Count your bowls...plus, thieving cockatoos 🦜

 

My mate Maisy the Labrador always plays fair and always shares her toys.


But come dinner time, something changes. She wolfs down her food in seconds, barely pausing for breath. Then…she starts eating mine! If our other friends come to play, she'll empty their bowls as well.


I used to think she was just super hungry after hours of playing chase. But then I learnt some Labradors aren't like the rest of us.


Many, like Maisy, are missing the gene which tells their brains when their bellies are full. It means they will only stop munching once there's nothing left. After the tenth bowl? Still going. And if you let them, they'll eat and eat until it makes them sick…or worse.


It got me thinking - do humans have the Labrador gene?


It seems no amount of clothes, cars, flights or stuff satisfies a human's insatiable hunger. They've eaten tonight's dinner, tomorrow's dinner and the dinners of many years to come.


Will they consume and consume until there are no more resources left to fill their bowls?


Or will they stop, count their blessings and reuse, repair and recycle one bowl at a time?  

 

DID YOU KNOW...

Cockatoos in Sydney have discovered a unique way to fill their bellies.
 
Residents say the crested birds are breaking into trash bins to steal scraps, sharing tips and techniques from bird to bird and flock to flock.
 
The humans are fighting back, weighing down or jamming bin lids shut against prying beaks. Just like the cockatoos, techniques are passing from house to house, as neighbours seek inspiration to keep the birds at bay.
 
But over time, the cockatoos have developed new tricks to outsmart the humans once again. The only answer now seems to be a specially-designed cockatoo lock.
 
Although, my guess is it’s only a matter of time before these clever birds go full Ocean’s Eleven and bust through them too.

THE DIRT WORTH ROLLING IN...

  1. “Hello? Acorn hear you.” The woodpecker disrupting telecom with its stash of nuts {link}
  2. You scratch my back, I won’t scratch yours: Study shows dogs don’t do treat for treat {link}
  3. How many Hans am I holding up? Could Hans the math horse really count? {link}

ANDRE HUNTS DOWN THE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS

'Andre, my dogs Topo and Gaston seem to know how many treats I have left in my hand.  But can dogs really count?' 

Well, I don’t know if I’d get them to do your tax return just yet, but studies show dogs do have an innate ability to sense numbers.
 
‘Approximate Number System’ is the name given to how humans and other animals can quickly guess a rough number, for example, sheep in a flock, fruit on a tree or cakes on a plate. When tested, eight out of 10 dogs showed brain activity suggesting they had this sensitivity to numbers.
 
So, while they may not count in an organised sequence like humans do, they certainly have a good idea how many treats you’re holding. Or if Topo’s got more food in his bowl than Gaston.

HUMANS WHO PLAY NICE WITH THE PLANET®

What started as a challenge to go plant-based for Veganuary has led to the Queen Inn pub in Wales becoming fully vegan.

Now, owner Ryan Edwards has launched the world’s first vegan steakhouse. The menu features some of the biggest names in plant-based meat including Redefine Meat’s 3D-printed steaks and Juicy Marbles plant meat filet mignon.
 
My mouth’s watering, that’s for sure.

 

That's all for this month.  I'm off to taste test the Queen's filet mignon!

See you in March.

Howling out,
Andre

 

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