ethology

Jane Goodall was born on April 3 in 1934. She is one of the most famous primatologists in the world. She has lead one of the longest in-field studies of primates. Her most important discoveries are that chimpanzees have the ability to create and use tools and that, contrary to popular belief, they are not purely vegetarian; she also documented wars between Gombe chimpanzees, which were thought to be a peaceful species. Jane Goodall’s discoveries did not only change our perception of animals, but also the methodology in ethology. Before Goodall’s experiences at Gombe, research had been conducted only with primates kept in captivity or in short-term studies of animals in their natural habitats; however, little was known about their behaviour in the wild. Goodall’s main contribution to science goes further than her discoveries about chimpanzees, as she changed the way animals were treated and highlighted with her own experiences the importance of in field studies

For Pride Month, here’s a male-male pair bond of Heterodontosaurus in early Jurassic South Africa. If modern dinosaurs (birds) can be gay then of course Mesozoic ones could be too. Gay love is far older than straight hate, and will last much longer. Plumage based on Tianyulong, and coloration on cedar waxwings and water deer.
Remember, HeteroDONTosaurus. @a-dinosaur-a-day @ghostmikeyway @koalainthecorner @hotspicyyogurt @little-queer-kid

You guys remember the post I made about ritualised aggression and how Kanti is often playing the role as a dominant wolf and Bicho is playing the role as the submissive one? Well here’s a good example of how dominance structures are not linear. Just because Kanti is often the “aggressor” in ritualised interactions, does not mean he gets all resources whenever he wants.

Bicho demonstrates defensive posturing over his prize of an enrichment box stuffed with treats and then he also growls. Bicho doesn’t growl very often but he clearly valued this resource enough to do so. Kanti is interesting to observe because even though his tail is up, indicating emotional arousal, he still doesn’t really offer much of a challenge to Bicho.

A big thing to remember about dominance structure in wolves is that they’re there to keep the peace, not to start fights. People have an idea of wolves that they’re fighting each other for dominance constantly, but if that were the case, there would be more dead or injured wolves. Wolves are obligate pack animals - they have no choice. A single wolf would not be able to track, follow, chase and then successfully kill a large hoofed mammal without serious injury. So wolves don’t want to injure each other in pack squabbles. So these sorts of interactions, paired with posturing and vocalising, is a way to establish possession of resources without anything escalating into any injury.

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I think that everyone should take a look at these gorgeous drawings representing Women and their accomplishements in Science, by Rachel Ignotofksy - a fantastic illustrator and graphic designer. She also has a lil Etsy shop where she sells her prints here!!!

This is my piggies cage before adding the plant enrichment. Under the bottom of the ramp is a large corner house. I know my ramps need some work and I am working on getting more grids to make them safer.

So far for enrichment I use

- paper bags and boxes filled with hay mixed with herbs and veggies
- a window box with growing live herbs and edible plants
- creating a scent trails to hidden treats
- veggies get hidden EVERYWHERE twice a day
- big piles of burrowing hay on the top floor
- a small treat ball
- the hay roller on the floor in the picture gets filled with either grass or herby hay
- lots of different textures
- cage layout gets changed every few days
- many tunnels and hides with enough space to run
- apparently the dustpan and brush (and feet) are great entertainment

Are there any other things I could to to shake it up a bit?

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Some classic examples of ritualised aggression interactions in the main pack, mostly between Kanti and Bicho. In these high arousal moments you will hear a lot of growling and snarling from Kanti paired with posturing and muzzle grabs (sometimes hard, if Kanti is over threshold) as well as pinning, mounting and agonistic puckers. Bicho will display exaggerated pawing, licking and whining. A lot of the times Bicho is the one who initiates this and often will elicit these responses from Kanti.

Why he does this is unclear. There has been many times where Bicho has pawed Kanti in the face and caught his nail on his mouth, which makes Kanti retaliate. 

Behaviorally, these two are very interesting to watch.

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MIMICRY IN JUVENILE DEEP-SEA SQUID

Cephalopods are common inhabitants of the deep ocean’s mesopelagic zones worldwide, yet very little is known about their behaviour due to the inaccessibility of this environment. This is the first case of siphonophore mimicry by a cephalopod Juveniles of the mesopelagic squid Chiroteuthis calyx were observed orienting and coloring their tail and body to closely match the common mesopelagic siphophore Nanomia.

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This mimicry is not consistent across life stages; as juveniles progress into the subadult life stage, they lose their tail, and therefore the ability to resemble Nanomia. It is likely that the smaller and more vulnerable juvenile Chiroteuthis avoid predation as a result of mimicking Nanomia’s appearance and behavior and simply hiding in plain sight.

Behavioural and morphological differences between the two life stages support the hypothesis that juvenile C. calyx mimic the abundant siphonophore Nanomia bijuga, in order to deter predation.

  • More: MBARI video
  • Reference: Burford et al. 2014. Behaviour and mimicry in the juvenile and subadult life stages of the mesopelagic squid Chiroteuthis calyx. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.
youtube

I feel like everyone should be occasionally reminded
that chimpanzees are ticklish
and they laugh with you tickle them

anonymous asked:

Is it true that chimpanzees and other primates throw poop?

YES!!!!
Chimpanzees and some other nonhuman primates - like macaques and capuchins to name a few-  do indeed throw stones, food, toys (enrichment objects), and yes even feces.

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(From this youtube video.)
Warning: The chimpanzee in the video is in a very aggressive and agitated display. Frankly I wouldn’t click on the link because I hate giving this person views. There were signs posted by the staff indicating this female was in estrus (‘heat’) and the OP and friends “decided to mess around with the monkey.”  Just warning you since some of you may find this video upsetting. I certainly do.

