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Chimpanzee Conducts 3-Year Study on Primates : The Nonhuman ...

Chimpanzee Conducts 3-Year Study on Primates : The Nonhuman ... | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Researchers at the University of Washington reported Thursday that Mokoko, a 7-year-old chimpanzee in the school's animal cognition laboratory, has learned to make systematic observations and collect data on other ...
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animals and prosocial capacities
Prosocial capacities shared by humans and other species: empathy, reciprocity, altruism, bonding, play, tool use, communication
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Chimps use gestures to communicate and scientists have a dictionary for it

Chimps use gestures to communicate and scientists have a dictionary for it | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Scientists have put together a new kind of dictionary that contains 66 gestures for several different social meanings, such as “come closer,” “groom me,” and “flirt with me.”

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Charles Tiayon's curator insight, July 11, 8:07 AM

Chimpanzees have a pretty complex language of gestures for communicating, including stomping their feet to say "stop that," showing the sole of a foot for "climb on me," and chewing on a leaf to call for sexual attention, according to a new dictionary of basic chimp language compiled by researchers in Scotland.

Anthropologists Dr. Catherine Hobaiter and Professor Richard Byrne of the University of St. Andrew in Scotland used a method called focal behavior sampling to analyze more than 4,500 gestures in 3,400 interactions made between 80 chimps in the Sonzo community in Uganda's Bondongo Forest to come up with 66 gestures used for 19 different meanings. All gestures were recorded on film using a Sony Handycam between 2007 and 2009. Their findings were recentlypublished in the Current Biology journal.

"There is abundant evidence that chimpanzees and other apes gesture with purpose," says Prof. Byrne. "Apes target their gestures to particular individuals, choosing appropriate gestures according to whether the other is looking or not - they stop gesturing when they get the result they want. And otherwise they keep going, trying out alternative gestures or other tactics altogether."

Some of the gestures were used to communicate simple meanings, such as "move away" for punching the ground or "get object" for stroking the mouth. Other gestures, like many words in the English language, have multiple meanings. Grasping another chimp sometimes means "climb on me," but it can also indicate "stop" or even "go away." Or when a chimp slaps one object against another, it could mean it either wants another chimp to follow or to move closer.

What is notable, however, is that the gestures used to communicate different meanings remained the same "irrespective of who uses them," says Dr. Hobaiter. Seventeen out of all 19 meanings extracted by the researchers were meant for initiating social contact, such as "travel with me," "climb on you," and "let's get frisky."  

It has long been known that chimpanzees use gestures to communicate with one another, but this is the first time humans have attempted to decipher the meaning of these gestures and compile them into the first dictionary of chimpanzee language.

In a separate study also published in Current Biology, Switzerland's University of Neuchatel primatologists Emilie Genty and Klaus Zuberbuhler discovered that a specific gesture used by bonobos is meant to initiate mating. The complicated gesture involves stretching one arm towards the desired partner, sweeping it inwards and twirling the wrist to turn the downward-facing palm upside.

The researchers recorded 1,080 sexual gestures made by a total of 18 males and 17 females in two bonobo communities living in the Lola Ya sanctuary in Congo. 

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Baboons groom early in the day to get benefits later

Baboons groom early in the day to get benefits later | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Social animals often develop relationships with other group members to reduce aggression and gain access to scarce resources. In wild chacma baboons the strategy for grooming activities shows a certain pattern across the day.
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Victory for Loggerhead Sea Turtles: Vast Area of Habitat Gains Protection

Victory for Loggerhead Sea Turtles: Vast Area of Habitat Gains Protection | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Today, the federal government designated thousands of miles of beaches and open ocean around the southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States as critical habitat for loggerhead sea turtles. The area, w

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, July 12, 12:12 AM

Option topic: Marine environments

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Housekeeping can be a matter of life and death—at least for social animals like ants

Housekeeping can be a matter of life and death—at least for social animals like ants | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Katie Langin in National Geographic: According to a study published Tuesday in the journal Biology Letters, common red ants (Myrmica rubra) that were prevented from removing their nestmates' corpses died more frequently than those allowed to bring...
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A Breakthrough in Our Understanding of How Intelligence Evolves

A Breakthrough in Our Understanding of How Intelligence Evolves | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
It's hard to study intelligence in humans — our cultures are incredibly complex, and what counts as "smart" is defined as much by our societies as it is by our genes. So some researchers have turned to chimpanzees to understand what actually gives rise to intelligence in the brain.
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Hard-Drive-Sniffing Dog Helps Fight Child Porn : DNews

Hard-Drive-Sniffing Dog Helps Fight Child Porn : DNews | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Golden labrador can find hard drives and other computer gadgetry wherever they may be hidden.

