Engaging a wild animal in some simple shaping procedure can give you a startling glimpse of what might be called species temperament—of how not only that individual but that species tends to tackle the challenges in its environment. Teaching training to my class of keepers at the National Zoo, I used a number of different species as demonstration animals. I stood on my side of the fence, using a whistle as conditioned reinforcer, and tossing in food; the animals moved about freely on their side. The polar bears turned out to be immensely persistent and dogged. One bear which accidentally got reinforced while sitting still took to offering “sitting still” as a response; slavering hopefully, eyes glued to the trainer, it could sit still for half an hour or more, hoping for reinforcement. It seems possible that in an animal which stalks seals on ice floes for a living, this kind of tenacity and patience has important survival value.

Species temperament shows up in many, many species in a shaping session. When I inadvertently failed to reinforce a hyena, instead of getting mad or quitting, it turned on the charm, sitting down in front of me, grinning and chuckling like a fur-covered Johnny Carson. In shaping a wolf to go around a bush in its yard, I made the same mistake, failing to reinforce it when I should have; the wolf looked over its shoulder, made eye contact with a long, thoughtful stare, then ran on, right around the bush, earning all the kibble I had in my pocket; it had sized up the situation, perhaps deciding that I was still in the game since I was still watching, and it had taken a chance and guessed at what would work.

Sometimes the animals understand reinforcement perfectly. Melanie Bond, in charge of the National Zoo’s great apes, had started reinforcing Ham, the chimpanzee, for various behaviors. One morning he was accumulating his food rather than eating it, with the intention, Melanie supposed, of eating outdoors. When Ham saw that at last Melanie was going over to open the door and let him outside, he knew what to do: He handed her a stalk of celery.

 - Don’t Shoot the Dog, Karen Pryor (via unhappyhorses)
September 17 2014, 12:49 PM   •   243 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE
opferziege:

why!!
whyyyy!!!

opferziege:

why!!

whyyyy!!!

September 17 2014, 12:19 AM   •   83 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE

"Stand down or fight. I won’t tell you twice."

Name: Mikhail Aleksandrovich Korzhakov.
Also Known As: Misha; Bright Sky Runner.
Occupation: Ahroun in service to the Court of the Lotus Peak.
Age: 27.

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September 16 2014, 11:52 PM   •   2 notes

At least while working from home, I could do all those things while working. :(

Work is so slow today. Please, end now so I can go home and work on my crime lord vampire and Tokyo werewolves.

September 16 2014, 03:08 PM   •   3 notes
abbydraws:

Akin to an eagle
inspired by the Kalinga (a Philippine tribe) cultural video posted up by pinoy-culture. (video)
how Kalinga women are tough and proud, and dance like a soaring eagle who looks down on earth.

abbydraws:

Akin to an eagle

inspired by the Kalinga (a Philippine tribe) cultural video posted up by pinoy-culture. (video)

how Kalinga women are tough and proud, and dance like a soaring eagle who looks down on earth.

September 16 2014, 01:24 PM   •   22,399 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE

missmarauder:

fangirl challenge: male characters [8/10]

Boba Fett

September 16 2014, 12:54 PM   •   101 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE

Ugh but now I don’t know what kind of werewolf to make for 1920s NYC because my two immediate werewolf choices are already in use for 2010s Japan.

Definitely a Glass Walker through. If we’re setting it in 1920s NYC, Glass Walkers unite.

I’ve done it. I’ve turned all my best friends first to Vampire: the Masquerade and now also to Werewolf: the Apocalypse.

image

mothbug:

reblog if u cute

September 15 2014, 11:04 PM   •   289 notes  •   VIA   •   SOURCE