October 26, 2008 3:13 PM   Subscribe

Love songs bring pleasure to birdbrains

Well, that's a nutshell explanation of the popularity of Mariah Carey.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:26 PM on October 26, 2008 [7 favorites]

Had to include this vid, a lemur getting high on a millipede, another good version in Spanish.
posted by nickyskye at 3:30 PM on October 26, 2008 [3 favorites]

I say animals don't experience pleasure, and I should know, for I am an animal prostitute.

Although, perhaps, I am just very bad at my job
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:38 PM on October 26, 2008 [3 favorites]

I am an animal prostitute.

Although, perhaps, I am just very bad at my job

Dang AZ, there's a sex addicts with bestiality and low self esteem issues down the corridor. No confessions here man. This is a party hearty thread.
posted by nickyskye at 3:44 PM on October 26, 2008

The narrator in that lemur video is pretty great. I wouldn't be able to say "Always on the lookout for their next multi-legged fix" with that much seriousness.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 3:51 PM on October 26, 2008

That cat actually made the "om nom nom nom nom" noise. Excellent.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:05 PM on October 26, 2008

Although, perhaps, I am just very bad at my job
Yeah, you're doin' it wrong.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:07 PM on October 26, 2008

My all time favourite: "So then we decided to tickle the rats ...".

The NY Times summarized the research here, but, sadly, Panksepp's article is no longer freely available. This little bit still delights me:

Although no one has investigated the possibility of rat humor, if it exists, it is likely to be heavily laced with slapstick. Even if adult rodents have no well-developed cognitive sense of humor, young rats have a marvelous sense of fun. We have already bred rats that exhibit playful chirping, and thereby hope to track down some of the genes for joy. Perhaps we will even stumble on new molecules to alleviate depression as well as some excessive-exuberance disorders.
posted by maudlin at 4:11 PM on October 26, 2008 [4 favorites]

capuchins pass around large millipedes like a marijuana joint, rubbing and mouthing them. Powerful defensive chemicals send them into a blissful stupor.

My "capuchin" has known this for a long time. It's more common than you think.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:12 PM on October 26, 2008

I never thought that I'd see a lemur drooling like a junkie... and yet, now I have. Thank you, Animal Planet!
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 4:13 PM on October 26, 2008

Drunk monkeys make great leaders, another classic.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:17 PM on October 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

From the animal sex expert link:

Nature documentaries tend to give the impression that life is an earnest struggle for survival, that it's a race against time, with very little time for leisure or pleasure. And I believe that is a very skewed perspective on reality.

I think this gets to the heart of both human self-conception and our general disregard or dismissal of animals. Any pet owner would doubtless testify to their animal's capacity for pleasure and happiness, in fact through rewards it is central to their conditioning and domestication. Despite the common caricature of animals' lives being lives of leisure, I can't grasp how impossible it is for some to consider an animal's experience as akin to our own. Clearly almost 150 years later we have yet to digest the full implications of Darwin.

But most importantly, granting non-human pleasure, we are faced with the question of just how animals cope with it. I mean, religion and authority have been telling us since time immemorial that only reason and the threat of harsh punishment, in this world and the next, can stem the wanton tide of our lusts and impulses. We need bibles, courts, etiquette, lashing, sermonizing and constant repentance to prevent anarchy and the rise of our vile animal instincts!
posted by kaspen at 4:20 PM on October 26, 2008 [6 favorites]

Love songs bring pleasure to birdbrains

[happily hums Love Song by the Cure]
posted by orange swan at 4:36 PM on October 26, 2008

You're confusing birdbrains with nest-heads*.

* gothy slang for people sporting severely back-combed Robert Smith style hairdos
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:57 PM on October 26, 2008

"Chuang Tzu and Hui Tzu were strolling along the dam of the Hao River when Chuang Tzu said, "See how the minnows come out and dart around where they please! That's what fish really enjoy!"
Hui Tzu said, "You're not a fish - how do you know what fish enjoy?"
Chuang Tzu said, "You're not I, so how do you know I don't know what fish enjoy?"
Hui Tzu said, "I'm not you, so I certainly don't know what you know. On the other hand, you're certainly not a fish - so that still proves you don't know what fish enjoy!"
Chuang Tzu said, "Let's go back to your original question, please. You asked me how I know what fish enjoy - so you already knew I knew it when you asked the question. I know it by standing here beside the Hao."
The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu, trans Burton Watson
posted by Huplescat at 4:58 PM on October 26, 2008

Once upon a time I had a greyhound. His racing name was Midnight Nick, but we just called him Nick. He was large for a greyhound, a good two hands taller than most, and weighing in around 75 pounds of solid muscle. Our other dogs were a chihuahua and a toy poodle. Quite the contrast in length and stride.

The little dogs had a rope chew toy they loved to play with. They would chase it, play tug of war with it, grrr and grin and giggle. Nick would just watch and envy. One day I came home from work to find Nick entertaining himself with the wee one's chew toy. He was in doggie heaven. He would toss it in the air and catch it himself. He would sling it down the hall, then run and get it. He had even figured out how to balance it on that long snout of his. Nick was having a blast.

Needless to say, the next day I went and got Nick his own rope chew toy. He and I had many a wonderful evening playing catch in the playground down the street. There isn't much more graceful and acrobatic than watching a greyhound change directions at full tilt. They are amazing athletes. Nick left this world about six years ago when he was 14, but his memories will last in my heart forever. He absolutely loved to have fun. It rubbed off on me.
posted by netbros at 5:32 PM on October 26, 2008 [6 favorites]

When I heard this story about Lady the Cocker spaniel who gets high on poisonous toads, on NPR a few years ago, I had to pull the car over because I was laughing so hard.

I've said this before, but I'll repeat myself: it's good to live in a time when the question, "Can animals experience pleasure?" is being asked and explored, rather than dismissed immediately. Thank you for this fantastic post, Nickyskye!
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 5:41 PM on October 26, 2008 [5 favorites]

Another anecdote about animals doing things just because they're fun: my friend and I once took our dogs to a creek after a heavy rain. This creek was normally very slow-moving and shallow, but in its swollen state, a small patch of rapids had appeared. My friend's big, goofy Lab waded into the rapids, got swept off her feet, and landed in another patch of shallow water a few yards away. She climbed onto the bank, shook herself off, lumbered back upstream, jumped back into the rapids and rode them back down. She must have done this ten more times before she finally got bored. Whee!
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 5:54 PM on October 26, 2008

A boxer on a trampoline.

Thanks for the post!
posted by oneirodynia at 6:27 PM on October 26, 2008 [4 favorites]

omg freshwater_pr0n, that is an amazing story about Lady The Canine toad junkie. I've heard about crows getting high on fermented palm juice in India, but at least that intoxicant is tasty. How amazing that lemurs or a domestic dog, and somehow especially a cocker spaniel of all breeds, would choose something which, no doubt, tastes bitter, at the very least. And toads?! A sort of a Valley of the Dolls Dogs.
posted by nickyskye at 6:28 PM on October 26, 2008

The Best Otter Video Ever! (love the pause about 24 seconds in...)
posted by cenoxo at 6:35 PM on October 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

oneirodynia, that jumping boxer is adorable. I loved it when he put his paws out, the way dogs do as an invitation to play.

In the "videos of animals having fun" link there's that cute fox on a trampoline classic. Somehow animals seem to get the trampoline is fun, which is pretty interesting when you think about it.

On preview, cenoxo, aww, that is the best Lutrine Prestidigitation vid evar.
posted by nickyskye at 6:41 PM on October 26, 2008

Dolphin bubble rings — in this one, the dolphin flicks smaller rings off of larger ones. Beluga whales get into the act, too. Perhaps they're just hungry, but foxes hunting mice look like they're making a game of it.
posted by cenoxo at 7:07 PM on October 26, 2008 [4 favorites]

cenoxo, wow, those bubble dolphin games are delightful. The delicate silvery rings are so symmetrical. I love they way they bite the little ones and seem to spin little rings off the bigger ones. I laughed seeing the fox leaping, prancing and high diving it into the snow all the way till he chomped on that mouse, chomp.

Love all these fun additional links.
posted by nickyskye at 7:57 PM on October 26, 2008

This FPP and thread is so ridden with awesomeness and smile-inducing stuff.

I remember my parents' dog, a Westie, would go pure apeshit for playing with the water coming out of the garden hose. I'd wave it around and make little droplets, and it would go all snappity-snap-snap on them. Many hours of fun for both of us.

(I distinctly heard the cat doing more of a "gnaah-gnaah-ngahh" than an "om-nom-nom-nom.")

Thanks, nicky!
posted by not_on_display at 8:51 PM on October 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

splashy splashy splashy splashy
posted by suckerpunch at 9:26 PM on October 26, 2008 [3 favorites]

Thanks for the drinking cat video, my one-and-a-half year old had the best belly laugh watching that this evening.
posted by Dragonness at 9:31 PM on October 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Dang it! They've gone off air. 8:30 am and there will be more than enough cute to go around.
posted by qinn at 12:06 AM on October 27, 2008 [2 favorites]

"* Calvin Klein's fragrance Obsession for Men is strongly seductive to female cheetahs."

You'd think those sciency types would know the difference between cheetahs and cougars.
posted by davelog at 6:22 AM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

You can't have a thread like this without skateboarding dog.
posted by LordSludge at 7:34 AM on October 27, 2008

Every now and then our 13-year old cat, sedate as she is, will still get that wide-eyed, fluff tail thing that cats do and tear around the house for no reason.

And while catnip does nothing for her, scratching her jawline turns her to drooling, purring, cat pudding.
posted by emjaybee at 8:56 AM on October 27, 2008

Snowball, (one of my faves) the dancing Cockatoo's obvious enjoyment of "Everybody" by the Backstreet Boys, seemed to get researchers going in the study of rhythm perception and the link between music and the body/brain's desire to keep rhythm to it.

davelog, Thanks for the witty vocabulary update. Had to google cougar and find out what the hell you were referring to.

Urban dictionary: Cougar
An older woman who frequents clubs in order to score with a much younger man. The cougar can be anyone from an overly surgically altered wind tunnel victim, to an absolute sad and bloated old horn-meister, to a real hottie or milf. Cougars are gaining in popularity -- particularly the true hotties -- as young men find not only a sexual high, but many times a chick with her shit together.
"That cougar I met last night, showed me shit I didn't know existed, I'm goin back for more."

Ah, so Calvin Klein's ex-wife, Kelly, is a 51 year old cougar, dating 28 year old Sean Avery. Though I plodded towards the realization, as usual, that's funny.

On a more zoological note re Calvin Klein's Obsession: One female ocelot rubbed against the lure and rolled and lay on it – “it was almost embarrassing”, one researcher said.

I wonder if perfumers are putting animal pheromones into their fragrances without mentioning it? Sometimes certain perfumes give me a heat rush too.
posted by nickyskye at 9:45 AM on October 27, 2008

wild fox on trampoline
posted by CitizenD at 9:55 AM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Guys! Guys! Look at this! Look at this! It's like dirt but it doesn't dig! It just gets wet! Guys! are you seeing this! This is so amazing! You can't get a hold of it! Guys! Guys?
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 AM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

One of the most memorable fish I ever had in an aquarium was a special plecostomus. The species is an algae eater with a big sucker mouth, and often enjoys hanging on the side of the aquarium or hiding in a corner. It's a nifty solitary fish that still plays well with others, and does a great job keeping the place clean.

This particular pleco lived in a tank with a free-floating thermometer and discovered that it if latched on to the thermometer with its sucker mouth, the combined weight would bring the thermometer down briefly, but the air at the top of the tube would make the thermometer bob back up to the surface again.

Apparently the pleco decided that this was great fun, as it was not uncommon to see the fish swim up to the thermometer, latch on and take it for a ride, bobbing up and down around the tank like some kind of crazy fish pogo stick.
posted by Spatch at 10:54 AM on October 27, 2008 [2 favorites]

Spatch, that is amazing. Cool story.
posted by nickyskye at 12:29 PM on October 27, 2008

qinn, I could kiss you on the mouth for the that puppy cam link. Awesome! No worky today.
posted by toastedbeagle at 7:42 AM on October 28, 2008

*goes to see the puppy cam.

AWWW. The noises are adorable. I want to kiss qinn too!
posted by nickyskye at 12:34 PM on October 28, 2008

The puppies are drinking milk! So cute!
posted by nickyskye at 12:36 PM on October 28, 2008

I think maybe we broke the puppy cam. Damn.
posted by toastedbeagle at 12:50 PM on October 28, 2008

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