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From the beginning, JSTOR Daily has followed the philosophy that there can never be too many stories about our weird, wonderful, surprising, and above all cute animal siblings. We’ve considered tardigrades, puffins, and apatosaurs (or are they brontosaurs?) and have no plans to stop. We can’t quit wildlife cams, and neither can you.

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Animals bring us joy, teach us lessons, puzzle us, and ultimately raise questions about life on Earth that are more interesting than the short lives any of us live as individuals. Right now, though, we can’t quite say we do right by animals, as populations of species shrink due to human-made calamities, from poaching to climate change. We owe them more.

Our affection for animals might help us think through what we as a planet are going through at this turbulent time. Maybe we can channel all that squee and wow into some kind of deeper belief in life itself.


An octopus

Stuck in the Midden with You

A midden is, among other things, a refuse site outside an octopus' home. (Release the Køkkenmødding!)
A well-groomed thoughtful cat

The Curious Science of Animal Personalities

Any pet owner can tell you that different pets have different personalities, but actually measuring personality in non-human animals is a challenge.
A shark being cleaned by smaller fish

Where the Small Fish Clean the Bigger Ones

A "cleaner station" is a sort of undersea business, a place where large, often predatory, fish go to have parasites removed.
A bear looks out of its cave over the snow covered terrain

The Mysteries of Hibernation

Bears in hibernation have a lot of physiological issues to solve.



An orange and cream lizard tilts its head and tail up

Animal Penises Can Tell Us a Lot About Evolution

There is a surprisingly large body of work regarding animal penis evolution.
A giant squid

Why Deep-Sea Creatures Get Weirdly Giant

A giant squid sighting has us wondering all over again: how on earth do deep-sea creatures get so large?
A panda chewing on a stalk of bamboo

Why Do Pandas Have Thumbs?

Some panda species have strange thumb-like appendages, but their thumbs evolved for strikingly different reasons.
A lizard with dewlap extended sitting on a rock

When Faced with Competition, Florida Lizards Simply Evolve Faster

When faced with an invasive competitor, Florida anole lizards took only 15 years to evolve a response.


Just Plain Awesome and/or Cute

Koko the Gorilla and mother Jackie

The Legacy of Koko the Gorilla

The jury is still out on whether or not Koko's signing skills proved that apes can learn language. But we certainly learned a lot from the famous gorilla.
A pair of humpback whales

The Cultural Differences in Humpback Whale Songs

One group of researchers found distinct differences among songs from groups of humpback whales that are geographically isolated from each other.
A hedgehog in a porcelain cup

Biomimicry Comes for the Noble Hedgehog

Inventors often use animals' adaptations to the environment in applications that benefit humans, from sharky swimsuits to hedgehog-inspired helmets.
An eagle feeds its offspring

Bald Eagles Are Back From the Brink

Bald eagles are back from the brink of extinction.
A seal pops its head up out of the water

Seals 1, Scientists 0

A long-term study to track the movements of commercially valuable fish species might have been a waste of time, thanks to crafty seals.

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