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.

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