Wasps are some of nature’s smartest, meanest and most misunderstood bugs

Wasps are some of the most misunderstood creatures on the planet, but you definitely do not want to harass them. Although the ubiquitous insects are quite pretty — northern paper wasps, for example, sport various shades of black, yellow, brown and gold on their exoskeletons — these particular wasps are also quite aggressive if they believe their colonies are being threatened....

Originally posted on salon.com

Crabs are intelligent, sensitive animals — and some scientists wish we didn’t boil them alive

From the “Little Mermaid” character Sebastian to pet hermit crabs, people think crabs are wonderful — but some experts believe the way we treat crabs is downright barbaric.

“If crustaceans screamed when they were dropped into boiling water, I doubt we’d still be having these kinds of discussions.”

Like many other decapods (the class that also includes lobsters, shrimp, crayfish and prawns), crabs are a popular food item....

Originally posted on salon.com

Chimpsky, not Chomsky: Did Nim the chimpanzee actually learn American Sign Language?

Humans are often thought to be the only animals capable of language. But it’s difficult to prove a negative like this because we’ll never definitively know the subjective interior monologues of other animals, if they even exist. Nonetheless, much research has been poured into the study of animal intellect and whether creatures like orcas, pigeons and octopuses share a similar type of sentience, especially when it comes to our close primate cousins, chimpanzees....

Originally posted on salon.com