Skip to main content
Select Source:


16. Animals

See also 45. BIRDS ; 61. BULLS and BULLFIGHTING ; 70. CATS ; 88. COCKS ; 125. DOGS ; 164. FISH ; 211. HORSES ; 225. INSECTS ; 353. REPTILES ; 374. SNAKES ; 423. WOLVES ; 427. WORMS ; 430. ZOOLOGY

the condition of having teeth without roots attached to the alveolar ridge of the jaws, as in certain animals. acrodont, adj.
a parasitic relationship between animals that has a destructive effect on one and no effect on the other. See also 44. BIOLOGY ; 319. PLANTS .
the realm of animals; the animal kingdom.
1. the state of being an animal.
2. animal existence or nature in human activity; the animal in man as opposed to the spiritual.
an animal with a tongue like that of man, as the parrot.
a creature resembling man, as an ape. anthropoid, anthropoidal, adj.
anthropopathism, anthropopathy
the assignment of human feelings or passions to something not human, as a deity or an animal. anthropopathic . adj.
a hoofed animal having an even number of toes or digits on each foot, as pigs, sheep, deer, etc. artiodactylous, adj.
1. an advocate of kindness to animals.
2. British. an antivivisectionist.
a compiler or writer of bestiaries.
an allegorical or moralizing commentary based upon real or fabled animals, usually medieval and sometimes illustrated.
the study of the physiological processes of plants and animals. biodynamic, biodynamical, adj.
the branch of ecology that studies the interrelationship of plant and animal life in their common environment. bioecologist, n. bioecologic, bioecological, adj.
the study of the relationship between structure and function in plants and animals. biostatical, adj.
the animal or plant life of a particular region.
a method of movement, characteristic of certain animals, by swinging with the arms from one hold to another.
the branch of zoology that studies crustaceans. carcinologist, n. carcinologic, carcinological, adj.
a meat-eating animal. Cf. herbivore . camivorous, adj.
a relationship between animals or plants in which one lives with or on the other without damage to either. Cf. parasitism .
a vital force in plants or animals, similar to human effort. See also 319. PLANTS .
an intense fear of contact with animal fur or skin. doraphobe, n.
the study of sea urchins. echinologist, n.
a nonparasitic relationship between animals in which one animal lives on the surface of the other.
epizootic, epizooty
a disease affecting many animals at the same time; an epidemic amongst animals. epizootic, adj.
epizootiology, epizootology
the science concerned with the factors involved in the occurrence and spread of animal diseases. epizootiologic, epizootiological, adj.
estrus, oestrus
the condition of being in rut or sexual arousal, applied particularly to the female. Also spelled estrum, oestrum . estrous, oestrous, adj.
the study of animal behavior in relation to habitat. ethologist, n. ethological, adj.
haruspicy. extispex, n. extispicious, Obsolete, adj.
1. the animal life of a particular time or region.
2. a study of or treatise on the animal life of a particular time or region. faunal, adj.
a person who studies or writes on animal life; a naturalist.
a form of divination by natural phenomena, especially from inspection of the entrails of animal sacrifices. Also called extispicy, haruspication . haruspex, aruspex, n. haruspical, adj.
the study of worms, especially internal worms.
a plant-eating animal. Cf. carnivore . herbivorous, adj.
abnormal development, especially increased size, in plants or animals, usually as a result of cross-breeding.
an animal that inhabits the burrow, nest, or other habitation of another animal. inquiline, adj.
a particular type of animal life whose absence is a characteristic of a region. lipotypic, adj.
a disease, chiefly of farm animals, characterized by paralysis and impaired vision and caused by eating locoweed.
a mythical or fabulous beast with the head of a man, the body of a lion or tiger, and the feet and tail of a dragon or scorpion. Also spelled mantichora .
the branch of biology that studies the structure and form of animals and plants. morphologist, n. morphologic, morphological, adj.
an abnormal love for mice.
an abnormal fear of mice.
the science of the early or youthful stage of animal development. nealogic, adj.
any animal or plant.
the scientific description of the organs of plants and animals and of their structure and function. organographist, n. organographic, organographical, adj.
the study of the organs of plants and animals. organologist, n. organologic, organological, adj.
pl. animals that lay eggs. Cf. ovovivipara, vivipara . oviparity, n. oviparous, adj.
