You are about to witness the cutest thing to ever cute. Pretty much. Think of it as a Unicorn Chaser to that Tea Party video.
Naturally (because Wednesday is my designated stick-in-the-mud day), I immediately started wondering whether there wasn't something more nefarious going on. Does this elephant seal really just want to snuggle, or is this behavior some sort of thing rabid elephant seals do before they eat you? To find out, I contacted James Wood, Ph.D., director of education at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Cali.
He said context is important. One thing to keep in mind, watching this video, is that we don't know anything about the elephant seal's history. Maybe it's learned that humans will feed it tasty things if it repeats behaviors the humans seem to like, and now has a little racket going. That said, Wood also pointed out that many species of animals play, just for the sake of playing. And enjoying physical contact isn't something unique to humans.
When I was photographing wild manatees in Florida I had no intention of touching them. (There are strict regulations on that—one hand, at the surface.) But these several ton marine mammals would come up to me and roll on their bellies as they passed by—and I quickly learned that if I didn't give them a belly rub, they would go find someone that would. Pretty soon I forgot I was there to take pictures.
Teams of researchers are developing sesame seed-size neuro-implants that detect brain activity that signals depression and then deliver targeted electrical zaps to elevate your mood. It’s very early days in the science and technology but recent studies suggest that we’re on the path. Links to scientific papers below. Fortunately, the goal is to develop tools […]
In the 1960s, when Scientific American copy editor Michael J. Battaglia was 15, he had a chemical romance with the periodic table. In fact, Battaglia was so fascinated by the basic substances of our universe that he tried to collect ’em all (at least the 104 elements that science knew about at the time.) From […]
High-def cameras are available to anyone and for much less than they were just a decade ago. Even the phones in our pockets can be used to shoot and edit short films. It’s never been easier to be a filmmaker, providing you have the technique. Enter the Film & Cinematography Mastery Bundle, an online boot […]
Breaking into the indie video game market may be easier than you think. It all starts with an idea, and then it’s a matter of finding the right development platform to bring it to life. No matter what that platform is, it’s a good bet that it’s covered in the 2019 Game Dev & Design […]
Learning a new language like Spanish doesn’t have to be hard. Either you can buy a ticket to a Spanish-speaking country, immerse yourself in the culture and pick it up intuitively – or you can do it from the comfort of the chair you’re in right now by logging on to Rocket Spanish. There are […]