animals and prosocial capacities
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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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Is It Time for Food Yet? This Tortoise Will Munch on Rocks Until Then

Is It Time for Food Yet? This Tortoise Will Munch on Rocks Until Then | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Is it time for dinner yet? No? Fine, gonna munch on some rocks until then. Om nom nom...
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Polarization vision gives fiddler crabs the edge in detecting rivals

Polarization vision gives fiddler crabs the edge in detecting rivals | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Fiddler crabs use polarization vision to sense the approach of rivals, scientists at the University of Bristol have found.
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Humans are not unique in understanding the basics of language

Humans are not unique in understanding the basics of language | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
A paper published recently in Nature Communications details how a team lead by Dr. Ben Wilson and Professor Chris Petkov used a brain imaging technique to identify the neuronal evolutionary origins of language.
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#FF Ants may respond to disturbances in their nest as one highly organized 'superorganism' like #humans #biology #science

#FF Ants may respond to disturbances in their nest as one highly organized 'superorganism' like #humans #biology #science | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it

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Transfer of immunity over two generations in pigeons without the direct use of deposited antibodies

Transfer of immunity over two generations in pigeons without the direct use of deposited antibodies | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it

A team of researchers with Sorbonne Universités and Prédictive CEREEP-Ecotron Ile-De-France has found that grandmothers of pigeon chicks are somehow able to transfer immunity to a third generation, though the means is not apparent. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the team describes how they injected three generations of pigeons with a protein to monitor their level of immunity response and what they found by doing so.


Suspecting that older generations were passing along immunity capabilities to more than just their own chicks, the researchers conducted a several year study of urban pigeons. They started by injecting 60 females with a protein called haemocyanin—it helps to transport oxygen in some invertebrates but does not do anything beneficial to pigeons. They also injected 60 additional female pigeons with a saline solution to serve as a control group. The team then injected the same protein into all of the offspring of the test pigeons, and then two years later, into all of the third generation of offspring as well. The purpose of the injections was to cause the birds to produce antibodies as a part of an immune response—after the birds were injected, blood tests were taken to see how strong of a response was triggered. They discovered that the immune response of the third generation was stronger for those chicks whose grandmothers had received haemocyanin than for those whose grandmothers had received the saline. This of course suggested that in reacting to the protein initially, the grandmother pigeons had developed an immune response that they had somehow passed down through their offspring, to their grand-chicks.


Logic would suggest that the grandmother birds had somehow sent antibodies to their offspring to be wary of the haemocyanin protein—if so, there would be evidence of more antibodies in the eggs of their offspring. But, testing the eggs failed to find more antibodies, which left the researchers stumped as to how the grandmothers were passing on their immunological message. They suggest the immune system must be trained in some other way (via hormones, possibly, or nutrients), which means more studies need to be done to find the ultimate answer.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Speaking giant panda: Secret language decoded as scientists set sights on hi-tech translator

Speaking giant panda: Secret language decoded as scientists set sights on hi-tech translator | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
The secret language of giant pandas has been translated by scientists in China, discovering how the endangered species says things like I love you, I'm hungry and go away. The team from the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) say decoding their language will aid conservation of the species.

After finding more than a dozen sounds pandas use as words, the team is now planning to develop a high-tech panda translator that will use voice recognition technology to understand what they are saying to each other.


Experts have been working on the panda linguistics project for the past five years, making recordings of adult males, females and panda cubs at the centre in various situations. According to China's Xinhua news agency, they managed to translate 13 different panda vocalisations.


Taiwan: Go to Bed Baby PandaIBTimes UK
Researchers analysed data on their voices and activities (such as eating, fighting and mating) to discover when panda cubs make a "gee-gee" sound it means they are hungry. When they say "wow-wow" it means they are unhappy, while "coo-coo" means nice or good.

Zhang Hemin, head of the CCRCGP, said: "We managed to decode some panda language and the results are quite interesting. Adult giant pandas usually are solitary, so the only language teacher they have is their own mother. If a panda mother keeps tweeting like a bird, she may be anxious about her babies. She barks loudly when a stranger comes near." He said the barking is interpreted as "go away".

When it comes to love, male pandas "baa" while females respond with tweeting noises. All these unusual sounds came as a big surprise to researchers, with Zhang explaining: "Trust me. Our researchers were so confused when we began the project that they wondered if they were studying a panda, a bird, a dog, or a sheep. [But] I

Via Charles Tiayon, Andrew Clarke
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A new species is evolving right before our eyes — an ultra-successful mix of wolves, coyotes and dogs

A new species is evolving right before our eyes — an ultra-successful mix of wolves, coyotes and dogs | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
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GIS mildogg32's curator insight, November 11, 2015 9:59 PM

This article is about a new breed of wolf/coyote/dog that is forming in the Eastern United States. This new animal weighs approx 55 pounds and is very aggressive. Due to the lack of wolves, wolves have had no choice to mate with animals similar to themselves- coyotes. This new breed of animal has been spotted in many East Coast cities such as Boston and New York. Internationally, this pretty cool for the science world in that such inbreeding is occurring. Also, it connects internationally in that if these wolves are entering diverse cities, they might start attacking people from all over the world!! Personally, I think this is awesome & would like one as a pet. 

