February 18, 2015

6:30 PM | Renewal Season
It’s February, and what I have come to think of as contract renewal season. I’m reasonably confident of continuing the work I’m doing, which is split between coordinating the online MSc (mostly student wrangling, as I think of it), teaching … Continue reading →
4:09 PM | NC Zoo Closed Until Saturday?
Latest I've heard: .@NCZoo is closed this afternoon, tomorrow & next day.— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) February 18, 2015
2:45 PM | Zoo Parkway Clear & Dry
Got into work about an hour ago. Parkway and entrance road clear and dry. Mild and sunny. Zoo closed.
1:30 PM | What Do Young Children Learn From Pets?
Is a better understanding of biology something children can learn from dogs and cats?Young children are very interested in animals. One study even found children aged 11 – 40 months would prefer to look at an animal behind a glass screen (even if the animal is fast asleep) rather than play with a toy (LoBue et al 2013). Now researchers are asking whether this interest in animals means that children with a cat or dog know more about biology than those without.The study, by Megan Geerdts […]

LoBue, V., Bloom Pickard, M., Sherman, K., Axford, C. & DeLoache, J. (2013). Young children's interest in live animals, British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 31 (1) 57-69. DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-835X.2012.02078.x

Muldoon, J., Williams, J. & Lawrence, A. (2014). 'Mum cleaned it and I just played with it': Children's perceptions of their roles and responsibilities in the care of family pets, Childhood, DOI: 10.1177/0907568214524457

Geerdts, M., Van de Walle, G. & LoBue, V. (2015). Daily animal exposure and children’s biological concepts, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 130 132-146. DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2014.10.001


February 17, 2015

8:35 PM | Smooth!
♫ you've been struck by ... a smooth criminal ♫— bitter spice (@goldengateblond) February 17, 2015
8:01 PM | Devoted Keeper Staff...Brave the Elements"
"Icy conditions will keep the NC Zoo closed on Wednesday, Feb 18. We are thankful for our devoted keeper staff who continue to brave the elements to keep our animal residents warm, safe and fed." - NC Zoo Society Facebook post
4:10 PM | Tacoma Voters Provide Zoo with $65 Million
The Port Defiance Zoo and Aquarium will make additions and improvements with a large percentage of $198 million provided by the City for its parks. The Zoo helped earn a 65% positive vote for the bond measure.

February 16, 2015

8:56 PM | Acupuncture is All Placebo
Acupuncture is among the most popular alternative therapies in the mainstream medical community. There appears to be a widespread belief that it has been scientifically proven to be a safe and effective therapy, at least for pain and nausea, and … Continue reading →
7:57 PM | Discussing Pet Vaccine Refusal on The Pet Buzz
I had the opportunity recently to discuss the issue of vaccines and vaccine refusal among pet owners on The Pet Buzz, WSRQ Sarasota. You can listen to this very brief discussion here:    
5:21 PM | Nice Day, Actually, For a Hike or...
...a trip to the zoo? I'm 1 Wild & crazy #Turkey drawn 2 #hike this bike trail on #Gboro #NC's colder days. #WildTurkey— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) February 16, 2015 Actually, i've been on Greensboro's Wild Turkey Trail on much more bitter days, when cold winter winds whipped across the Lake, but today was calm. It was the kind of day that i enjoy a walk in the NC Zoo, knowing, as a member of the Zoo Society, that the animals will be active and […]
2:10 PM | It All Depends on What Your Definition of "Throughout" Is?
"The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro closed because of "heavy wind damage to trees throughout the park." The wind knocked down two trees at the zoo, spokesman Gavin Johnson said. No animals were injured." -
1:56 PM | Not Likely
.@weatherchannel says there is 10% chance that snow (precip) will fall on @NCZoo within its last hour before closing today.— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) February 16, 2015

