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.
I have offered plenty of advice on caring for your cast iron cookware. Stop seasoning it in the house, use your BBQ. Seasoning this stuff in the oven (my favorite old way,) or on the stove smokes your house up. Just throw the shit on the grill. Super thinly put a coat of oil on […]
One of the major contributors to greenhouse gases is the methane that cows belch up as they break down cellulose, but five years ago, research from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) found that adding small amounts of a pink seaweed called Asparagopsis to cows' diets eliminated the gut microbes responsible for methane […]
On Slate Star Codex (previously), Scott Alexander breaks down Invisible Designers: Brain Evolution Through the Lens of Parasite Manipulation, Marco Del Giudice's Quarterly Review of Biology paper that examines the measures that parasites take to influence their hosts' behaviors, and the countermeasures that hosts evolve to combat them.
If there’s one thing that stayed consistent through the last decade or so of tech industry turmoil, it’s the love affair between techies and Linux. There’s just a ton you can do with the OS, and its open-source format means you can customize your rig from the ground up. Apparently not content with that level […]
Accidents happen. And when they do, you’re going to want a dash cam for a second pair of eyes. At the minimum, a decent dash cam can save you vast sums of time and money in case of an accident. But a really good dash cam can do a whole lot more. Here are six […]
The field of data analytics is growing as fast as the internet itself. Self-driving cars, airline pricing, and huge marketing campaigns are all driven by the insights that data scientists can distill out of vast sums of information. Even with the help of powerful software like Python, it’s a highly skilled position. But those skills […]