back to the subject of intelligence, here some of my personal experiences and observations.

I’ve seen Fox squirrels run across telephone lines much like a sidewalk in Southern California. If there aren’t any phone lines around and the squirrel has to cross the street, they look at the road and then run across, occasionally stopping midway to check for the vibrations of an oncoming car. I saw a squirrel do just that in 2005 in Beverly Hills and I’m happy to say he safely made it to the other side of the street.

Another experience I’ve had involved my own dogs, all of which have proven to be good at problem solving.

As an exercise, I would take one of my dogs’ favorite snacks and hide it in some odd place, under the couch, inside a kong toy, you get the point.  They sniff around to locate the snack or try to pry it out of the kong toy.

Scrub jays, a sub-species of Blue Jay that resides in Hawaii and Southern California, hold funerals for deceased members of their kind, store food for another meal and have a sense of reason.

Many scientists and animal behavior specialist have dismissed that animals can understand human speech.

However, I can honestly say that is false.

One my of ex-neighbor’s relatives had a dog that only understood spanish.

Plus from my own experiences, animals are fully aware of when a person is talking about them while their present or if someone is talking directly to them.

They can also be taught a variety of commands.

There are programs where elephants have been taught how to paint, play a musical instrument and even soccer!

Another program has helped Orangutans and Bonabos, a cousin of chimpanzees learn how to use ipads. One Bonabo actually understands 1,000 spoken words and plays piano!

There is also a female border collie who recognizes different people and objects by name and understands over 700 words(and counting).

So, are animals stupid?

Not at all!

Remember, animals, from household pets to Africa’s big cats, see, hear and smell a lot more than humans do.

So, the next time you see an animal, think twice before calling them dumb or stupid. You’d be surprised at what they’re capable of.

See ya in September!

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Hey folks,

Not doing so well today, lower back, a headache and upset stomach have been giving me a hard time.

Going to be taking it easy for the next few days…

Again, I apologize for the delay.

See ya on friday!

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Hey folks,

Due to recovering from another headache and upset stomach, today’s post will be postponed.

Sorry for the delay.

See ya on Wednesday!

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Hey folks,

I know my blogging routine has been inconsistent the past few months. But I plan to make up for lost time. No seriously I do.

For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to make some updates and get back on track. Well, looks like the wait will have to be a little bit longer, so check back for some updates.

Yesterday’s teleconference went well. As always, I learned a lot of things I didn’t know about the film industry, many points were helpful. Overall, it was worth listening too.

I plan to have some things worked out next month in September for both Pen & Paper and my main website.

So stay tuned!

See ya on Monday!

 

 

 

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Hey folks,

Not much to say this time.

The title of today’s post is based on a quote by W.C. Fields, “Never work with Children and Animals”

With that quote being said over 70 years ago, working with Kids and animals in Hollywood has changed.

I’ll save that for another post.

Having found out that this month is Animal Appreciation August and National Dog Day is a couple days away, for the rest of the month I’ll be doing some animal related posts so stay tuned.

Oh, and I have a teleconference tomorrow.

See ya on Friday!

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Hey folks, due to recovering from a headache I won’t be on here for long.

Was in L.A. once again last week which was great!

Saw a lot of wildlife including some ravens, crows, red-tailed hawks, a squirrel and vultures.

Grabbed lunch at one of my favorite places, Trimona Grill.

Overall, it was nice to be back in Southern California and seeing family and friends.

Topped off the evening with a dinner at California Chicken Cafe.

I also learned that after 3 years, the place next door, Wow! Bento Roll is now closed.

But it’ s not a total loss, Bento is actually a chain and has other locations in the city, just have to find them.

Overall I’m glad that this trip was the last of one-day-turn around trips.

Well that about wraps it up. I gotta go lay down.

See ya on Wednesday!

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No longer lost…


Hey folks,

well, the lost week is officially over.

So sorry about that, lately it’s been hard for me to keep my blog updated for various reasons: Seasonal allergies, sinus/tension headaches, upset stomach, lack of sleep, you get the point.

Apart from that I plan to get back on track.

See ya on Monday!

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