Via Rob Duke
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Apes are emotional about choices

Apes are emotional about choices | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it

Like many humans, chimpanzees and bonobos react quite emotionally when they take risks that fail to pay off.

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Scientists Translate Chimpanzee and Bonobo Gestures That Resemble Human Language | Science | WIRED

Scientists Translate Chimpanzee and Bonobo Gestures That Resemble Human Language | Science | WIRED | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Scientists have described the communications of chimpanzees and bonobos in new and unsurpassed detail, offering a lexicon for our closest living relatives and even a glimpse into the origins of human language. "We have the closest thing to human language that you can see in nature," said cognitive biologist Richard Byrne.
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Impact of Animal-Assisted Therapy for Outpatients with Fibromyalgia - Marcus - 2012 - Pain Medicine - Wiley Online Library

Impact of Animal-Assisted Therapy for Outpatients with Fibromyalgia - Marcus - 2012 - Pain Medicine - Wiley Online Library | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Impact of Animal-Assisted Therapy for Outpatients with #Fibromyalgia - free access to top accessed article in PME
http://t.co/Lv8khhnMbO
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Scientist gives whales a role as “engineers” of the oceans - The Westside Story

Scientist gives whales a role as “engineers” of the oceans - The Westside Story | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
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Kangaroos use tail as 'third leg' - video

Research conducted by scientists in Australia, the US and Canada shows that kangaroos plant their tails on the ground in sequence prior to their hind legs, pushing them forwards. This gives the tail the role of a 'third leg', doing a similar job to a human leg – a far different role than proposed by the previous theory that the tail merely provides support and balance
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No Time for Bullies: Baboons Retool Their Culture

No Time for Bullies: Baboons Retool Their Culture | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Sometimes it takes the great Dustbuster of fate to clear the room of bullies and bad habits. Freak cyclones helped destroy Kublai Khan's brutal Mongolian empire, for example, while the Black Death of the 14th century capsized the medieval theocracy and gave the Renaissance a chance to shine. Among a troop of savanna baboons in Kenya, a terrible outbreak of tuberculosis 20 years ago selectively killed off the biggest, nastiest and most despotic males, setting the stage for a social and behavioral transformation unlike any seen in this notoriously truculent primate.
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DNA analysis reveals queen bumblebees disperse far from birthplace before setting up home

DNA analysis reveals queen bumblebees disperse far from birthplace before setting up home | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Researchers are closer to understanding patterns of family relatedness and genetic diversity in bumblebees. The findings could help farmers, land managers and policy makers develop more effective conservation schemes for these essential pollinators.

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Some chimps smarter than others, say scientists

Some chimps smarter than others, say scientists | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
A study of chimpanzees' cognitive abilities suggest that some chimps are more intelligent than others, with genetic influences accounting for about half of the variability, say researchers.

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Charles Tiayon's curator insight, July 11, 7:17 AM

Chimpanzees don't just get their smarts by aping others — chimps, like humans, inherit a significant amount of their intelligence from their parents, new research reveals.

Researchers measured how well 99 captive chimpanzees performed on a series of cognitive tests, finding that genes determined as much as 50 percent of the animals' performance.

"Genes matter," said William Hopkins, a neuroscientist at Georgia State University in Atlanta and co-author of the study published today (July 10) in the journal Current Biology. [The 5 Smartest Non-Primates on the Planet]

"We have what we would call a smart chimp, and chimps we'd call not so smart," Hopkins told Live Science, and "we were able to explain a lot of that variability by who was related to each other."

Animal 'intelligence'

People don't usually talk about animal intelligence, but rather animal learning or cognition. American psychologists John Watson and B.F. Skinner developed the notion of behaviorism in the early 20th century, which said that scientists should study only the behavior of animals, not their mental processes. This was the dominant approach until about 1985.