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Teeming ants act like both a liquid and a solid - Futurity

Teeming ants act like both a liquid and a solid - Futurity | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Ants are actually liquid-like and solid-like at the same time, according to new research. The researchers compare their behavior to jello and ketchup.

Via Christian Allié
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Christian Allié's curator insight, October 28, 2015 11:36 AM

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“Remarkably, the observed behavior is similar to what is seen in materials that are not alive, like polymer gels right at the point when they become a gel,” says Fernandez-Nieves.

“This is quite puzzling, and we are now performing many more experiments to try and understand where these similarities arise from and how much they can be pushed. Doing this will hopefully extend our current way of thinking about materials, that like the ants, are active and thus out-of-equilibrium. There is much more interesting work we plan on doing with ants.”

Like liquidy jello

Michael Tennenbaum, a graduate research assistant who participated in the study, also compared the behavior of the ant aggregation to jello.

“Imagine if you wanted to make the most jello possible out of a packet of gelatin. It would be solid, but also very liquidy,” he says. “That’s because there would be just barely enough gelatin to make it solid-like but not enough to make it completely solid. The jello would be both solid-like and liquid-like.”

Hu has also used the liquid-like nature of the ants to study self-healing materials.

“If you cut a dinner roll with a knife, you’re going to end up with two pieces of bread,” says Hu. “But if you cut through a pile of ants, they’ll simply let the knife go through, then reform on the other side. They’re like liquid metal—just like that scene in the Terminator movie.”

Hu says it’s this flexibility that allows ants to enjoy the best of both worlds. They’re able to become solids to make things and liquids to avoid breaking into “smithereens.”

 

The study appears in Nature Materials.

 

The US Army Research Laboratory and the US Army Research Office Mechanical Sciences Division, Complex Dynamics and Systems Program, supported the work. Any conclusions expressed are those of the principal investigator and may not necessarily represent the official views of the funding organization.

Source: Georgia Tech

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Drone Captures First-Ever Aerial Photos Of Nursing Orca Calf

Drone Captures First-Ever Aerial Photos Of Nursing Orca Calf | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Here’s your feel good story for the day. NOAA researchers have captured what are probably the best aerial photos of wild Killer Whales ever and are here to explain how the images demonstrate an incredibly strong, collaborative family bond.
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Seductive Bass Tones Enough to Seal the Deal in Some Monkey Species

Seductive Bass Tones Enough to Seal the Deal in Some Monkey Species | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
A study of howler monkeys finds that to gain a mating advantage, species evolved either to make very low frequency sounds, or have much larger testicles, but none had both.
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Baby Deer Refuses To Leave The Human Who Saved Her Life

Baby Deer Refuses To Leave The Human Who Saved Her Life | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
An outdoorsman Darius had a chance to witness a birth of two baby deer in his backyard. Unfortunately, one of them was injured and soon left behind by her family because she couldn’t keep up with them.
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Pictures from encounter with endangered gorillas in the Democratic Republic of ... - Daily Mail

Pictures from encounter with endangered gorillas in the Democratic Republic of ... - Daily Mail | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
MailOnline reporter Nick Fagge trekked deep into the jungle in the Democratic Republic of Congo to meet the endangered mountain gorillas who face daily threats to their existence.

Via Mark Gately, pdeppisch
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Study finds more tunnels in ant nests means more food for colony

Study finds more tunnels in ant nests means more food for colony | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
A UC San Diego study of the underground "architecture" of harvester ant nests has found that the more connected the chambers an ant colony builds near the surface entrance, the faster the ants are able to collect nearby sources of food.
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NIH ends era of U.S. medical research on chimpanzees

NIH Director says there is no further justification for keeping chimps.
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Study finds pigeons uncommonly good at distinguishing cancerous from normal breast tissue

Study finds pigeons uncommonly good at distinguishing cancerous from normal breast tissue | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
If pigeons went to medical school and specialized in pathology or radiology, they'd be pretty good at distinguishing digitized microscope slides and mammograms of normal from cancerous breast tissue, according to a new study from the University of...
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Woman Credits Her Beloved Pet Cheetah With Helping Her Beat Breast Cancer

Woman Credits Her Beloved Pet Cheetah With Helping Her Beat Breast Cancer | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
There are few animals as revered and as respected as the cheetah.
Well known for the being the fastest animal in the world, they are fearsome predators, and most people would never dream of approaching one.
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7 fun facts about the fennec fox

7 fun facts about the fennec fox | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
There's more to the world's most adorable fox species than the oh-so-memorable ears.

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Christian Allié's curator insight, November 11, 2015 12:26 PM

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Fox species are often compared in size to house cats. But not the fennec fox. This species weighs just 1.5-3.5 pounds and stands only 8 inches tall. That's shorter than the average house cat and a fraction of the weight. If you're going to make a felid comparison, you'll have to refer to kittens! It holds the title of world's smallest fox species. It also holds the title of having the largest ears in proportion to body size, even beating out the bat-eared fox.

