People and animals have been actively interacting since ancient times. At first, predators instilled fear on our distant ancestors, but over time, people prevailed over them. At the moment, many animals are kept as pets and have become true friends for us. The rest of the animals benefit people by producing milk and other food. But can cats, dogs, birds, and other animal species benefit humans in other ways? Experience shows us that yes, they can - and how! Throughout the history of their existence, humans have taught animals to perform a wide variety of tasks for which they do not have time or do not have enough courage. If you think about it, on the part of humanity, forcing animals to do all the "dirty" work for themselves is very ugly. But history has developed this way and the fact remains that animals can learn different professions and benefit people with their work.
Humanity began to use animal labor for a long time. For example, according to historical data, domestic horses originated around the 4th century BC. It was then that people began to use them for two purposes. Firstly, horses turned out to be useful in agriculture, because they pulled the plow well for plowing the land. Secondly, they can be considered one of the first means of transportation - handsome men are still used for this purpose. As an example, dogs can be cited, which became our friends and began to be used as guards and even police officers. But all these are the simplest examples, and there are animals in the world that are engaged in performing even more interesting and complex tasks.
In the US state of Virginia there is a Virginia Tech University, and several dogs work there. Their mission is to help veterinary students cope with stress and anxiety. These four-legged psychotherapists have their own schedule and they provide full consultations. Sessions seem like a simple pastime with animals, but there is clearly a benefit to it. It is believed that aspiring veterinarians are very prone to anxiety during their studies, and statistics show that many of them cannot withstand the stress and take their own lives.
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Mousse and his owner Trent Davis (left)
The best employee at Virginia Tech is considered an 8-year-old Labrador named Mousse. He started in 2014 and has provided over 7,500 consultations and over 500 events throughout his career. For the work done, in 2019 Mousse received the title "Animal Hero", and in 2020 he received the title of Doctor of Science. The owner of the hero is Trent Davis, who has been working at the university for over 10 years. In February, the Labrador was diagnosed with cancer, but doctors assure him that everything will be all right with him. Well, happiness to this doctor of sciences and let him swim and play tug of war - these are his favorite hobbies.
While dogs have mastered the profession of a psychotherapist, the Capuchin monkeys (Cebus) are excellent nurses. Back in 1979, a group of psychologists and psychotherapists organized the Helping Hands project, in which primates are still being taught to help people with disabilities. In a special "monkey college", they began to teach the Capuchins to perform various commands such as turning on and off lights, controlling the TV, and so on. By taking such a monkey into their family, paralyzed people can give it commands like "turn on the light" and make life much easier for themselves and those around them. And it is not difficult for the Capuchins, because they are very friendly to people. In addition, they live up to 40 years, that is, they become friends for almost their entire life.
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One of the monkeys is learning a new command
It should be emphasized that families who take a monkey from Helping Hands bear a great responsibility for them. Able family members have a responsibility to feed them well and regularly inform company employees about their weight and other health indicators. Having a child under the age of 10 in a family is unacceptable, because tiny monkeys are, in fact, children themselves. Also, once every couple of years, monkeys go back to college to brush up on their knowledge. In addition to executing commands, they are trained there to live in a cage, despite the fact that they can only go there to sleep.
Today, more than ever, it is important for scientists to monitor the purity of the water in the world's oceans. The fact is that every year people dump tons of plastic waste there, which harms all living organisms. In addition, due to the gradual rise in air temperature on our planet, the water gradually heats up and the inhabitants of the seas and oceans begin to die. Researchers could well use robots to track different indicators of water, but this is too expensive an undertaking. Instead, they use sensors that attach to the bodies of sharks and whales. That is, these creatures can be called ecologists - experts in saving the environment.
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This is what sensors attached to fish bodies look like.
The sensors that are attached to the bodies of animals do not interfere with their life and do not harm their health. They are made from non-toxic materials and the composite components are very flexible. In 2019, wearable devices have been greatly improved and can be attached to the bodies of even small fish. Moving in the water space, the inhabitants of the seas and oceans visit a variety of regions, so that scientists can add up a general picture of what is happening on our planet. You can read more about the technology for collecting information on the state of water in the world's oceans in this article.
According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, at the moment about 285 million people suffer from vision problems in the world. Many of them can move slowly but confidently through noisy streets thanks to their guide dogs. The first guide dog school appeared in 1929 - some sources report that training one dog can cost up to $ 60,000. Sounds great, our four-legged friends are good at many things. But what about people who are afraid of them or are allergic to them? In our time, everything is possible and the solution to this problem was found pretty quickly.
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Labradors are commonly used as guide dogs
In 1999, The Guide Horse Foundation was opened in the United States, which is engaged in training not dogs, but small horses - ponies. Studies have shown that these animals also have a very developed intelligence and are able to lead their owners even through noisy and busy streets. In addition, they have a number of advantages over dogs:
- ponies live up to 40 years, and dogs - about 17 years;
- pony training is cheaper than dog training;
- small horses remain calm even in emergencies;
- the pony has a wider viewing angle, about 350 degrees;
- most people are not allergic to them.
Since ponies are not considered close friends of humans, it takes a long time to learn a new skill. Only experienced horse trainers are allowed to do this. It is known that one of the very first guide pony trainers was Janet Burleson with 30 years of experience working with horses.
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In some countries, such a picture is not uncommon.
Animals in space
One of the most important and difficult professions that animals have mastered is an astronaut. Today, dogs, cats and monkeys no longer leave our planet, but before the first manned flight into near-earth orbit, only animals participated in flights. The most famous of them are, of course, Belka and Strelka.But do not forget about other heroes, thanks to whom mankind has made a huge step into the future. For example, a macaque named Sam, who flew into space on the Little Joe 2 spacecraft, demonstrated particular courage in flight.
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The same monkey named Sam
There have even been cockroaches in near-earth orbit. For example, in September 2007, a female red cockroach named Nadezhda became a passenger of the Foton M-3 spacecraft. She became the first animal to conceive children during space flight. After returning to Earth, the insect gave birth to 33 cubs. While observing tiny creatures, scientists noticed that they evolved faster than usual. They named the effect of weightlessness as the reason for this phenomenon.
Animals and man
These are not all professions that animals can master. Many of them can serve as guards, nurses, and so on. Unfortunately, they do not have the ability to make decisions on their own, so the majority have to literally sacrifice themselves for the good of humanity. Take laboratory rats, for example. If they did not exist, the creation of drugs for dangerous diseases would have been given to us with great difficulty and would have taken a lot of time.