Animals Behaving Badly: Boozing Bees, Cheating Chimps, Dogs with Guns, and Other Beastly True Tales

Animals Behaving Badly: Boozing Bees, Cheating Chimps, Dogs with Guns, and Other Beastly True Tales

Linda Lombardi

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 0399536973

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


There's a lot that animals don't want you to know, and the better their public image, the worse their secrets are: gang-rapist dolphins; lazy, infanticidal lions; and, of course, our own dogs, who eat our money, set our houses on fire, and in more than one case, actually shoot their owners with guns.

Animals Behaving Badly shows that animals are just like us: gluttonous, selfish, violent, lustful, and always looking out for number one. Using anecdotes from the news and from scientific research, Linda Lombardi pokes fun at our softhearted preconceptions about animals, makes us feel a little better about humanity's basest impulses, and painlessly teaches us a bit more about our furry and feathered friends.

You'll learn:

  • Bees love alcohol: even, says one researcher, more than college students
  • Pandas enjoy pornographic movies-they're particularly aroused by the soundtrack-and macaques will pay with juice to look at dirty pictures
  • A rabbit who lives in a pub in England is addicted to gambling with a slot machine
  • African elephants raised by teenage mothers form violent youth gangs

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youngsters are pecked, picked up and shaken and thrown, and killed and occasionally cannibalized by other adults. ■ In some species of monkeys, a certain percentage of mothers are serial child abusers. Moms in one colony of pigtail macaques were observed taking normal care of the kids as well as physically abusing them—dragging them by the tail or legs, pressing them against the ground, chewing on their extremities, and compulsively grooming around the eyes, sometimes causing blindness. And on

may be appalling, but don’t be too quick to feel morally superior just because you’re a mammal. Unlike birds, who at least maintain a facade in front of the children, less than 3 percent of mammal species even bother to pretend to be monogamous. And that exceptional 3 percent? Turns out they’re the ones who are exceptionally good at hiding their affairs from the prying eyes of researchers. Prairie voles are supposedly part of that mammal minority that spend their whole lives with a single

as less annoying than a meow—so the cat doesn’t get kicked out of the bedroom—but has an urgency we find hard to ignore. A researcher says that this particular sound is a natural one, but “we think that cats learn to dramatically exaggerate it when it proves effective in generating a response from humans.” • The parasite toxoplasma, when it infects a rat, overwhelms its fear of cats and makes it actually feel attracted to them, with predictable results for the rodent. (It then infects the cat,

29, 2009, www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5240623/Grizzly-bear-is-best-man-at-wedding.html. “Highway Man Settles In,” San Jose Mercury News, June 1, 2010, www.mercurynews.com/ci_15179342 (accessed Feb. 15, 2010). “History of the Brown Treesnake Invasion on Guam,” U.S. Geological Survey, July 26, 2005, www.fort.usgs.gov/resources/education/bts/invasion/history.asp. “Italian Villages Terrorised by Rampaging Bear but Law Protects Animal,” Telegraph (UK), May 21, 2010,

Massachusetts rocks used as tools roller coaster rooftop luggage boxes stolen roosters Roscoe (dog) Rouwendal, Henry running amok, assault, and arson running wild (unexpected animals) Russia Sacramento, California salt marsh sparrows sand tiger sharks San Francisco, California San Jose, California San Pedro, California Santa Monica Aquarium Santini (chimp) Scarborough, South Africa scavengers, dogs as scientific solutions to animals behaving badly Scotland screwing

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