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Bold pursuit of the obvious!

Rats laugh when we tickle them. But it won't be true until the peer reviewed papers come out. In the meantime there are videos on youtube. Also camels and penguins laugh too. Also my dog.(She is not on youtube.) The videos are charming. The laughter of rats is at such a high pitch that we cannot hear it without some sort of machinery-- but when you hear it it is obvious.

Check it out-- and feel your own self want to laugh too.

Joy, play, love. Really kind of self absorbed to think we were ever the only ones...


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 1st, 2012 10:12 pm (UTC)
How could anyone ever have doubted that dogs laugh?! Camels too. Though I have met enough camels to know that they laugh at you in a condescending manner. Cats, on the other hand, I am less sure about. Has anyone ever proved that cats laugh? They certainly smirk.
Jul. 1st, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
I have spent more time with llamas. They snicker at the pitiful sight of us, with true camelid scorn. I wonder how they would feel meeting a real camel. Would they feel modest? Hard to imagine...

But the rats were sweet.
Jul. 1st, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
Do you think there is a special scientific scale for measuring camelid scorn? Ot is it like dark matter? We know it's there but it's impossible for mere humans to measure.

The rats were very sweet indeed though the baby penguin takes the biscuit for cuteness.
Jul. 1st, 2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
Dark matter, for sure.

The rats were adorable. There is, somewhere, a video of a porpupine too. Although when you tickle a porkupine you have to wear gloves! 9found it again-- it is called 'porcupine thinks he's a puppy.' you cannot hear his laughter-- but I am sure it is there!

Edited at 2012-07-01 10:51 pm (UTC)
Jul. 2nd, 2012 07:26 pm (UTC)
I saw the porcupine! What a darling:D Did Dr Maturin ever have a porcupine?
Jul. 3rd, 2012 04:39 am (UTC)
I don't think so. Maybe in India?

The North American porcupine is very shy. I have lived in the woods much of my life, and have only seen one once.

I know there were porcupines on the Vineyard because dogs sometimes came afoul of them. Dogs don't understand why that guy won't run away! They soon find out. And the quills do not come out easily. And they fester. All in all, a dog that has been skunked is less pitiful. (Hazel got skunked once at MIL's house. We were up in the small hours washing her with tomato juice.)
Jul. 3rd, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
Tomato juice? Is that what you use to get rid of skunk smell? Poor Hazel! Dare I ask what skunks actually smell like?
Jul. 3rd, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
Tomato juice mixed with dish soap. That is the best. It does not kill the smell, but reduces it somewhat. But if the dog gets damp at all for months afterward the smell comes back.

In this case she went out in MIL's back yard and encountered the skunk after dark. She thought she could chase him. She had no idea why he did not run. Poor innocent Hazel. She got it full in the face.

It is a sort of pleasant smell, far away, on the wind. I catch it sometimes, even here in the city and it makes me wistful. Sort of like the smell of ocean, or woodsmoke. Not that it smells that way, but it sort of feels that way.

I have never been skunked myself. The trick is to back away give them time to leave.

But up close, it is not so much a smell as it is the sensation of being hit with a board. Your eyes burn, your throat wants to close. You can feel it on your tongue. Being right next to Hazel did all of that to me.

As for what it smells like-- I would say the closest thing would be Billy-goat, only at about 30x strength.

Well, that is more than you ever needed to know about skunks.

Sep. 27th, 2016 04:26 am (UTC)
When I was a child I had one of those "interesting facts" books which contained a picture of a llama and the information that "If you ignore a llama it will spit in your face." So whenever we went to our little local zoo, my parents and my little brother and I were very careful to greet the llamas and give them due attention. Then one day I read the book again, and realized it really said, "If you ANNOY a llama, it will spit in your face." We were all a bit taken aback by this, and rather relieved that none of the llamas had taken offense at all our previous attentions.

Another denizen of the same zoo, Old Bill, was an aged chimpanzee who would throw his own turds at you if you annoyed him. Thankfully I only know this by hearsay.
Jul. 2nd, 2012 05:07 pm (UTC)
I bet cats laugh-- but I am not at all sure I would want a cat laughing t me. Sometimes I see Yodel's face when he is stalking something, (moths mostly,) and I try to imagine that sight being the last thing you ever saw... Chilling.

I am guessing that dogs and rats would enjoy physical comedy-- slip and fall, that sort of thing. Although Hazel seems to find us wearing mittens to be hilarious.
Jul. 2nd, 2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
My old cat used to stalk me. It was bloody terrifying! I know how those poor moths feel.

Yes I can believe that dogs and rats would enjoy slapstick. Why does Hazel find mittens so hilarious? Are they particularly funny mittens?!
Jul. 2nd, 2012 08:22 pm (UTC)
No, it was the idea that you were covering your hands, but she still knew they were under there!

She likes to play peekaboo, too. If you hide under a blanket she will 'find' you. Or sometimes you put a blanket over her-- and say 'where is Hazel?' and she shakes all over, and dances around because it is so silly. And she laughs. It is not quite like a human laugh-- but you can tell.

I would say, she is like a 2 year human, in what she finds funny.
Jul. 3rd, 2012 08:37 pm (UTC)
That's so funny! I must remember to get Hazel a pair of mittens for Christmas so you can all play peekaboo together XD
Jul. 2nd, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
Freya, my favorite girl-dog, definitely smiles in her own way.
Jul. 2nd, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
My Hazel does too. And she likes to roll down hills on her back. That makes her laugh at herself. You can see her doing it. It is a sort of non-voiced huffing, but she pulls her mouth back in a grin when she does it.
Jul. 2nd, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
My parents' dog laughs at me every time I call him but don't have a biscuit to bait him with. XD

But the rats really are adorable. They're lucky to have been chosen for such a nice kind of experiment…
Jul. 2nd, 2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
This is one of those things we always sort of knew. With dogs especially. They want to connect with us, so they act like us. And we love them more for it.

But here is something warming about knowing that rats have comedy in their lives, without us. (Because if they laugh at us, they must laugh at each other too.)
Jul. 2nd, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
You are right about that. I had pet rat long ago, and they were such intelligent happy little beings. I cannot have them now, not fair, with a dog and a cat in the house they would never be able to come out of a cage, and they would never feel safe. But someday I will have pet rats again, I think. They liked to eat Fritos...
Jul. 3rd, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
In my experience they also like to eat electrical cables! I have never kept a rat myself but several of my friends kept them and they are wonderful creatures. Some of them are terribly prone to tumours though, poor things.
Jul. 2nd, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
Cats don't laugh. They bwhahahaha like a supervillain!

Sir Floyd chuckles. Hector never laughs though, he is a very serious young man indeed.
Jul. 2nd, 2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
Hector is a great name for a cat. I imagine a cat named Hector would have gravitas.
Jul. 3rd, 2012 07:26 pm (UTC)
While Hector is indeed a great name for a cat this particular Hector is a German Shepherd like Sir Floyd. Father's cat is called Smokey. :D
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )