8 Scientific Experiments Conducted on Animals (Part II)

Here’s the second part of our 8 scientific experiments conducted on animals. The sad thing is that these are the ones we know of, but they unfortunately go on every day, in the name of science, or of the cosmetic industry. So let’s recommence our animal torture list with a classical case.

# 4. Pavlov’s dog

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This famous experiment made the concept of the conditioned reflex widespread. Ivan Pavlov, back in 1901, examined the rate of salivation among dogs when presented with food. He noticed the dogs would salivate upon seeing their food, so he began ringing a bell every time the food was presented to the dogs. Over time, the dogs began to associate the ringing of the bell with food and would salivate instantly when hearing the bell, demonstrating that reflexes can indeed be learned. This wasn’t so bad, was it?

# 5. Harlow’s monkeys

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In the 1950s, Harry Harlow of the University of Wisconsin tested infant dependency towards their mother’s affection, using monkeys. The newly born monkey was removed from its actual mother that was replaced with two other “mothers,” one made of cloth and one made of wire. The first “mother” served no purpose other than its comforting feel whereas the wire “mother” fed the monkey through a bottle. The monkey spent the most of his day next to the cloth fluffy “mother” and only around one hour a day next to the wire “mother,” despite the fact that the wire model was constantly providing food.


# 6. Elephants on acid

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On Friday August 3, 1962, a group of Oklahoma City researchers decided to find out how elephants would react when given LSD.

So they fired a cartridge-syringe containing 297 milligrams of LSD into Tusko the Elephant’s rump. That’s definitely a lot of LSD, about 3000 times the level of a typical human dose. This is officially the largest dose of LSD ever given to a living creature. Tusko trumpeted around his pen for a few minutes, and then keeled over on his side. Horrified, the researchers tried to revive him, but about an hour later he was dead. Total failure!

But this didn’t stop here. It appears that twenty years later, Ronald Siegel of UCLA decided to find out what had happened to Tusko, and gave two elephants a dose similar to what Tusko had received. However the drug wasn’t injected, by put into their water supply instead. The elephants not only survived but also didn’t seem too upset at all. They acted childishly, rocked back and forth, and made some strange vocalizations, but within a few hours they were back to normal.

# 7. Demikhov’s Two-Headed Dogs

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It seems Russians have a thing for dog heads. In 1954 Vladimir Demikhov presented his griffin: a two-headed dog. He created the dragon creature in a lab on the outskirts of Moscow by taking the head, shoulders, and front legs of a puppy onto the neck of a mature German shepherd. He boasted about his invention in front of the whole world. During the following 15 years, he created a total of 20 two-headed dogs. None of them lived very long, as they inevitably succumbed to problems of tissue rejection. Nevertheless they seemed to function normally at start. Both heads would eat simultaneously from different bowls, the food ingested being canned in the only stomach of the griffin.

# 8. The Remote-Controlled Bull

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Meanwhile in Cordova, Spain, Yale researcher Jose Delgado implanted a stimoceiver in a bull’s brain. It was a computer chip, operated by a remote-control unit, which could be used to stimulate different regions of the animal’s brain. These impulses could produce a wide variety of effects, such as the involuntary movement of limbs, the production of emotions such as love or rage, or the inhibition of appetite. It could also be used, as Delgado showed, to stop a charging bull.

The list definitely goes on. However sad these may have made you feel, let’s start appreciating animals more, as our scientific progress pioneers throughout the history of mankind.

8 Scientific Experiments Conducted on Animals (Part I)

8 Psychological Experiments Conducted on AnimalsHumans have learned a lot using all sorts of physical or psychological experiments. Nevertheless when their curiosity couldn’t be satisfied using human beings, they passed on to animals. Here they are: 8 scientific experiments conducted on animals, most of which went awfully wrong.

# 1. The isolated head of a dog

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In the late 1920s Soviet physician Sergei Brukhonenko wanted to satisfy his curiosity regarding a detached head’s possibility of remaining alive without an actual body attached to it. So he took a dog’s head, and parallel to that he developed a primitive heart-lung machine, called an “autojector,” and with this device he succeeded in keeping the head of a dog alive. He showed his deed in 1928 to scientists at the Third Congress of Physiologists of the USSR. In order to remove all doubt regarding his success, he showed that it reacted to stimuli. Brukhonenko banged a hammer on the table, and the dog head flinched. He immersed light in its eyes, and the dog’s eyes blinked. He even fed it a piece of cheese, which immediately popped out the esophageal tube on the other end. How cynical can one person be?

# 2. Seeing through a cat’s eyes

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This ia 1999 attempt to see the world through another creature’s eyes, in our case, a cat. The animal was anesthetized and chemically paralyzed and secured in a surgical frame. After that Dr. Yang Dan of the University of California, Berkeley, glued metal posts to the whites of its eyes, and forced it to look a screen that showed scene after scene of swaying trees and men wearing turtlenecks. Moreover the researchers had also inserted fiber electrodes into the vision-processing center of the cat’s brain. They measured the electrical activity of the brain cells and transmitted this information to a nearby computer that decoded the information and transformed it into a visual image. As the cat watched the images of the trees and the turtleneck-wearing guy, the same images emerged, yet slightly blurrier, on the computer screen across the room. The poor cat! I wonder if she ever survived this experiment…

# 3.  Shock the puppy

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This is an animal response to Milgrim’s experiment. For those of you who don’t know, Stanley Milgram, a social psychologist at Yale University, wanted to test obedience to authority. He set up an experiment with teachers, who were the actual participants, and learners, who were actors. Both categories knew the study was about memory and learning. Things were arranged so that the actual participants took the role of the teacher. The two were moved into separate rooms and the teacher was given instructions as to press a button to shock the learner each time an incorrect answer was provided. These shocks would increase in voltage each time. Eventually, the actor would start to complain followed by more and more desperate screaming. Only 14 out of 40 teachers halted the experiment before administering a 450-volt shock, though every participant questioned the experiment, and no teacher firmly refused to stop the shocks before 300 volts.

Anyway, imagine this same experiment, but with fluffy puppies instead of the human learners. Charles Sheridan and Richard King theorized that perhaps Milgram’s subjects had merely played along with the experiment because they realized the victim was faking his cries of pain. But with the puppy, everything was real: its part and the shocks. As the voltage increased, the puppy first barked, then jumped up and down, and finally started howling with pain. The volunteers were horrified. They became restless, hyperventilated, and started gesturing with their hands to show the puppy where to stand. Many cried, but the majority of them, 20 out of 26, kept pushing the shock button right up to the maximum voltage. We are bad little creatures, aren’t we?

5 Fair Reasons to Get a Hedgehog Pet

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Hedgehogs are adorable creatures and no one can deny that. But what’s so special about them? Here you can find 5 fair reasons to get a hedgehog pet.

It appears that more and more people are looking for pet hedgehogs to adopt. I’m not sure whether to recommend such a deed, but anyway, this article is supposed to help you make up your mind. So let’s enter the hedgehog void…

Who they are

The hedgehog got its name as a consequence of its peculiar foraging habits. They root through hedges and other undergrowth in search of their favourite food. As it moves through the hedges it emits pig-like grunts. Thus the name – hedgehog. His favorite food consists of small creatures such as beetles, caterpillars, insects, worms, centipedes, snails, mice, frogs, and snakes. They possess a resistance to snake venom that allows them to find worms and snakes a delicacy.

What they do

They sleep all day long. Just like cats, or bats, they are nocturnal, coming out at night and spending the day sleeping in a nest under bushes or thick shrubs. How convenient!

Nevertheless, they are commonly referred to as ‘the gardeners friend’ due to the high number of insects and other garden pests it eats. In other words, encouraging a hedgehog into your garden has incredible advantages for both you and your prickly visitor. It is not uncommon for an adult hedgehog to eat almost half its own body weight every day. So no more pests for you!

What about its quills?

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A hedgehog that is calm and in a good mood will lay back it’s quills making their surface very smooth, and even a hedgehog that is being watchful is no worse than petting a hard hairbrush. But extra care has to be taken during these times when they feel threatened by various reasons and ball up.

Hedgehogs are actually born with their spines under the surface of a protective skin that shields the mother while giving birth. Within the first 24 hours the quills, which are modified hollow hairs, break through this protective skin and provide a limited defense for the tiny mammals. Quilling (it normally starts around the eighth week up to as late as six months) refers to the time when a young hedgehog starts to shed their baby quills and replace them with their adult quills.

They have about 5000 spines.  Each one lasts about a year and then drops out for a replacement to grow. For an indoor hedgehog this is a more delicate situation, as is not much comfort if you find one of them on your carpet with a bare foot.

 How about getting your own?

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  1. Well, they are easy to care for, that’s for sure. You don’t need to brush them, or wash them, maybe just get them an occasional nail trim. And keep their living space clean.
  2. Don’t expect them to purr or shake their non-existent tail once they see you. They get used to playing schedules and appear to greet you once you’ve kept your word. Their being relaxed in your presence is the most important affection sign you’ll ever get.
  3. They have different personalities. If you have children, consider choosing a less daunted one, in order to avoid its balling up every time it hears the little toddlers scream.
  4. They also have a strange habit when stimulated by a strong smell or taste to self-anoint – this means they cover their prickles in foamy saliva.  It is uncertain why it does this. However this should be an interesting thing to watch.
  5. There are 15 known species of hedgehog. European hedgehogs hibernate throughout winter. Moreover it is important to remember that hedgehogs have partial protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and cannot be trapped without permission.

6+1 Reasons to Own a Cat

Here are my 6+1 reasons to own a cat. Getting a pet is a controversial subject for many young adults nowadays, especially if their living conditions are far from being stable. Animals are indeed very giving, loving and non-judgemental creatures. However, they require some of our time and attention, not to mention a somewhat cheap, yet constant part of our income. I am a dog person, and I’ll remain one for as long as I live.  But circumstances beyond my control forced me to end up taking care of a cat. Life is ironic, indeed! Here are the things it taught me while being my constant silent neighbour.

1.     Cats are silent, yet wise confidents

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Cats seem to know all the answers, even though they are lousy at sharing their knowledge with their owners. But despite dogs, who are all over you all the time, a cat is a silent and mature listener. It can always feel your anxieties, have no doubt about that, but just like humans, they have different and personal ways of reacting to them. Don’t take it personally if they go to the other room whenever you are sad or angry, it’s just their way of letting you know you definitely need some time alone to cool down and realise you are miserable out of useless reasons. Or they just might feel endangered by your hysterical mood. Keep calm and confide in the cat.

2.     Cats love plants

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 No one is more aware of your house and garden plants more than your cat is. Because they are so skilful jumpers, the only way to keep your cat away from your plants is to lock the cat up rather than the plants.  Nevertheless if your cat is one of the passive plant destroyers, consider yourself lucky. They just love to blend in with any kind of flowers and eat most of their leaves. As a young adult however, one has less time to think about taking care of houseplants. That’s why your cat is always there to remind you of their existence, of their needing to be cut, watered, or cleaned. It would do all these things for you if it could. Unfortunately their claws are not always the best gardening tool.

3.     Cats are the best bug spray on the market 

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There’s no such thing as a house without strange, tiny and sometimes disgusting predators. Ignoring the fact that mice might belong to this category in anyone’s case, I’d like to underline the fact that cats excel in other catching domains as well. Hopefully since you don’t have mice to worry about in your home, I’m pleased to inform you that a cat is capable of catching any other flying or crawling visitor. Their patience and velocity are extra-terrestrial. Not to mention the fact that a fly is better than any toy you can find at the pet shop. So leave your windows open from time to time; such a victory would boost your cat’s self-esteem and offer you a priceless performance.

4.     Cats are the best therapists

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In The Cat Behavior Answer Book (Storey Publishing, 2007), author Arden Moore talks about the power of purring. Apparently cats create purr vibrations within a range known to be medically therapeutic (25-150 Hz). This frequency is therapeutic for things such as: boosting self-esteem, bone growth and healing, pain relief, swelling reduction, wound healing, muscle growth and repair, tendon repair, joint mobility and dyspnea (shortness of breath) relief. You can read more on purring here.

5.     Cats absorb and clean bad energies from your home

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Cats are very sensitive to their environment. And they perceive more about it than we do. It is said that they can sense and distinguish between positive and negative energies, also known as Yin and Yang in Chinese tradition. Yin is the receptive, feminine, cooler, negative energy and Yang is the positive, hot, projective energy. So when a cat goes to a certain regular spot to sleep in your house, they are actually absorbing the negative energy from that spot. You can read more on this subject here.

6.     Cats are the best “say no to addiction” tools

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Cats are strangely drawn to our laptops or computers. Whenever this heating machine with buttons takes more of your attention than it considers necessary, any sane cat will just brutally step on you, head towards your device and start resting on the keyboard, thus making sure to hit the exact button that makes all your 6-hour work vanish into thin air. The good thing about this typical cat deed is the fact that you’ll never get hooked on Facebook or Twitter more than necessary. A cat is a “say no to addiction” tool, as it can unconditionally warn you about any bad habit you may have, even if this involves eating too much (it will start bugging you right away, and trust me, not out of sheer curiosity), smoking too much (a wise cat will always decide to rest in your lap looking for affection at the exact moment when you have your lighter in one hand and the cigarette in the other), and last but not least, it bears down any cleaning obsessions you may have, no matter if this passion of yours involves the broom, the mop or a plain dusting around the house. On the other hand, when it comes to the vacuum cleaner, it instantly vanishes, reminding you of the times before the two of you became faithful neighbours.

6+1. To be considered by the ones who are not so fond of their couch

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A cat will teach you how to let go. Let go of the things you worked so hard to buy, more expensive things such as couches or carpets. Not all of them are unstoppable destroyers, but all of them seem to have reluctance towards all the nail sharpening tools you may get them from pet shops. A couch will always be the best option. Instead of losing your mind, allow your cat to teach you more about what matters in life, about the importance of cuddling, catching flies, mice or birds. It has to edge its nails somewhere!


In a nutshell, get a cat as soon as possible. Ignore the fact that it will always consider you its slave and enjoy this fruitful experience that will always bring laughter on your face in times of need.

Top 5 Most Fascinating Color Mutations in Animals

Lions are brown, and Pandas are black and white. Tigers are orange with black stripes. Elephants are gray. That’s how we picture these animals. Very rarely do we have the opportunity to see a while lion, or brown & white panda, but when we do, we are in awe. Such specimens are extremely rare. Color mutations are unusual in the animal kingdom, and they can completely alter the appearance of an animal (sometimes, specimens go on to form a whole new subspecies). Let’s take a look at the most fascinating color mutations in animals.

Recommended Read: 10 Weird & Cute Animals we Love

1. Melanistic Zebras


Zebras are horse-like creatures with black and white stripes. On extremely rare occasions, zebras with melanism are born. Sadly, such specimens do not last very long in the wild. Melanistic  Zebras have an unusually black back, due to pronounced black stripes. This means that melanistic zebras are significantly darker than their relatives. Then again, every zebra is different (there are no zebras with the same stripes).

2. Gold-Striped Zebra


Since we are on the subject of zebras, let’s take a look at another fascinating specimen: the gold-striped zebra. While too much melanin makes zebras look like black lumps, too little melanin will turn the black stripes into golden ones. The most popular gold-striped zebra is Zoe, The Hawaiian Zebra (her stripes are bright orange). Besides her golden stripes, she also has white eyelashes and blue eyes. She suffers from the loss of tyrosinase.

3. White Elephants 


Although they are called “white elephants”, elephants suffering from albinism aren’t actually white. Their color is more like a pink or reddish-brown. Despite the fact that albinism is a rare mutation, it is more common with Asian and African Elephants. Inhabitants of Burma (also known as Myanmar) & Thailand consider that white elephants are sacred, and should not be exploited for labor. They also believed that seeing a white elephant means that the ruler of the country reigns with justice, and is blessed.

Another interesting thing about white elephants, is the origin of the name. the idiom refers to things with little real value despite their supposed one. According to a story, the kings of Siam would give white elephants to the subjects they wanted to punish (because the elephant couldn’t be used for labor, it was useless).

4. Albino Eastern Gray Kangaroo


The Eastern Gray Kangaroo is unimaginably white. It looks exactly like a snowflake with red ears and a pink nose. Eastern gray kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) are the largest species of kangaroo (they can reach 210 cm in height). They can also leap more than 8 meters in one jump, and run at 56 km/hour.

Albino kangaroos are extremely rare in the wild. In spite of this fact, one was spotted in the wild by Rohan Thomson, from The Canberra Times, in November, last year. Like most albino animals, white kangaroos also have extremely slim chances of surviving in the wild (they are also susceptible to skin cancer and have bad hearing).

5. White Deer


The Seneca white deer have fascinated scientists for many years. In 2000, an army depot in Seneca county closed. During this time several white-coated deer got trapped within the walls. At the moment they represent the largest population of mutant creatures inhabiting a single area.

While they do not form a distinct species, the White deer of Seneca represent a subspecies of the brown-coated white tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). These animals are leucistic (which means that they have no pigment in the hair, but their eyes are brown). A more extreme mutation (albinism) would leave the deer’s eyes pink.

These are the most fascinating color mutations in animals that we have found. Obviously, almost every species of animals has a case of albinism or melatonism. You can check out more albino animals here.