Ethology

For centuries, animals’ capacity for human-like behavior went unnoticed. Now we know they’re more like us than we thought, but we’re still not sure how to act.
A number of people have asked me questions about the evolution and ethology of terrorism, and I consider that to be questioning whether or not we can we explain human terrorism and violence by looking for their roots in the behavior of nonhuman animals (animals). And, if not, is this one arena in which human exceptionalism reigns free?
Dog behavior, in all of its kaleidoscopic forms, is an incredibly exciting field of research, and I look forward to seeing further studies of the above and other questions.
The online essays are free and I highly recommend reading them to learn what we know about the emotional lives of many other animals and why having fun has evolved in many diverse species.
Our psychology has been shaped by a sometimes uneasy balance of natural and sexual selection -- the practical need to acquire our daily bread and the romantic need to find love and produce offspring.
Philosophers and scientists have long debated whether there is something unique about Homo sapiens that sets us apart from all of the other animals. It's not a question of whether we should feel like special humans - it's a question of whether in some way we are actually special animals.
HuffPost Senior Science Correspondent Cara Santa Maria speaks with ethologist and author Jonathan Balcombe about humor and laughter in the animal kingdom.