pl. animals that lay eggs that are hatched in their bodies, so that young are born alive, without connection to a placenta.
a relationship between animals in which one gains sustenance from the other. Cf. commensalism . See also 44. BIOLOGY ; 319. PLANTS .
a group with genetic relationship. Cf. phylum.
any of the major subdivisions of the plant or animal kingdom. Cf. phylon . See also 247. LINGUISTICS .
a place where pigs are kept; pigpen; pigsty.
a carnivorous animal. predaceous, predacious, adj.
a relation between organisms or animals in which one feeds on the other. predatory, adj.
a plot of land, square or rectangular, marked off or set out for the study of plant or animal life.
1. rabbits collectively.
2. a place where rabbits live or are kept.
an animal or plant surviving in one area after becoming extinct else-where; a survival of an earlier period. relict, adj.
a breeding or nesting place of rooks or of any gregarious bird or animal.
selective breeding to develop strains with particular characteristics. stirpicultural, adj.
Rare. the business and art of raising swine.
the art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals so that they appear lifelike. taxidermist, n.
a container for keeping small animals.
a form of divination based upon observation of the movements of animals. Also called zoomancy .
the worship of deities that are partly animal and partly human in form. Also called therianthropism, theriolatry . theriomorphic, theriomorphous, adj.
the branch of biology that studies the breeding of domestic plants and animals.
a mammal having hoofs, as the cow, horse, etc. ungulate, adj.
Obsolete. a cow house, shed, pasture, or other place where cows are kept. Also vachery .
a condition of some animals, and especially of some fowls, in which the female, when old, assumes some of the characteristics of the male of the species. virilescent, adj.
an enclosed environment, as a glass container, in which plants or animals are raised under conditions that approximate their natural habitat. Also vivary .
a vivarium.
pl. animals that bear living young. Cf. ovipara, ovovivipara . viviparity, n. viviparous, adj.
1. the killing of a fox by methods other than by hunting it with hounds.
2. the killer of a fox.
a derangement in which a person believes himself to be an animal and acts accordingly. zoanthropic, adj.
the science of veterinary surgery.
the distribution of animal life by geographical location. zoogeographer, n. zoogeographic, zoogeographical, adj.
zoogony, zoogeny
1. the generation of animals.
2. a study of animal generation. zoogonic, zoogenic, adj.
1. the branch of zoology concerned with animal description.
2. pictorial art in general, but especially that which shows animals. zoographer, n. zoographic, zoographical, adj.
the worship of animal gods. Cf. theriomorphism . Also called zootheism . zoolater, n.
the branch of biology that studies and classifles all living creatures. zoologist, n. zoological, adj.
a form of divination based upon the observation of animals or their movements under certain circumstances. Also called theriomancy .
an abnormal love of animals.
the measurement and comparison of the sizes of animals and their parts.
the attribution of animal form or nature, especially to a deity. zoomorphic, adj.
zoonomy, zoonomia
the laws of animal life or the animal kingdom. zoonomist, n. zoonomic, adj.
the study or science of the diseases of animals; animal pathology. Also zoopathy .
the performing of experiments on animals, especially the lower animals. zooperal, adj.
a love of animals. zoophile, n.
zoophilism, zoophily
love of animals. zoophilist, n. zoophilous, adj.
an abnormal dread of animals. zoophobe, n.
the study of animal physiology and form. zoophysical, adj.
the physiology of animals, as distinct from that of humans.
an animal, as a sponge, coral, etc, that resembles a plant more than an animal; any of the Zoophyta. zoophytic, zoophytical, zoophytoid, adj.
the branch of zoology concerned with the zoophytes. zoophytological, adj.
the process of surgically grafting tissue from a lower animal onto the human body. zooplastic, adj.
a form of hallucination in which the sufferer imagines he sees animals. Also zooscopy .
a branch of psychology that studies animal behavior.
zoological classification; the scientific classification of animals.
the principles of animal husbandry. Also spelled zootechnics . zootechnician, n. zootechnical, adj.
the worship of animal gods; zoolatry. zootheist, n.
1. the dissection of animals other than man.
2. the anatomy of animals. zootomist, n. zootomic, zootomical, adj.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Animals." -Ologies and -Isms. . 17 Dec. 2017 <>.

"Animals." -Ologies and -Isms. . (December 17, 2017).