Now we tend to focus on the poo aspect here, but just take a minute to recognize how astronomically astounding throwing behavior is. To be able to judge an object’s weight, shape, and other characteristics accurately enough to send said object hurtling through the air at a desired velocity towards a desired target… and then to accurately hit that target! IT’S AMAZING!!! 


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Frustration at unequal pay. Capuchin monkey throwing cucumber at researcher when another individual gets a grape for the same task. (de Waal, x)

Mind you, I’m not saying that chimps or monkeys are consciously determining the effect of drag, wind resistance, or other factors during these quick mental calculations when they throw something. But just take a moment to think about throwing a baseball with a friend. Or tossing your car keys to a buddy who is the D.D. for the evening. Or maybe even lobbing a paper airplane at a coworker. You don’t sit there and work out the calculations for precisely how much force is required and what the perfect release angle is for each object… well… maybe some of you do… but most of us consider all these factors very rapidly in the process of what we like to call aiming.

In fact, researchers at Emory University have looked into nonhuman primate throwing behavior and “found that chimps that both threw more and were more likely to hit their targets showed heightened development in the motor cortex, and more connections between it and the Broca’s area, which they say is an important part of speech in humans.” (x)


Long story short, yes, many primates do throw feces (and other objects). Throwing behavior can be a way to intimidate others, to express aggression / frustration, to flirt (gain the attention of potential mates), or as a part of play behavior. It’s an amazingly varied behavior that we in the Primatology community are still learning about every day.


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Figure 1. Stills from video recordings, showing moments of two throwing events. (a) Pedrita running with a stone just before throwing it at Beiçola;(b) Pedrita picking up a stone, (c, d) running, and (e) throwing the stone at Bochechudo. (Video S1. MP4 download) (x)




Journal Sources:

Falótico T, Ottoni EB (2013) Stone Throwing as a Sexual Display in Wild Female Bearded Capuchin Monkeys, Sapajus libidinosus. PLoS ONE 8(11): e79535. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079535 [full text]

Hopkins, W.D., Russel, J.L., Schaeffer, J.A. (2011). The neural and cognitive correlates of aimed throwing in chimpanzees: a magnetic resonance image and behavioural study on a unique form of social tool use, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 12, vol. 367 no. 1585 37-47, doi: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0195 
[
full text]

Huffman et al. (2008). Cultured Monkeys: Social Learning Cast in Stones. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17 (6): 410 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8721.2008.00616.x

Westergaard, G.C., Liv, C., Haynie, M.K., & Soumi, S.J. (2000). A comparative study of aimed throwing by monkeys and humans. Neuropsychologia, 38, 1511-1517 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10906376

The draco, indigenous to Southeast Asia, has long flaps that can be elongated from its body to help it glide through the air. These pategia does change its colors though depending on there the species resides. Possibly due to risk of predation, the colors on their wings closely resemble the color of the leaves of the trees that they glide from. When the trees are falling they are distinct colors that match the draco’s wings almost perfectly. This may help for an aerial predator can’t notice where they are as they are landing.

Marked color divergence in gliding membranes of a lizard mirror population differences in the color of falling leaves- DA Klomp

Rapid Research #53

In the social structure of hyenas, strong bonds are the most successful. Dominance is based upon connections in a social network and in hyenas the most connected female is the most dominant. They live In matriarchs, can recognize social bonds, and have fission-fusion societies.  A low rank in these clans isn’t good because chances of getting food are lower.

Multiple factors affect long term social network dynamics in a wild spotted hyena population- A IIany

Rapid Research #42

Play Behavior. Day 1: Invite Chase

What? A rapid running with paws often flung from side to side and a “play face” (lips horizontally retracted, jaws slightly open, ears pulled straight up and back or folded flat). Often prefaced by a bow and the route is often circular with frequent changes of direction.

Why? To invite other conspecifics to chase them and engage in chase play. When wolf and bison demonstrations used to take place in Wolf Park, wolves would sometimes bow and direct an invitation to chase towards the bison. However, they did not display a “play face” and running was more efficient. This was likely used by the wolves to test bison for vulnerability or draw the bison away from the herd. (No animals were harmed during the demonstrations).

Can you pick out the Invite Chase from this video?

MATRIARCHAL SOCIETY - THE WISDOM OF MENOPAUSE ORCAS HELP SURVIVE THE YOUNGER

Classic life-history theory predicts that menopause should not occur because there should be no selection for survival after the cessation of reproduction. Yet, human females routinely live 30 years after they have stopped reproducing. Only two other species— orcas (Orcinus orcaand short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) — have comparable postreproductive lifespans. In theory, menopause can evolve via inclusive fitness benefits, but the mechanisms by which postreproductive females help their kin remain enigmatic. 
however, a study about orca behavior, published in Current Biology, suggests that older females provide valuable information for the survival of the group.
According to the study’s authors, female orca, who are mothers between 12 and 40 years can get to fulfill 90. But, What is the evolutionary point of living so long without being able to reproduce? Until now it was known that the longevity of mothers increases the chances of survival of their sons.
According to the authors, females led their groups especially in times of shortage of salmon. Information on how and where to find fish, it can be vital for survive.
The wisdom they bring older females “may help explain why female orca and women continue to live long after they have ceased to reproduce,” said Brent, who lead the study

  • Photo:  A postreproductively aged female, J16, leads her adult son and two adult daughters. credit: Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research.
  • Reference: Brent et al. 2015. Ecological Knowledge, Leadership, and the Evolution of Menopause in Killer Whales. Cell