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New Theme Vote

I figured since this is a animal/pet community an animal theme would be most appropriate, but if anybody has any other suggestions feel free to comment and let me know! This is for our new default theme, not just seasonal. :)
Poll #1833642 What theme do you like the most?

Doll Face
0(0.0%)
Elephant Spring
1(20.0%)
Elephant Autumn
2(40.0%)
Foxkeh Mt. Fuji
2(40.0%)
Live and Learn
0(0.0%)

Uh, whoops!

Hi guys, I'm so sorry its been so long without an update! Between school and work I essentially forgot about the community haha. *worst mod ever*

But anyway, I do have a few hours free today, so I'm going to work on prettifying the layout and working on a new users guideline post for introducing pets like I had discussed in the past! :) If anybody else has any suggestions for what they'd like to see feel free to let me know, and for everybody still here, thanks so much for sticking around~

Empathetic Rats Help Each Other Out

http://www.livescience.com/17378-rats-show-empathy.html

"The act of helping others out of empathy has long been associated strictly with humans and other primates, but new research shows that rats exhibit this prosocial behavior as well.

In the new study, laboratory rats repeatedly freed their cage-mates from containers, even though there was no clear reward for doing so. The rodents didn't bother opening empty containers or those holding stuffed rats.

To the researchers' surprise, when presented with both a rat-holding container and a one containing chocolate — the rats' favorite snack — the rodents not only chose to open both containers, but also to share the treats they liberated.

Peggy Mason, a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago and lead author of the new study, says that the research shows that our empathy and impulse to help others are common across other mammals." [...]


A pretty interesting read, though possibly a little too long to copy-paste entirely! As a rat owner myself I've definitely experienced this with some (now passed on) rats. Although it was a little...grosser, than letting another rat out of a cage haha. ;>; Attached below is a picture of my first pair of rats, Toby (the large blue one) and Tweak (the smaller brown capped one).

 

What do you guys think? Any other owners experience this with rats or other pocket pets?

Updated Profile!

I decided to do some revising of the community rules, and since I got positive feedback about having a central theme to the community I changed the profile to reflect as such. Posts about any and all kinds of animals are still allowed, but I'll be trying to focus on small animals from here on out.

I'd definitely recommend members reading over the new rules and letting me know what you think. :D I don't want them to be overwhelming or too constricting, and really the posting of shock imagery or deliberate animal abuse is the only one I can think of that would require an immediate banning. Most other things I feel are just common sense and only need the guidelines so I can act appropriately if I see rude behavior.

Let me know if there's anything else you feel could be essential or written better though please! Currently the only other idea I have is maybe setting up a guideline for people to do introductory posts about their pets when they become members here. It would be optional of course, but perhaps it could provide encouragement for people to be active and get to know each other (and our pets) better. =u=

Hi everyone! New owner here~

Sorry I didn't make a post sooner, just been a little busy with finals and whatnot. Things should be calming down after this upcoming week and I can start being a lot more active here.

In short though I do have some new ideas for the community, and wanted to bounce them off of you guys to see if anybody had an opinion about it. I do want to start having themed weekly posts for different things, and want to keep the community open to posts about all animals, but I'm thinking of giving it a main theme of small/pocket pets. The name critter_country seems to fit well with this, but if you all are watching because of its really open theme I don't want to lose the interest of current members. I personally own rats and chinchillas, so you'd be seeing a lot more of them if this was to happen, and I'd try to get in touch with some large rat tumblrs I watch to get some more members here etc~

There will also be a revision of the community rules just to make them shorter and clean up the page.

Would anybody have any objections to this, or any other ideas to try and liven up the place a bit? I'm definitely open to any C&C. :)

Tags:

Dozing

Axel doing what he does best, lazing around and sleeping haha.

Tags:

Poll #1800439 Do animals experience secondary emotions?

Yes, animals experience emotions similar to humans!
6(50.0%)
Yes, but not as wide of a range as humans.
5(41.7%)
Maybe or Not Sure
1(8.3%)
No, they only mimic what we condition them to.
0(0.0%)
No, animals are completely different from humans in their emotions/do not have any true emotions.
0(0.0%)



This was an article I read a little while ago that I still think is neat and figured would be of interest to you guys!


http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/DyeHard/dog-smile-animals-show-emotions/story?id=10618929#.Ttqx1mNKOrs


Have you ever experienced secondary emotions with animals before like jealousy or empathy? Do you think they're more conditioned responses (ie something they learn by watching us) or something they experience even outside of human influence? Got any relevant stories? :)

Will post my own answer in the comments as well as a poll~ Do let us know what you think and share any stories if you have them!

Tags:

I figure I should lead by example...

And start posting here more myself haha. Hi everybody!

I figure I can do a few introductory posts about all my pets to both liven things up here and personally be more active while I try to help get more attention to the community. Since I have 8 I think that would be too much for one post, so I'll spread them out over a few different posts every few days. n_n For those curious, I have 2 dogs, 2 cats (1 of which belongs to my boyfriend Eric), 2 rats, and 2 chinchillas.

Today I'd like to introduce Axel (left) and Bella (right)! Axel is roughly 3 years old, and Bella is around 4.



Sleepy cuteness under the cut~Collapse )