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Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007, 01:53 pm
Rats in the news: Make a happy noise!

I've reported on this before, but there's a new article about rats laughing (including a video). Dr Panksepp has been gathering more evidence outlining the parallels to human laughter and there's even speculation about rats' sense of humour: He thinks they favour slapstick. Funny. I've always had a weakness for toilet humour myself. And anyone who's kept rats as pets know they delight in being mischievous.

Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
mejeep

so will there be enough RAT audience for a 3 Stooges or Paul Hogan revival? :">

Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
marko_the_rat

Maybe. There's already a precedent for interspecies television. A comedian reported on research that shows that monkeys watch television. He speculated that this would explain the high ratings of the Footy Show.

Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC)
foxwell

heheh... the rats I know love to be mischievous ;)

Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
marko_the_rat

Oh? And how many rats do you know?

Wed, Mar. 21st, 2007 05:36 am (UTC)
foxwell

hmmm, I can think of three off the top of my head, so perhaps the number of rats i know

=3

:)

Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007 04:56 am (UTC)
espilonarge

My pet rat Nibbles is silly when his tickled. Trust me, I know his ticklish because everytime I tickle him he'll turn around and try tackling my hand while nipping. Rather cute when it happens. n.n;

Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007 05:19 am (UTC)
peromyscus

We could use rats to judge how funny comedy movies are XD I wonder how they'd react to one of Eddy Murphy's movies XDDDDDDD

Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007 09:41 am (UTC)
marko_the_rat

NO! You should know I won't condone cruelty to rats. ;)

Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC)
vassilissa

I think they'd pee on it.

I would, if I were a rat.

Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
vassilissa

I heard. :-)

He thinks they favour slapstick.

Well, it'd have to be pretty broad humour for a human observer to tell that something's meant to be funny. I mean, cross-species communication being what it is, he can't exactly show them Fawlty Towers and then listen to them yelling "SIBERIAN HAMSTER?" and "HE NAMED IT BASIL!" and twittering with laughter.

There are probably all sorts of little subtle things rats find funny that we can't interpret, like "he held his tail at *what* angle?" and "*the* most absurd smell, I'm telling you!"

I can remember my first three rats and how they used to interact. There was an evening when Vlad and Oz were having an, um, leadership discussion, and Oz (little guy, specialised in flying leaps and using his momentum against the opponent) backed up and slowly sized Vlad up like he was about to do a big pounce. The tip of his tail twitched. Everything goes very still. Then Oz elaborately yawns.

Francis (Vlad's brother) was sitting on a ledge, and I think he was watching the play with the same fascination and amusement that I was.

Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
marko_the_rat

Brilliant! I guess that was a bit of rat humour to defuse the tension of the situation.
(Deleted comment)

Wed, Mar. 21st, 2007 06:03 am (UTC)
espilonarge

It would be more cute if you tickled Marko and taped it. *grins evily*

Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
aldi

I can picture Ristin tickling you to see what kind of sound you'd make!

Tue, Mar. 20th, 2007 08:12 pm (UTC)
marko_the_rat

That would be something like "Aaaa! Stoppit!"