Finnegan is a momma’s boy, Kobe is manipulative, Bennie is a goofball, and Babu is loving but oh so needy. And according to researchers, I’m not entirely off-base in ascribing human qualities to our four adorable pets. As reported in the June 18th issue of Newsweek International, a variety of studies have shown animals to exhibit personality traits. For example, “researchers in the North Carolina State University genetics department found some flies to be consistently more aggressive than others—they made more threats and dished out more physical abuse, going so far as to kick and push others (yes, flies can kick).” [Hence, the reappearance of our Superfly image with this story.] Studies in animal behavior are already aiding in drug research for humans—because, after all, it’s all about us. “By putting animals with specific personalities (aggressive or passive, for example) into specific situations (isolation or a social setting) and testing them, researchers could help determine how personality traits influence responses to disease and medications.” Ultimately, scientists may be able to use animals to understand how genes and environment influence personality.
Not exactly Atlantis, but… A small farm town in Australia that was flooded in 1957 to create a hydro-electricity project has reemerged after a drought. Remains of tractors, buildings, bottles, farm machinery, and other items have been uncovered as the water recedes and the dam drains. The London Telegraph offers a pictorial essay—click on the “In Pictures” link—of the lost town of Old Adaminaby.