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The BugLady is out hunting for insects and will be back in July. Here’s something to keep you out of trouble in the meantime.
It’s a little-known fact that the BugLady briefly minored in Ethology (Animal Behavior) in grad school. The field of Ethology is a relatively young one – Charles Darwin is considered by some to be the first modern ethologist, and its status as a science was solidified in the 1920’s because of the elegant studies done by Lorenz and Tinbergen. Ethology’s early bias was that all animal behavior was hard-wired – instinctive – and anyone who claimed that there was any kind of cognitive element in animal behavior was labeled “Anthropomorphic” and drummed out of the lodge.
In recent decades, as experiments have suggested that some animals have the ability to assess situations and behave accordingly – to “problem-solve” – the lines have gotten a little fuzzy. Eugene Linden’s book The Parrot’s Lament (2000) showcases anecdotes of a bunch of vertebrates (and an octopus – never underestimate an octopus) behaving, well, intelligently (and the incident that prompted the book’s title is mind-boggling).
Go outside – look at Bugs!