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Posts Tagged "behaviour"

Not bad science

Disproving Hollywood Stereotypes: The Bare Bones of Piranha Behaviour

This just doesn't happen in real life

Article by Amy Deacon   “People eat fish, Grogan. Fish don’t eat people” reassures the camp leader in the film ‘Piranha’, shortly before a shoal of incredibly voracious fish turn the waters alongside the camp site red, in a savage attack on innocent bathers. In this fictional Hollywood tale, the fish were escaped stock left [...]

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Not bad science

Can Chimpanzees Teach us Anything About Differences Between Boys and Girls?

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Whether there exist differences between boys and girls is passionately debated (for example, see this debate about gender disparity between Stephen Pinker and Elizabeth Spelke). Some studies have found that girls are more sociable than boys, but prefer to play with just one other person, while boys prefer a larger group to play with. However, [...]

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Not bad science

Why are these mice shaking their booties?

SONY DSC

Pacifica Sommers is a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona. Here she tells us about this unusual mouse behaviour she witnessed when doing research.   What are these mice doing? As I looked through my video data for my doctoral research, I couldn’t help noticing they were, well, shaking their booties. Check it out [...]

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Not bad science

How is Past Experience Biasing Our Decision-Making? Insights from Rock Ants

The rock ant Temnothorax rugatulus

Think about all the decisions you’ve made today. Even if you’re reading this in the morning, you’ve probably already made hundreds or even thousands of decisions, without even thinking consciously about most of them. We like to think of ourselves as being in control of our own decisions, and making rational, well-informed choices. However, more [...]

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Not bad science

Wrens so happy that they duet, but how do they do it?

not so happy happy wren

One of my favourite animals that I only discovered existed recently has to be the happy wren. Not only is it happy (just look at this photo), but it also duets with its partner in such a synchronised way that they are often mistaken for a single bird. Have a listen to this recording of [...]

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Not bad science

Lost ants backtrack their steps

Ants would leave their nest to retrieve bits of cookie

Think about where you’ve been today, and how you found your way there. As humans, we use different navigational techniques at different times. You can probably think of some times that that you’ve relied more on heading in a particular direction, knowing roughly where a place is that you’re trying to get to (like ‘north’ [...]

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Not bad science

How Do Ants Coordinate Moving Huge Objects?

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As a child I used to spend hours watching groups of ants move large objects and wonder how they managed to coordinate themselves. If I had to move some furniture with some friends, I’m sure we’d be talking the whole time about which way we were going and how fast, but as far as I [...]

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Not bad science

Any Black Bear Experts Out There?

The male descending the tree while the female remains at the top. She followed shortly after.

I recently took a trip to Yellowstone national park, which, as expected, was an amazing place. The geysers and hot water pools were beautiful; walking around there you felt like you were on another planet. Just south of yellowstone, I stayed in the Grand Teton national park for a couple nights, and there I was [...]

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Not bad science

Infested female crickets are less choosy in who they have sex with

the field cricket Gryllus lineaticeps with the parasitoid fly O. ochracea

In most animals, females are generally the ones that choose the males. This is a massive generalisation (for example, it doesn’t apply in this case), but I hope people who work on this topic will forgive me for it. Generally speaking, it’s the females that get to size up the males, check out whatever trait [...]

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Not bad science

Cooling down in honeybees is affected by what others are doing

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In my previous post, I talked about how crickets were influenced by who was watching them when they performed a victory dance after winning a fight. Although this is a unique finding, it fits into a larger picture of many animals (including insects) being affected by their social context. At the animal behaviour conference I [...]

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Running Ponies

Dogs recognise other dogs in a crowd

Dogs

They may have the largest physical variety among all animal species on Earth, but dogs can still recognise one of their own over any other animal based on simple images of their faces. Since their domestication somewhere between 15,000 and 100,000 years ago, dogs have been learning to use facial cues as an important part [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

It’s hot and sunny, so birds lie down and sunbathe

Greater necklacked laughingthrush sunbathing, another photo taken at Birdworld. Photo by Darren Naish.

It’s hot and sunny here in the UK right now, and elsewhere in the world too, I’m sure. In celebration of the current conditions, I figure now is a good time to recycle a Tet Zoo ver 3 article that’s already two years old: my brief review of sunbathing postures in dinosaurs. By which I [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Herring gull eats sea star, and other tales of larid gastronomy

My photography skills – if I can call them that – are pretty atrocious. While on a break in Wales recently, I managed to photograph a sequence in which a Herring gull Larus argentatus (one of our most frequently encountered gulls) swallowed a Common sea star Asterias rubens. Yeah, that’s right, get into the habit [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Crocodiles attack elephants

Way back in November 2010 a remarkable photo appeared online, showing an adult Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus biting the trunk of an adult female African bush elephant Loxodonta africana (a plague upon those bloggers and others who identified the crocodylian as an… alligator. Duh). You’ve almost certainly seen the photo already: it was widely features [...]

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