"Animals." -Ologies and -Isms. . Retrieved December 17, 2017 from



Animals are believed to exhibit psychic faculties similar to human beings. In her account of a case of haunting in Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 8, R. C. Morton mentions two dogs who saw a ghost. The medium Mrs. J. H. Conant believed that her pet dog and cat saw the spirits she described clairvoyantly. The dog barked and snarled; the cat arched its back, spat, and ran to hide. Sir William Barrett recorded the case of the Montgomery sisters who saw a ghost floating across the road; their horse stopped and shook with fright. The watchdog of the Rev. Samuel Wesley crouched in terror during the poltergeist manifestations at Epworth Vicarage (see Epworth Phenomena ). In a poltergeist case on the Baltic Island of Oesel in 1844 a number of horses were frightened by thunderous noises coming from a nearby underground vault. The case is described in Robert Dale Owen 's Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World (1860).

Ernesto Bozzano collected many cases (published in the Annals of Psychic Science in 1905 and in Animaux et manifestations metapsychiques in 1926) in which animals as agents induce telepathic hallucinations; in which they act as percipients simultaneously with, or previously to, human beings; in which they see human or animal phantoms, collectively with human beings in which phantom animals are seen in haunted spots or periodically appear as a premonition of death. Out of a total of 69 cases, in 13 the animals were subject to supernormal psychic perceptions in precedence to humans, and in 12 they perceived things that the persons present were unable to see. In more than one-third of the cases, therefore, the animals' perception had precedence to humans. Bozzano pointed out that animals, "besides sharing with man the intermittent exercise of faculties of supernormal psychic perception, show themselves furthermore normally endowed with special psychic faculties unknown to men, such as the so-called instincts of direction and of migration, and the faculty of precognition regarding unforeseen atmospheric disturbances, or the imminence of earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions. Although man is destitute of such superior faculties of instinct, nevertheless these same faculties exist in the unexplored recesses of his subconsciousness." (See also Earthquake Prediction )

In the case of avalanches, the presentiments, especially attributed to horses, are still more mysterious. The deathhowl of dogs in anticipation of the death of their master or a member of the household is a well documented phenomenon. Gustave Geley recorded a personal experience of this in From the Unconscious to the Conscious (1920).

Supernormal perception may also work in a lower scale of life. Sir William Barrett suggested that the color changes of insect life to suit the environment might be due to causes of stigmata, i.e., suggestion unconsciously derived from the environment.

That there may be latent high faculties in animals which vie with the powers of genius was demonstrated by the famous case of the Elberfeld Horses, although many scientists have been skeptical of the evidence. An Italian horse, Tripoli, showed similar talent after a course in mathematics. The dog Rolf, of Mannheim, learned to calculate by attending the lessons given to a child. (See Proceedings of the ASPR, Vol. 13 [1919]). Rolf sired Lola who attained considerable fame as narrated in Henry Kindermann's Lola; or, The Thought and Speech of Animals (1922). She could calculate, tell the time, and phonetically spell out answers to questions. When she was asked what was the name of the Mannheim dog, she replied "mein fadr" (Mein Vater) i.e., "my father." All present had expected her to answer "Rolf."

Carita Borderieux's Les Nouveaux Animaux Pensants (Paris, 1927) tells the story of Zou, the author's calculating dog. In Proceedings of the ASPR Vol. 38, Theodore Besterman described his personal encounter with Borderieux's dog and claims to have discovered that the dog interpreted unconscious movements of Borderieux's hand. Unconscious movements were also put forward to explain the phenomena of the Elberfeld Horses, but they often gave correct answers to mathematical problems when the answer was not known by the questioner.

Unconscious signals or secret code falls far short as a theory of explanation in the case of Black Bear, the Briarcliff pony, who not only solved mathematical problems and spelled answers by selecting letters from a rack, but, according to narratives in the journal Psychic Research (April 1931), exhibited clairvoyant or telepathic powers by correctly describing playing cards which were turned face down. Black Bear either answered correctly or refused to venture an answer at all. He was never at fault and solved his problems with a supreme indifference. Mrs. Fletcher, one of his visitors, whose birthday was to occur shortlya fact which could not normally have been known to either Black Bear or Mr. Barrett (his trainer)asked these questions: "Black Bear,there is an anniversary coming soon. Can you tell me what it is?" The pony spelled out "Birthday." Mrs. Fletcher then said "That is right, now, can you tell me when it will be?" and Black Bear replied "Friday." "What date will it be?" was the next question, and Black Bear at once spelled out "August 3rd."

