Muscles once thought 'uniquely human' have been discovered in several ape species, challenging long-held theories on the origin and evolution of human soft tissues. The findings question the anthropocentric view that certain muscles evolved for the sole purpose of providing special adaptations for human traits, such as walking on two legs, tool use, vocal communication and facial expressions.j
The cow could be left as the biggest land mammal on Earth in a few centuries, according to a new study that examines the extinction of large mammals as humans spread around the world.
The myth of the three-second memory in fish never made sense. Some species may be able to retain specific memories for months.
Self-medication among animals has been so widely observed that it has a name: zoopharmacognosy. It’s not a giant leap to imagine that our earliest ancestors gained the roots of medical knowledge by observing apes or other animals.
Conservationists have warned that the Asiatic cheetah is on the threshold of extinction following a UN decision to pull funding from conservation efforts to protect it.
Morris’s central claim, that much of our behaviour can be understood in the context of animal behaviour, has surely stood the test of time, even if some of the details haven’t.
Study adds to growing evidence that males use coercive tactics to constrain female mating decisions in promiscuous primates, thereby questioning the extent of sexual freedom left for females in such societies and suggesting that sexual intimidation has a long evolutionary history in primates -- a taxonomic group that of course includes humans.
Researchers call for curbs on the basic drivers of extinction – human overpopulation and overconsumption – and challenge society to move away from “the fiction that perpetual growth can occur on a finite planet.” The massive loss of populations and species reflects our lack of empathy to all the wild species that have been our companions since our origins. It is a prelude to the disappearance of many more species and the decline of natural systems that make civilization possible.
How can humans be so compassionate and altruistic -- and also so brutal and violent? To understand why we do what we do, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky looks at extreme context, examining actions on timescales from seconds to millions of years before they occurred.
Dr. Robert Sapolsky discusses his work as professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and as a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research at the National Museum of Kenya.
Fear of the human 'super predator' reduces feeding time in large carnivores. Pumas almost always ran from the sound of humans. Human disturbance -- beyond hunting -- may alter the ecological role of large carnivores. As we encroach on lion habitat, our presence will likely affect the link between top predators and their prey.
As female elk get older, they adopt strategies for avoiding hunters, suggesting that learning plays a role in shaping their avoidance of hunters. Interestingly, the researchers also found that elk could differentiate between bow and rifle hunters.
Wolves and dogs react to inequity -- similar to humans or primates.This indicates a skill inherited from a common ancestor. Wolves and dogs refused to cooperate in an experiment when only the partner got a treat or they themselves received a lower quality reward. Wolves were considerably more sensitive to inequity than dogs, requiring more commands from the trainer to continue working.
From fairy tales to phrases like "lone-wolf terrorist," wolves are vilified in our culture, and yet a fact check finds that a person is more likely to be killed by lightning, ATVs, dogs, cows, and even elevators than by a wolf. While wolves are predators, most are very shy and elusive around people. Nevertheless, the myth that wolves pose a major threat to people persists.
Female jacanas are fighters, towering over the males. They are stronger than males, vastly more aggressive, and they have the larger weapons. Sharp yellow spurs jut forward like daggers from each elbow.
Due to intensive hunting and deforestation, the Caspian tiger retreated first from the lush lowlands to the forested ranges, then to the marshes around some of the larger rivers, and finally, deeper into the mountains, until it almost certainly became extinct.
A paper published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, analysed the deaths of 206 lions in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Researchers found that human activities caused 88% of male and 67% of female mortalities. Male deaths were dominated by trophy hunting, while the human sources of female mortality were more varied and included causes such as unintentional snaring by bushmeat hunters and retaliatory killing by herders for livestock loss.
Because of their remote and difficult habitat, shy behavior, and cryptic coloration, studying snow leopards has been extremely difficult.
Reptilian scales, avian feathers and mammalian hairs, despite their very different final shapes, evolved from the scales of their reptilian common ancestor.
A new explanation for why female animals are usually less colorful and decorated than their male counterparts.