Working on a remote and protected beach in Indonesia, conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and PALS--a local partner organization--recently celebrated the release of rare animal hatchlings into the wild, part of a plan to save...
Chimpanzee empathy is key to understanding human engagement Emory University News and Events This study is a follow up to a study published in 2009 that showed contagious yawning in chimpanzees is not just a marker of sleepiness or boredom, but...
Valentine’s Day inspires silly displays in the name of romance, but heart-shaped candies and sappy cards are nothing compared to the show that nature routinely puts on. From balloon-blowing seals to penis-fencing flatworms, here’s a selection of some of the flashiest—and weirdest—ways that animals show off and compete to win mates.
"Basically they have developed this very rich knowledge of the humans that they share their habitat with," said McComb , a professor of animal behavior and cognition at the University of Sussex in England.
Humans are among the very few animals that constitute a threat to elephants. Yet not all people are a danger — and elephants seem to know it. The giants have shown a remarkable ability to use sight and scent to distinguish between African ethnic groups that have a history of attacking them and groups that do not. Now a study reveals that they can even discern these differences from words spoken in the local tongues.
Biologists Karen McComb and Graeme Shannon at the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK, guessed that African elephants (Loxodonta africana) might be able to listen to human speech and make use of what they heard. To tease out whether this was true, they recorded the voices of men from two Kenyan ethnic groups calmly saying, “Look, look over there, a group of elephants is coming,” in their native languages. One of these groups was the semi-nomadic Maasai, some of whom periodically kill elephants during fierce competition for water or cattle-grazing space. The other was the Kamba, a crop-farming group that rarely has violent encounters with elephants.
The researchers played the recordings to 47 elephant family groups at Amboseli National Park in Kenya and monitored the animals' behaviour. The differences were remarkable. When the elephants heard the Maasai, they were much more likely to cautiously smell the air or huddle together than when they heard the Kamba. Indeed, the animals bunched together nearly twice as tightly when they heard the Maasai.
“We knew elephants could distinguish the Maasai and Kamba by their clothes and smells, but that they can also do so by their voices alone is really interesting,” says Fritz Vollrath, a zoologist at the University of Oxford, UK.
The recent birth of Sumatran tiger triplets at the ZSL London Zoo is a story that includes something for everyone. First of all, the clumsy balls of fuzz surely register high on anyone’s cuteness scale.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In an important victory for ocean wildlife, federal fishery managers in Sacramento today decided not to expand driftnet fishing into protected sea turtle habitat along the California coast because it would significantly raise the risk of capture and drowning of endangered whales, sea turtles and dolphins.
In what's turning out to be a rather shocking revelation, researchers have learned that the majority of animals can see pulses of UV light produced by power lines. Because these flashes are often frightening, they may be having a detrimental affect on wildlife around the globe.
Research led by an anatomy professor at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine indicates that echolocation – the sonar-like system based on high-frequency vocalizations and their echoes – was present in a 28-million-year...
Abstract: Human empathy can extend to strangers and even other species, but it is unknown whether non-humans are similarly broad in their empathic responses.
We explored the breadth and
flexibility of empathy in chimpanzees,
a close relative of humans.
We used contagious yawning to measure involuntary empathy and showed chimpanzees videos of familiar humans, unfamiliar humans and gelada baboons (an unfamiliar species). We tested whether each class of stimuli elicited contagion by comparing the effect of yawn and control videos. After including previous data on the response to ingroup and outgroup chimpanzees, we found that familiar and unfamiliar humans elicited contagion equal to that of ingroup chimpanzees.
Gelada baboons did not elicit contagion, and the response to them was equal to that of outgroup chimpanzees. However, the chimpanzees watched the outgroup chimpanzee videos more than any other. The combination of high interest and low contagion may stem from hostility towards unfamiliar chimpanzees, which may interfere with an empathic response.
Overall, chimpanzees showed flexibility in that they formed an empathic connection with a different species, including unknown members of that species. These results imply that human empathic flexibility is shared with related species.
A pod of Gray whales was saved from injury or death over the weekend after a whale-watching boat successfully halted a U.S. Navy warship that was moments away from colliding with them.Captain Todd Mansur of Dana Wharf Whale Watching was leading a tour off the coast of Dana Point, California when he ...