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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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Chimpanzees select nut-cracking tools taking account of up to five different factors

Chimpanzees select nut-cracking tools taking account of up to five different factors | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Are chimpanzees sensitive to the effect of an object's properties on nut-cracking efficiency and plan their tool selection accordingly?
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Half-male, half-female bird spotted and scientifically investigated

Half-male, half-female bird spotted and scientifically investigated | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it

This bird might look like a holiday ornament, but it is actually a rare half-female, half-male northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis, pictured with female plumage on the left and male plumage on the right) spotted a few years ago in Rock Island, Illinois. Researchers have long known such split-sex “gynandromorphs” exist in insects, crustaceans, and birds. But scientists rarely get to extensively study a gynandromorph in the wild; most published observations cover just a day or so. Observers got to follow this bird, however, for more than 40 days between December 2008 and March 2010. They documented how it interacted with other birds and even how it responded to recorded calls. The results suggest being half-and-half carries consequences: The cardinal didn’t appear to have a mate, and observers never heard it sing, the researchers report this month in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. On the other hand, it wasn’t “subjected to any unusual agonistic behaviors from other cardinals,” according to the paper. Intriguingly, another gynandromorph cardinal sighted briefly in 1969 had the opposite plumage, they note: the male’s bright red plumes on the right, the drabber female feathers on the left.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Scientists reintroduce agoutis in rainforest in city of 12 million

Scientists reintroduce agoutis in rainforest in city of 12 million | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
When one thinks of Rio de Janeiro, one usually doesn't think: rainforest. However, in the heart of the city sits a massive rainforest sprung over long-gone sugar and coffee plantations. The forest—protected today as the Tijuca National Park—is home to hundreds of threatened species, but no agoutis, a common ground mammal in Latin America.
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Eben Lenderking's curator insight, January 7, 2015 5:46 AM

This is a great example of how nature can come back from the brink.  It would be nice if we all let some corners of our gardens go wild again to help the pollinating species especially.

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These 21 Photos Prove Reptiles Can Be Cute Too

By Earth Porn There are many animals that come to mind when you hear the word ‘cute.’ Fluffy ponies, furry kitties, cuddly puppies…but about a slimy lizard, or a funky frog? Turns out, reptiles are incredibly cute, much cuter than...
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Monkey sleep, monkey do: how primates choose their trees

Monkey sleep, monkey do: how primates choose their trees | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Primates don't monkey around when deciding where to spend the night, but primatologists have had a poor grasp on what drives certain monkeys toward specific trees. Now, two extensive studies of Indonesian primates suggest that factors in selecting trees each evening are site-specific and different for each species—and that some overnight spots result in conflicts between monkeys and humans.
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Researchers able to perform extended study of stunning wild northern cardinal gynandromorph

Researchers able to perform extended study of stunning wild northern cardinal gynandromorph | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
(Phys.org)—Ornithologists Brian Peer and Robert Motz, with Western Illinois University, found themselves with a unique opportunity a couple of years ago—to study a gynandromorphy in its native environment for an extended period of time.
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Scientists discover first known frog that gives birth to tadpoles instead of laying eggs

Scientists discover first known frog that gives birth to tadpoles instead of laying eggs | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
In the depths of an Indonesian rainforest, scientists have identified the first known frog that gives birth to tadpoles instead of laying eggs, according to research published Wednesday.
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Giant Invasive Crab Caught Walking Down The Street In Hawaii

Giant Invasive Crab Caught Walking Down The Street In Hawaii | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Earlier this month, Holly Cantere looked up to see a 4.8-pound coconut crab walking down a busy street in her suburban Honolulu neighborhood.

"It just kept walking, like there was not a care in the world when it crossed the street,” sh...
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Rare sea turtle fights for life after straying 5,000 miles to Cumbria - Telegraph

Rare sea turtle fights for life after straying 5,000 miles to Cumbria - Telegraph | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Critically-endangered Kemps Ridley hatchling usually found in Gulf of Mexico receives intensive round-the-clock care after being found stranded off Barrow

Via Kathy Dowsett
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Scientists show that drunk birds 'slur' their songs #science

Scientists show that drunk birds 'slur' their songs  #science | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Sometimes science means getting a bunch of finches sloshed. Scientists can learn more about how alcohol impairs human speech by watching how it impairs birds' ability to sing.

Via CineversityTV
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Why Do Ants Have an Inherent Bias to Turn Left?

Why Do Ants Have an Inherent Bias to Turn Left? | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Ants have an exploratory instinct to turn left when navigating a new nest or a maze situated in a lab. But what purpose would a directional bias serve?
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Deep sea footage: FK141109 RV Falkor Hadal highlights - YouTube

Deep sea footage: FK141109 RV Falkor Hadal highlights - YouTube | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Credit: SOI/HADES, Dr. Alan Jamieson A compilation of video footage captured from the deep sea Lander vehicles. Scientists discovered the highest density of ...

Via Gerald Carey
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Gerald Carey's curator insight, December 28, 2014 7:44 PM

Great footage of life deep in the ocean.