Regarding the survival of animals, no definite proof is available. Materialization seances in which animals are seen do not offer evidence in themselves of survival. It is the continuation of personality and memory of which proof is demanded. Obviously, the barking of dogs is not sufficiently expressive for the purpose. After-death communications, however, do assert that animals also survive. Nevertheless, as an interesting speculation, the direct voice communication given to H. Dennis Bradley should be registered. According to Bradley, animals such as tigers and snakes, etc., go to an animal kingdom, there to be redrawn upon for physical life on Earth. Animals, such as dogs and cats, that are capable of love and loyalty live with the spirits in their plane. Said Andrew Lang, "Knowing cases in which phantasms of dogs have been seen and heard collectively by several persons simultaneously, I tend to agree with the tribes of North-West Central Queensland that dogs, like men, have khoihave spirits."

In various countries of the world, the special sensory abilities of animals have been used in war and defense situations. Robert Lubow, professor of psychology at Tel Aviv University, Israel, revealed various extraordinary developments in the use of animals in his book The War Animals (1977). The Russians trained porpoises and dolphins to recognize different kinds of metal plates in warships in order to lay mines beside enemy ships, rather like the story in the film Day of the Dolphin. In Hong Kong, police tested the use of rats to sniff out heroin. In Britain, the Royal Air Force devised a system of coating aircraft flight detectors ("black boxes") with a special substance odorless to human beings but detectable by trained dogs, who can locate the recorders after a crash. During the Vietnam war, Prof. Lubow successfully trained nearly one hundred dogs to find mines and booby-traps. Insects were used at military establishments to detect the presence of intruders. Pigeons were trained for aerial reconnaissance to identify man-made objects from natural features of the landscape; a radio direction finder would be triggered by the pigeon's landing, transmitting the information to a remote patrol. In Israel, dogs have been used successfully to detect letter-bombs in the mail. The scent of the explosive is apparently perceptible to a dog even in a sack of 600 letters.

(See also Anpsi )


Boone, J. Allen. Kinship with All Life. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1954.

Bozzano, Ernesto. "Animals and Psychic Perceptions." Annals of Psychic Science (August 1905).

Burton, Maurice. The Sixth Sense of Animals. New York: Taplinger, 1973; London: Dent, 1973.

Gaddis, Vincent, and Margaret Gaddis. The Strange World of Animals and Pets. 1970. Reprint, New York: Pocket Books, 1971.

Kindermann, Henny. Lola; or, the Thought and Speech of Animals. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1923.

Lilly, J. Man and Dolphin. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961.

Lorenz, Konrad. King Solomon's Ring. New York: Time, 1962.

Lubow, Robert. The War Animals. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1977.

Maeterlinck, Maurice. The Unknown Guest. New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1975.

Schul, Bill. The Psychic Power of Animals. Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, 1977.

Selous, Edmund. Thought-Transference (or What?) in Birds. London: Constable & Co. Ltd., 1931.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Animals." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . 17 Dec. 2017 <>.

"Animals." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . (December 17, 2017).

"Animals." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved December 17, 2017 from



In the early days of space travel, scientists wanted to ensure that animals could survive spaceflight before they attempted to send humans. During these first animal flights, scientists were able to test how a living organism would react to the unique environment of spaceflightincluding such factors as cosmic radiation , the high rate of acceleration during the flight, and the effects of reduced gravity, also known as microgravity, on the body's cells and vital organs (e.g., the heart and lungs). The evaluation of animals in space also gave scientists information on how the brain would behave in microgravity.

Dogs Lead the Way

The first animal was launched from the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico on June 14, 1949. Albert 2 was a monkey, and he traveled 134 kilometers (83 miles) above Earth in a V-2 rocket . His heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate were analyzed, but he died on his way back to Earth when the rocket's parachute failed to open. The first successful live-animal spaceflight happened on September 20, 1951, when the Soviet Union sent a monkey and eleven mice into space and back in a rocket. Then on November 3, 1957, the Soviets sent a dog named Laika in a special animal compartment on Sputnik 2. Laika became the first animal to orbit Earth, although she died after four days in space.

On August 19, 1960, the Russians sent up two dogs, Strelka and Belk, on Sputnik 5. These two animals survived fifteen orbits, returned to Earth, and later gave birth to litters of healthy puppies. The following year, two Soviet missions, Sputniks 9 and 10, each carried dogs that survived the flight and returned home. After these and other successful dog flights, scientists began sending monkeys and chimpanzees, because their bodies most closely resembled the human body. These missions paved the way for human space travel because they proved that vital organs, such as the brain, heart, and lungs, could function in microgravity.

