ethology

The Signs Types of "-ology"

Aries- Anthropology, the study of humans
Taurus- Apiology, the study of bees, the study of spiders
Gemini- Archaeology, the study of past cultures
Cancer- Archaeozoology, the study of relationships between humans and animals over time
Leo-Bromatology, the study of food
Virgo- Coniology, the study of dust in the atmosphere and its effects on living organisms
Libra- Cynology, the study of dogs
Scorpio- Aetiology, the medical study of the causation of disease
Sagittarius- Ethology, the study of animal behavior
Capricorn- Gemology, the study of gemstones
Aquarius- Astacology, the study of crawfish
Pisces- Agrobiology, the study of plant nutrition and growth in relation to soil

anonymous asked:

thank you so much for explaining wolf dominance behavior! I'm so sick people like "dominance means they beat each other up all the time" and then someone going "no that's not right wolves don't have dominance at all!" and I can never articulate why both those ideas are wrong but you did it so well! Do you know more good resources about how wolf dominance actually works?

You’re welcome, I’m glad it helps! Yeah I think the debate has gone to 2 extremes now and neither extreme is helpful when looking at actual dominance based interactions.

Here’s some of the models of pack structure that have been theorised:

Some of these are more updated than others and there’s still a lot of variation within these structures. The model that’s pretty much debunked is A. No one uses terms like Beta, Gamma, Omega anymore  (and our guests sometimes do and it drives us nuts). The most basic and updated wolf pack model is that of a family group: a breeding female and male and their offspring. 

But not every pack is like this. Kanti, Bicho and Fiona are siblings, but Bicho usually will defer to Kanti and Fiona and get in trouble for doing things Kanti doesn’t want him doing (howling, ambushing Fiona, being a pest ect.). Kanti and Bicho both defer to Fiona but I have seen Fiona defer to Kanti or Bicho. And Kanti gets in trouble from Fiona from time to time as well. So they’re really all over the place.

Bicho deferring by pawing at Kanti, who is posturing over him. Bicho often uses very exaggerated submissive gestures to annoy Kanti enough to move him away from whatever resource there is. He is the master of Obnoxious Submission.

Also it’s important to remember that, in play, dominance structures are usually completely thrown out. So sometimes you’ll see a dominant wolf self-handicap and flop on the ground and throw out submissive gestures at a submissive wolf who will “dominate” that wolf. It’s hilarious. Good wolf jokes!

Despite Kanti and Bicho often deferring to her, Fiona is IT in this game of Wolf and Hounds where one wolf will be chased and harassed by the other wolves and then the game will switch with another wolf being “it”.

In order to simplify things as much as possible (even though it’s a lot more complex): When looking at wolf pack structure the dominant wolf or the “alpha” wolf - which generally will be a male and a female - is the animal with the most social freedom. These wolves do not defer to anyone and they do not need to “enforce” their position. It’s continually reinforced through body posturing, which is then responded to with reciprocal submission from other wolves. 

Also these dominant wolves are not necessarily going to eat first, howl first or get any other privileges other than being allowed to breed. Their offspring will naturally defer to them and then disperse once they grow up so as not to cause conflict. 

@koryos wrote up a great run-down of different canid pack models which can be found here: http://www.koryoswrites.com/nonfiction/dominance-behavior-in-canids/

I also recommend reading the papers linked to the article.

Hope that helps!

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

Wolf Park Ethogram: Pawing

What? To extend or wave the paw, using it to touch another or stroke the air in front of another.

Why? Pawing can be seen in many different contexts. These include but are not limited to greetings, courtship, eating and general deference/submission. However, it has also been seen to be used in an exaggerated, obnoxious fashion.

Both Kanti and Bicho raising their paw at each other.

It also seems to be a form of play or a way to pester another wolf into play. 

Timber putting her paw on Wotan. He was very patient with her.

One of our past wolves Dharma is a great example of this. She would often get Wotan in trouble from his brother Wolfgang, who was also her mate. It almost seemed like she enjoyed pestering Wotan, while Wotan did not appreciate it at all:

Dharma puts her foot on Wotan. Ordinarily “giving paw” is a submissive or friendly gesture, but it can also be used obnoxiously. Imagine shaking someone’s hand REALLY HARD, or giving them a lot of hearty back slaps. (explanation courtesy of Monty Sloan)

More pawing and application of feet. Wotan displays an agonistic pucker but doesn’t move. Movement often encouraged her more.

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

Wolf Ethology Weeks. Week 1: Play Behavior

Concerning “Play”

Play behaviors are usually the most controversial and most difficult behaviors to categorise. At Wolf Park, we define play as having the following characteristics:

- Behaviors may be performed out of sequence and/or at different intensities than when the behavior is performed with serious intent eg. in a mock hunt the “prey” may be mock killed first and then chased.

- “Play” partners may switch roles with a dominant animal acting as a subordinate and visa versa.

- “Play” may incorporate certain exaggerated motions and expressions eg. the characteristic “play face” (lips horizontally retracted, jaws slightly open, ears pulled straight up and back or folded flat)

Wotan (left) displaying a “play face”

There are 3 defined categories of play behavior: Agonistic, Social and Solitary.

I’ve got one of the authors of the ethogram looking over my entries and hopefully will have the first one up tomorrow!

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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

Ritualised aggression is a normal wolf social behavior that prevents escalated aggression and is especially prominent between these two, Kanti and Bicho. It’s mostly posturing and a lot of noise and nothing comes of it. Kanti will often reprimand Bicho for very small things, but Bicho never seems rattled or upset and often will come right back over to Kanti like nothing happened.

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