Animals and pregnancy

Thought for the day – and perhaps someone can answer this one.

Do animals understand when they are pregnant?  I was just looking at a photo of a very pregnant Manchester Terrier, and given how useless human beings are at knowing what’s going on with their own bodies, do dogs/cats/hippos etc understand that they’re pregnant, that there’s a foetus, an impending newborn?  A quick Google search came up with a lot of opinion but very little in the way of a solid scientific answer.  Answers on a postcard please.


Making Time for Books

I read a fabulous article today on the Harvard Business Review website, by Hugh McGuire (founder of Librivox).  It’s all about how invasive the modern technological world is, how we’re hard wired to seek new information even if it’s just another cute cat video, and the benefits of settling down with a good book.  My favourite snippet:

“What the brain is doing dictates how much or how little energy it consumes: when you are relaxing or staring out the window, your brain is “at rest,” and uses around 11 calories per hour. Focused reading for an hour will use up around 42 calories. But processing lots of new information takes around 65 calories per hour.”

I can recommend going and reading the article for yourself.  It’s at