Category: General

Getting Over That Paywall: Accessing Research When You’re Not An Academic

Jesse Miller, PhD

As animal behavior professionals, we should all be committed to keeping up with the scientific basis for our practices, and we want to know when new discoveries about how animals think, perceive, and learn are made so we can critically appraise them and decide how to weave them into how we work. We also know that even well-meaning popular science sites can often distort the truth in favor of a simpler or more surprising message. Trying to access the latest research without the backing of an academic institution can be incredibly frustrating. This quick guide will suggest ways to (legally!) get around some of the barriers to knowledge.

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How to Talk About…

In this regular column, we ask animal behavior consultants how they approach some of the most common challenges in working with clients.

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Puzzle Feeding for Snakes

Peter Amelia

Environmental enrichment and focus on animal welfare are now common practice for many pets. Some companies have started producing toys specifically designed for foraging. It’s even becoming standard in zoological facilities to provide such opportunities for many of the animals. Some taxa have been largely left out. Where have reptiles, fish, and invertebrates been in these conversations? This is not to say that absolutely nobody has been working on this. I’ve seen interesting things being done, such as Komodo dragons playing tug of war with food hung high in enclosures, or hissing cockroaches being presented with scent trails to follow with a feast at the end. Progress is certainly being made. The next step, as I see it, is to get more examples out there. Let’s make it mainstream!

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