The Neurolab Shuttle Mission: How the Brain Works in Space

In April 1998, animals played an important role on the Neurolab mission aboard space shuttle flight STS-90. This mission was dedicated to studying the effects of weightlessness or microgravity and other aspects of the space environment on the nervous system. Researchers were interested in how microgravity affects an animal's sensory systems. Signals from the sensory systems relate to balance, vision, and muscle movement and allow an animal to maintain stable vision, posture, coordination, and motion. A variety of species were on Neurolab, including rats, mice, swordtail fish, toadfish, crickets, and snails. Such experiments help scientists develop computer models so they can study how living organisms change while in space, including how their development and growth are affected. Studies on the brains, bones, muscles, and hearts of animals in space help scientists keep track of the effects that the space environment has on humans.

NASA Pulls Out of Bion Mission

In the United States, animals used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are protected under regulations outlined in the "Principles for the Ethical Care and Use of Animals." In the mid-1990s, NASA was criticized by animal rights activists for participating in the Bion 11 and Bion 12 missions. The Bion programs were cooperative ventures between the United States, Russia, and France, and were intended to study the effects of low gravity and space radiation on primates such as monkeys. Activists claimed, however, that these studies were unnecessary because humans were already safely spending extended periods of time in space.

In December 1996, the Bion 11 satellite sent two rhesus monkeys into space, and they returned to Earth safely two weeks later. But the day after their return, one of the monkeys died after it had an adverse reaction to anesthesia when researchers where trying to surgically remove bone and muscle tissue samples. The second monkey also had an adverse reaction, although it survived. The Bion missions were the first that involved placing animals under anesthesia immediately upon returning to Earth after spending extended periods of time in a low-gravity atmosphere.

NASA investigated the Bion mission and determined that the monkeys were at a great risk when exposed to the anesthesia so soon after returning to Earth. Because of this risk, NASA declared that the United States would not participate in Bion 12 or any other future Bion missions.

see also Life Support (volume 3); Primate, Non-Human (volume 3).

Julie L. McDowell


National Research Council. Space Science Board. Human Factors in Long-Duration Spaceflight. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, 1972.

Internet Resources

The Brain in Space: A Teacher's Guide with Activities in Neuroscience. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. <>.

"NASA Suspends Future Participation in Bion Missions." American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology. <>.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Animals." Space Sciences. . 17 Dec. 2017 <>.

"Animals." Space Sciences. . (December 17, 2017).

"Animals." Space Sciences. . Retrieved December 17, 2017 from


Animals. The resemblances between many animals and humans, not least in their dependence on food and air, has given to animals a special status in all religions. Thus it has been widely believed that suprahuman realities, not least divine and diabolic, can take on the form of animals. They can also epitomize, in the form of totems, the networks of relationship which constitute a human society. Bearing, as they do, the obvious signs of vitality, animals have been a major part of sacrifice, becoming instrumental in expressing the many needs which humans have felt in their relation to God and to each other. Some religions (e.g. Islam) have retained animal sacrifice (ʿId al-Aḍḥā), but others have reacted strongly against the efficacy of such acts (e.g. Buddhism and Jainism). However, even in religions where the sacrifice of animals has taken, or does take, place, animals may be given a high and revered status. Judaism and Islam emphasize that they come from the hand of the Creator, and while they are to some extent given to humans for their use and food (e.g. Qurʾān 16. 5–8), this is within limits, and must always be in the context of kindness. Among Hindus, there is a controlling sense that that which alone is truly real (whether conceived of as Brahman or as God) underlies and guarantees the subsistence of all appearance: ‘This form is the source and indestructible seed of innumerable incarnations within the cosmos, and from it the appearances of all different living beings are created, heavenly beings, animals, humans, and all other kinds.… Thus you should regard deer, camels, monkeys, donkeys, rats, reptiles, birds and flies as though they are your own children’ (Śrimad-Bhagavatam). This underlying attitude is epitomized in the sacred cow (go). Not surprisingly, animals can be the focus of worship and in particular can be the forms of incarnation (avatāra). The principle of ahiṃsā, emphasized and reinforced among Jains and Buddhists, led to a strong preference for vegetarianism (for this issue in general, see FOOD). An attempt to mobilize the resources of religion for greater care of the environment and of animals within it was made in the Assisi meetings and declarations in 1986.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Animals." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . 17 Dec. 2017 <>.

"Animals." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . (December 17, 2017).

"Animals." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved December 17, 2017 from