February 15, 2015

10:39 PM | Scorpion on a Plane
HATE when that happens! MRT "@mashable: Passenger stung by scorpion on LA to Portland flight:"— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) February 15, 2015
8:27 PM | "Heavy Wind Damage @NCZoo" UPDATE
[from NC Zoo media release] "Due to strong winds, freezing wind chills and fallen trees the North Carolina Zoo is closed today. Due to the forecast for a winter storm, which predicts freezing rain and snow the zoo will remain closed to the public on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 16-17. Saturday night trees were blown down in the park blocking access for visitors. All animals and staff are safe and no exhibits/buildings were damaged." "For information on daily operational status, the public can […]
8:12 PM | Fluffy Friday
Where have we been this week? Mostly busy with the Animal Welfare and Behaviour MOOC on Coursera – so apologies for the lack of postings this week. Check out our Friday HangOut for some classic MOOC action :)
3:35 PM | Penguins=South; Polar Bears=North
Floridians hold a Penguin Plunge event because penguins are found south and polar bears...north. Yes, polar bears are usually found in the Arctic, BUT the "South" we are talking about is well south of the Gulf of Mexico and often, the Antarctic. (Most cold-weather "plunge" events tend to be named for the Polar bear, or region.)
2:10 PM | "Heavy Wind Damage" @ NC Zoo
The zoo will be closed today due to heavy wind damage to trees throughout the park— North Carolina Zoo (@NCZoo) February 15, 2015 Did not get the regular media release and "Zoo All" e-mail, and the NC Zoo website* has nothing I can find on the closing, but had heard it from staff and now, recently, here is a tweet (and there is a Facebook post). Do not plan a zoo outing today! Will watch for further reports of extent of *The North Carolina […]

February 14, 2015

10:00 PM | Wombat Bearing Flowers
Happy #ValentinesDay! We got you flowers. ❤️🌷🌷❤️— San Diego Zoo (@sandiegozoo) February 14, 2015
9:54 PM | Sloth is "World Explorer" at Heart
I think a lot about: Exploring the world – there’s a tree 8 feet away that I’m really curious about. #NMNHcupid— Smithsonian's NMNH (@NMNH) February 14, 2015
4:45 PM | First YouTube Offering: "me at the zoo"
There was no YouTube before this. Yes, I have tweeted about this before. (Follow the Jawed Karim label link to the TWO prior refs, if you must.)
3:43 PM | "It Will Reverberate"
The Detroit Zoo will voluntarily give up its elephants. "Five U.S. zoos have closed elephant exhibits in recent years under public pressure..." "The zoo is the window into our humanity, and how we treat other things in nature." - Ron Kagan

February 13, 2015

10:02 PM | Thanks, BBC, For Clearing This Up
This is surely BBC News' most superfluous caption— The Independent (@Independent) February 13, 2015
3:58 PM | A Glaucous Gull, of course!
The good thing about talking with larophiles is that you can get a quick answer on a bird they feel is obvious. The bad thing about talking with larophiles is that one feels a dope when they all recognize what the bird is immediately and then assume that one is utterly ignorant of all things […]
2:44 PM | Another Virgin Birth?
I've posted before of facultative partenogenesis or virgin births. Now the North Georgia Zoo believes its green anaconda is another example. I introduce "facultative" into this story because my understanding is that "facultative parthenogenesis" is the "surprise virgin birth", as opposed to the "virgin birth" that is the norm for the species ("obligate parthenogenesis".
2:35 PM | Herding Dogs vs. "Protected Contact"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette runs another opinion on Pittsburgh Zoo's "innovative" use of herd dogs to help "manage" elephants. The North Carolina Zoo uses protected contact in holding and exhibiting African elephants.
2:00 PM | Tell All, Valentine
Do you have a romantic zoo story to share with us? First date, engagement, or even married here at the zoo? #WhyILuvNCZoo— NC Zoo Society (@NCZooSociety) February 13, 2015
1:57 PM | Show Some Valentine Love...for Wolf, Bison
“It’s time to love the buffalo, respect the wolf, honor their sacred relationship with First Nations.." #yellowstone— Kalli F Doubleday (@kallidoubleday) February 10, 2015

February 12, 2015

6:50 PM | Feb. 2015 NC Zoo "Volunteer Views"
"Cypress Swamp— Cougars are growing! Streamside— Otters are being allowed to breed again. Desert— New animals for the Desert will include sand cats, porcupines and hyrax. More colorful lizards will also be added. Species will reflect several continents, and not just those from North America. Gorilla—Gorillas are doing fine at mammal prop. Acacia will be leaving for Riverbanks Zoo in the near future. Africa Plains—A pregnant Sitatunga is due soon. […]

February 11, 2015

10:01 PM | Ballet @ Zoo
It isn't every day you see babirusas doing #ballet. #dirtydancing Photo by Jane Padfield— Saint Louis Zoo (@stlzoo) February 11, 2015
2:29 PM | Tsskk! With Valentine's Day So Near!
Players gonna play. #LoveWeek— National Aquarium (@NatlAquarium) February 10, 2015
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