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In this recent TED talk, top primatologist Frans de Waal discusses his early years and the disquiet he felt at the prevailing obsession with aggression and dominance in defining primate social behaviour. Social interactions within many species, but particularly primates, is in reality a complex mosiac of different dynamics, most of which have nothing to do with competitiveness and dominance. Perhaps this provides some evolutionary signposts as to the origin of moral behaviour in humans?

vintage-tv2.jpgDespite their unparallelled popularity amongst humans, until the end of last century there had been very little dedicated scientific inquiry into the domestic dog. Not into its behaviour, the beguiling history of its domestication or even that ubiquitous bond they seem to have forged with our species.

Nowadays it doesn’t take too much effort to find snippets of useful information on the internet, but it’s often the same old stuff. However, this programme “The Secret Life Of The Dog“, an episode of the popular BBC series Horizon, should be required viewing for anyone with a real interest in dogs, and their unique relationship with us. Those from the UK have probably already seen it, but for the rest of us it’s a real treat.

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