Monday, February 27, 2012

International Polar Bear Day, Monday, Feb. 27th

Well, it's that time, again: it's International Polar Bear Day! These beautiful, enormous creatures are in the spotlight lately because there has been so much talk about their potential extinction. What a sad world it would be without them. Check out this great gallery, with lots of information in the captions, for more information about the world's biggest bear (along with the Grizzly -- go Canada!).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Japanese Snow Monkey Culture

In the last post on ANW, I reported that animals enjoy sports and learn to use tools from older generations -- in other words, I noted that animals have what we call "culture," a shared set of experiences passed down from one group to the next that is not innate or instinctual, but learned. Well, these snow monkeys in Japan prove my point yet further. As you'll see in this video, this particular group of macaques is the only group in Japan that enjoys a fine day at the outdoor spa, just like so many Norwegian humans. They learned to do it from their babies, no less. Watch them take a dip in the hot springs: