Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The science of cute animal videos

CNN shows how dancing animals actually make for good science in Sea lion dances to 'Boogie Wonderland'.

A sea lion grooves to Earth, Wind and Fire, and bops to Backstreet Boys. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports on the musical mammal.
That reminds me; Megan Gannon of LiveScience described How Cute Animal Videos Could Help Science.
The Internet is a friendly place for cute and weird animal behaviors caught on camera, from foxes jumping on trampolines to dogs playing with deer. But beyond entertaining the masses, these amateur viral videos sometimes document behaviors that are rarely seen, and they could help scientists understand how species interact with each other, some researchers say.

"They're not substitutes for good, hardcore research, but they're very valuable for people who aren't going to see certain things," Marc Bekoff, a former professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, told LiveScience this week. "From a pedagogical point of view, I wish I had had more access to YouTube videos. I would have probably used them in my classes."
I can relate. I use YouTube videos in my classes all the time, including some that I've posted here.

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