Don't let the dainty size fool you, though. This little fox can jump two feet high and four feet forward when springing into action to catch prey or evade a predator. They are tough to catch which means they have few predators; the eagle owl (and of course humans) is its only main threat.

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Talk is Cheep

Talk is Cheep | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
What gives a mynah bird their amazing ability to mimic many things - even human speech.

Via Gerald Carey
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Gerald Carey's curator insight, November 8, 2015 5:33 AM

I wanted to post this not necessarily because of the bird video but because it could be a valuable source of science and biology videos.

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Scientists finally reveal the mysterious migration of American eels #biology #morphogenetic fields

Scientists finally reveal the mysterious migration of American eels #biology #morphogenetic fields | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it

For the first time, American eels (Anguilla rostrata, shown) have been tracked on the way to their spawning grounds at sea, a migration of at least 1600 kilometers from the freshwater haunts where they matured. Neither researchers nor fishermen have ever caught an adult eel in the open ocean, but it’s clear they must spend time there because scientists discovered their presumed spawning grounds in the North Atlantic’s Sargasso Sea more than a century ago.

 

Now, using tracking devices, researchers have finally mapped the migration routes of a few of those wriggly fish—and learned a little about their habits at sea to boot. Some of the devices measured water temperature and depth, and others measured temperature and the strength and intensity of Earth’s magnetic field. Of the 38 eels released off the southern coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, in the summers of 2012 through 2014, trackers on 28 of them eventually popped to the surface to broadcast data to the researchers via satellite (including two attached to eels that were apparently consumed by predators).

 

Six of the animals were tracked for more than a month, with the longest migration stretching almost 1600 kilometers to a point just shy of the northern edge of the Sargasso Sea, the researchers report online today in Nature Communications. The eels apparently migrate from fresh waters on the North American continent in two phases: First, in shallow waters along the continental shelf, the wrigglers swim between surface waters and the bottom, possibly sampling the salinity and temperature of deeper waters to ascertain their location and route. Then, after the eels pass the edge of the shelf, they make a beeline southward, swimming near the ocean’s surface at night and then diving to depths of about 700 meters during daylight hours, possibly to avoid predators.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, CineversityTV
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Makenzie Geiger's curator insight, November 3, 2015 9:06 PM

When scientists tracked these eels they realized that this wasn't going to be a walk in the park! However, when they got a hold of the "wriggly creatures" the scientist learned about their habitats and where their spawning grounds were. I believe that the tracking devices helped a lot because of the information that they found out.

Calem Cauley's curator insight, November 4, 2015 9:18 PM

Eels have never been tracked before and it's really cool to find out where they go. I never knew they could go deep in the ocean and travel thousands of kilometers to get where they need to be.

Kedryn bray's curator insight, November 16, 2015 9:19 PM

These elusive creatures have boggled the world of migration for a long while, but finally these scientists have found out their migration patterns are through the continental shelf and then off and in a Beeline towards their destination.

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Ravens Cooperate, but Not with Cheaters! - GotScience.Org

Ravens Cooperate, but Not with Cheaters! - GotScience.Org | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Ravens can cooperate to solve complex problems in the lab and in the wild. But if one raven does not play fair, he is out of the game forevermore.
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There was a 'panda kindergarten' event in China. It didn't disappoint.

There was a 'panda kindergarten' event in China. It didn't disappoint. | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
2015 has been the year of the baby giant panda.
It was back-to-school for the fuzziest, cuddliest, most adorable creatures on earth this past weekend.
On Oct.
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15,000 Years Ago, Probably in Asia, the Dog Was Born

15,000 Years Ago, Probably in Asia, the Dog Was Born | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
The DNA analysis of a large and diverse group of dogs led researchers to determine that the most recent common ancestors of today’s dogs lived in Central Asia.
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Therapy Dogs Really Do Help Cancer Patients

Therapy Dogs Really Do Help Cancer Patients | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Therapy dogs may actually make a difference in the health of the patients they visit by reducing anxiety and leading to more stable blood pressure.
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Turns Out Ants Are Incredibly Cost-Efficient Urban Planners

Turns Out Ants Are Incredibly Cost-Efficient Urban Planners | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
Whether you’ve beaten SimCity or merely earned an urban planning doctorate, connecting a metro area with its primary resources requires some tough decisions. At the heart of the challenge is how to balance cost, efficiency, and resilience.

Take a new remote suburban development. If you have all the highway money in the world, you might connect it directly to all the metro area’s existing services and major centers, and build extra wide roads in case the initial lanes fill up with traffic or need a repair. That’s a very efficient and robust network, but it’s not a very cost-effective one. And if your money runs out someday—say, because the gas tax hasn’t been raised in decades—you might find that system too expensive to maintain, let alone to expand.

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Researchers create artificial whiskers to uncover the secrets of harbor seals' tracking abilities

Researchers create artificial whiskers to uncover the secrets of harbor seals' tracking abilities | animals and prosocial capacities | Scoop.it
A new MIT study has delved into harbor seals' ability to sense and follow prey with impressive accuracy. The research involved building a large-scale version of the little antennas, and the results could prove useful for man-made sensors.
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