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Animals photographs of the year 2014

Animals photographs of the year 2014 | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
From beavers to birds and a baby rhino, the Guardian picture desk has selected its pick of the year’s animals photographs Continue reading...
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Scientists sequence genome of bowhead whale—longest-lived mammal

Scientists sequence genome of bowhead whale—longest-lived mammal | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have sequenced the genome of the bowhead whale, estimated to live for more than 200 years with low incidence of disease.
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The biggest new species discoveries in 2014

The biggest new species discoveries in 2014 | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Biologists describe upwards of 15,000 previously undocumented species every year. Some of these species are complete surprises, sometimes representing new genera. Others may be identified after genetic analysis distinguishes them from closely-related species. Some — especially conspicuous birds and mammals — are already known to local populations, but hadn't been formally described by scientists.
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Retired race horses provide therapy for children with autism

Retired race horses provide therapy for children with autism | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
SAN MATEO, CA - The perfect combination; racehorses too old to race and children with special needs.

Via Autism Daily Newscast
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28 Phenomenal photographs of large animal gatherings and migrations

28 Phenomenal photographs of large animal gatherings and migrations | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Here we present to you a collection of spectacular photographs of some of the most incredible animal gatherings and migration on our planet. These surreal imag…

Via Rakesh Nair
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Death of young killer whales raises worry about the species' survival

Death of young killer whales raises worry about the species' survival | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
He's trailed them and photographed them, mapped their family trees and counted their offspring, coming to identify individuals by their markings, sometimes even ascribing personalities based on behavior.
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Newborn orca spotted in Salish Sea

Newborn orca spotted in Salish Sea | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
A newborn orca was spotted in the Salish Sea on Tuesday, bringing the population of Puget Sound’s southern resident killer whales to 78.

Via pdeppisch
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Not Just Dogs! Any Pet Will Improve The Social Skills Of A Child With Autism

Not Just Dogs! Any Pet Will Improve The Social Skills Of A Child With Autism | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
A new study finds any kind of pet, not just a dog, will improve the social skills of a child with autism.
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20 Things You Didn't Know About... Animal Senses | DiscoverMagazine.com

20 Things You Didn't Know About... Animal Senses | DiscoverMagazine.com | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
From super-sniffers to electricity detectors, animals have an array of impressive sensory capabilities.

Via Kathy Dowsett
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How Dogs Can Help Owners Overcome Drug Addiction - Worldcrunch

How Dogs Can Help Owners Overcome Drug Addiction - Worldcrunch | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Man's best friends have long followed their owners through hard times and stormy weather — and now, even into rehab.

Via Tim Pope
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Scientists race to save 'genomic books' in the burning 'library of life'

Scientists race to save 'genomic books' in the burning 'library of life' | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it

Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) have developed a cost-effective way to save a wide range of threatened species, including rare old ones that may be costly to protect. Their new technique to help maximise both the species and genetic diversity we save helps resolve the dilemma facing conservation managers worldwide: whether to rescue a larger number of recent and more common species or fewer, unique and older species that may be more costly to preserve.


The technology will help nations such as Australia and New Zealand to protect as much diversity of both species and their genes as possible, says lead researcher Dr Joseph Bennett of CEED and The University of Queensland (UQ). "The global extinction crisis is getting worse, and conservation funds are seldom enough to stop biodiversity from declining," says Dr Bennett. "This is like a library on fire – and we have to save as much of the precious information as we can.


"If we have to choose, do we carry out a few rare, old tomes, or do we carry a larger number of smaller books that may contain less information than the ancient tomes?" Dr Bennett explains that highly distinct species have few close relatives, and their lineage has been isolated on the tree of life for many millions of years. The platypus is one example of Australia's 'rare old tomes' – its ancestors diverged from other mammals somewhere between 160 and 200 million years ago.


As the distinct species are isolated from others, they also contain unique genes, which may in the future prove very important to the health of ecosystems, or even the development of medicine. For example, Ginkgo biloba is an old and genetically distinct species that was once close to extinction, but is now used traditional medicine, he says.


"So losing the more distinct species – akin to losing the rare old tome – could mean the loss of this genetic information, along with millions of years of evolution," he says. "But when these species are expensive to protect, it may mean spending money to save one or two species instead of five or ten other species."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Venkatesh Iyer (venkyiyer.com)'s curator insight, December 31, 2014 2:57 AM

The amount of ebooks being produced, we will soon have to take up the same exercise with real books in the real libraries of life

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Acoustic Zoom could save dolphins' hearing while aiding geologists

Acoustic Zoom could save dolphins' hearing while aiding geologists | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
If you've ever been asleep on a yacht in harbor when a submarine tests its sonar, you know that underwater sound is anything but trivial – one ping can send you out of your bunk and across the room.
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Great Barrier Reef potato cod at risk from own friendliness

Great Barrier Reef potato cod at risk from own friendliness | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Queensland's friendliest fish is at risk - and its gentle and curious nature appears to be half the problem.

Via Kathy Dowsett
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