But in the last few decades, studies have shown convincingly that animals are capable of cognition. What remained unknown was the mechanism behind it, Hopkins said. Many studies of human twins suggest that intelligence is heritable, but few studies have looked at whether this is true in other primates.

In the new study, Hopkins and his colleagues gave chimpanzees at the Yerkes Primate Center, in Atlanta, a battery of cognitive tests adapted from ones developed by German researchers for comparing humans and great apes. The tests measured a range of abilities in physical cognition, such as the ability to discriminate quantity, spatial memory and tool use. The tests also examined aspects of social cognition, such as communication ability.

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How much do you know about whales?

How much do you know about whales? | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
These giants of the sea are fascinating and unique. Test your trivia knowledge about them!

Via Kathy Dowsett
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Animals You May Not Have Known Existed

Animals You May Not Have Known Existed | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
With an estimate of +- 8.7 million species, it is no wonder that we have so many beautiful creatures on this planet.
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SEE IT: Elephants shield young as sirens erupt at Israeli zoo

SEE IT: Elephants shield young as sirens erupt at Israeli zoo | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
A family of endangered elephants at central Israel's Ramat Gan zoo were filmed cowering and protectively shielding their young, with nowhere else to go, when terrifying sirens erupted around them.
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Hundreds Of Miles Of Coast Now Protected For Turtles

Hundreds Of Miles Of Coast Now Protected For Turtles | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK
Over 685 miles of nesting beach and more than 300,000 square miles of ocean were officially protected on Wednesday, in the largest critical habitat designation in U.S. history.
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Researchers Discover Key to Mantis Shrimp’s Unique Vision

Researchers Discover Key to Mantis Shrimp’s Unique Vision | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it

Mantis shrimp possess an amazingly keen visual system and are able to discern ultraviolet light, which humans aren’t capable of seeing. A new study conducted by Michael Bok at the University of Maryland indicates that mantis shrimp use amino acids that are normally found as a natural sunscreen in animal skin in order to see UV light.


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Wild chimp language translated

Wild chimp language translated | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it

Researchers say they have translated the meaning of gestures that wild chimpanzees use to communicate.


They say wild chimps communicate 19 specific messages to one another with a "lexicon" of 66 gestures.


The scientists discovered this by following and filming communities of chimps in Uganda, and examining more than 5,000 incidents of these meaningful exchanges.


The research is published in the journal Current Biology.


Dr Catherine Hobaiter, University of St Andrews, who led the research, said that this was the only form of intentional communication to be recorded in the animal kingdom.

Only humans and chimps, she said, had a system of communication where they deliberately sent a message to another individual.


"That's what's so amazing about chimp gestures," she told BBC News.

"They're the only thing that looks like human language in that respect."

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New research shows it's time for sea change in treatment of fish | Other Opinions | FresnoBee.com

New research shows it's time for sea change in treatment of fish | Other Opinions | FresnoBee.com | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
According to biologist Culum Brown, an associate professor at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and the author of a new study about fish sentience and intelligence, "the potential amount of cruelty" that humans inflict on fish "is mind-boggling." Many of us give little thought to the welfare of fish, but Dr. Brown's research added to what we already know about these animals and should dispel any outdated notions that fish are merely swimming entrees.
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Mama Elephant Thought Her Newborn Was Gone Forever. What She Does At 3:18 Gave Me Chills!

Mama Elephant Thought Her Newborn Was Gone Forever. What She Does At 3:18 Gave Me Chills! | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Kenya Wildlife Service and Amboseli Trust for Elephants are two amazing organizations on a mission to help preserve and protect the amazing elephants.
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BBC One's "Odd Couples" Featuring the #BLT of Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary - YouTube

Animal odd couples explored by Liz Bonnin with the Oxford Science Team crew as shown on the BBC One.
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What Do Sharks Do in a Hurricane? Answers to Our Goofy Shark Questions.

What Do Sharks Do in a Hurricane? Answers to Our Goofy Shark Questions. | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
We here at Slate were talking about sharks not long ago and realized we had a lot of goofy questions. Shark conservation graduate student David Shiffman was kind enough to answer them. What do sharks do in a hurricane? Do they clear out of the path? Yup, they move to...

Via Kathy Dowsett
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Squawking Birds Give Away Their Nest Sizes

Squawking Birds Give Away Their Nest Sizes | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
How to count seabirds on islands using sound
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