Mouse decorates Christmas tree, is a genius.  »

Can’t see the video? Watch it on!

This is so cute! There are some better tricks but I’m feeling seasonal. I had no idea mice could do tricks like this! And this mouse is totally adorbs.

This little mouse is one of the first agility mice. Their trainer Marina keeps them as pets and teaches them little tricks ONLY through positive reinforcement. I for one think that’s great, animal companions should have plenty of mental stimulation! (btw, have you seen these puzzles for dogs? My Figgy is a fan!)

Marina is pretty much a mouse genius. She wants to show the world mice are smart! Maybe if people will listen, they won’t let them be used in scientific research constantly (sort of kind of eventually worked for chimpanzees)? I love this interview Marina did. Listen to her advice:

I find it important to note that mouse training is not as easy as it may seem in my videos. Unfortunately, some people spontaneously buy a mouse after seeing my videos and then are disappointed. Mice are highly sensitive, so you don’t just need background knowledge about positive animal training, but also much empathy for the feelings of the mice.

Only balanced and happy mice are trainable, and a mouse that has to spend its life alone in a 10 gallon tank will be chronically stressed. So the prerequisite for mouse training is species-appropriate keeping. Mice are highly social and must live in groups and in proper sized cages with enough enrichment. Their sensitivity and their nocturnal nature makes them unsuitable for children. They are demanding pets, not least because of their intelligence.

She also says she never fasts them (“can YOU concentrate better when you’re hungry?!”). Yup, all positive reinforcement.

I’m a little scared of mice—I don’t WANT to be! I just am! But I’m working on it. When you see these little guys, they are so cute, maybe it’ll make me less scared. Do any of you have pet mice? Do they know tricks?!

Note: It freaks me out that she says she feeds mice to her reptiles…I thought they were her friends?! Maybe it’s only after they’ve died? I don’t know.


Tons of mice die needlessly for health testing. Thanks, science  »

It’s no secret that loads of mice (literally hundreds of thousands) have been sacrificed to science for “research” purposes to help cure all kinds of human ailments. This has always been a tricky subject for vegans, because, you know, it’s medical ethics, duh. But it turns out that a new study recently reported in the New York Times suggests that all those mice very likely died in vain.

The bottom line of the study is that billions of dollars have been wasted and, like, mice cancer and heart disease is different from people cancer and heart disease. I know the precautionary principle is a moot point when it comes to mice when you’re a big fancy scientist being backed by a big fancy drug company, but I strongly believe that we shouldn’t just kill mice before we’re, you know, sure about this stuff. And it turns out people weren’t. At all. And now those mice are looking down on us from mouse heaven except there is no mouse heaven and oh I’m crying now so just excuse me while I leave out some peanut butter for the neighbors’ mice.

[Photo by Andrew via Flickr]


Baddass mouse is totally baddass  »

This is the grasshopper mouse, a carnivorous rodent found in Southwestern U.S. deserts. These wacky mofos are totally hardcore! They eat scorpions and howl at the moon. For real. And forget about digging their own burrows—they run up in other rodents’ homes and kick them out. And if times are tough, cannibalism is not beyond them. Damn, mouse, that’s some cold shit. This video is ridic:

[Can’t see the video? Watch it on!]

OMG I want one! Why are they so crazy? National Geographic has another vid if you don’t mind some bug carnage. These baddasses don’t mess around. But remember: “Thug means never having to say you’re sorry.”

PS: you have to watch this


Life as a lab animal is the worst: Thousands of NYU’s test rodents drowned this week  »

Despite being “one of the largest and most valuable [collection of carefully bred rodents] of its kind in the country,” the thousands of mice and rats living in a cellar in New York University’s Smilow Research Center drowned in the Sandy-related flooding that began on Monday night. The New York Times reports that while most of the test-subject animals housed at the Smilow Center were rescued, workers could not save something like 10,000 rats and mice.

But don’t worry:

Already scientists at two research centers, the University of Pennsylvania and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, have pledged to donate animals to restart some of the Smilow center’s colonies. “That’s the one really positive thing to come out of this,” Dr. Fishell said. “Individuals in the research community, who in most businesses would be considered my competitors, have been eager to help.”

Phew! I know I’m relieved our scientists can get back to torturing those animals in the name of humanity ASAP.

[Photo by Pockafwye via Flickr]

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