Navigation Links
Honest crabs, power to the hungry, nice mice and clever meerkats: News from the American Naturalist
Date:2/19/2009

For copies of any of these articles, please contact Kevin Stacey at 773-834-0386 or kstacey@press.uchicago.edu.

HOW OFTEN DO ANIMALS LIE ABOUT THEIR INTENTIONS?

An article by Princeton Biologist Mark Laidre suggests that when an animal signals an intent to attack, chances are it's not bluffing. Using hermit crabs as subjects, Laidre tested previous mathematical models that predict animals have a significant incentive to give dishonest signals about their intentions. Some models suggest that animals may lie about their intentions up to 40 percent of the time. Laidre used dummy hermit crabs to invade the personal space of live crabs. Contrary to the models, the crabs nearly always backed up their threats with an attack. Those that didn't signal a threat nearly always fled. The findings, Lairde says, suggest that animals don't lie about their actions nearly as much as theorists once predicted.

Mark E. Laidre, "How Often Do Animals Lie About Their Intentions? An Experimental Test," 173:March.

POWER TO THE HUNGRY: HOW THE NEEDIEST CAN LEAD LARGE GROUPS

Flocks of birds, swarms of insects and herds of ungulates don't need to take a vote to choose their leaders. According to research led by Larissa Conradt (University of Sussex), leaders in large animal groups can emerge automatically. Conradt and her colleagues created a theoretical model that simulates the movements of a large group in which members have conflicting plans about where they'd like to go. The simulation showed that individuals who valued their preferred destination over group cohesion often led the groupeven if they were in the minority. Those who were less concerned about the destination went along for ride just to stay with the group. "As a consequence," Conradt says, "large groups are often automatically led by those members that are most desperate to reach a particular destination, or are most indifferent as to whether or not the group breaks up." There's some empirical evidence to back up the model. Studies have shown that food deprived fish move to the front of shoals, presumably to steer the group toward food.

L. Conrad, J. Krause, I. D. Couzin, and T. J. Roper, "'Leading According to Need' in Self-Organizing Groups," 173:March

GENTLE GIANTS WOO MORE LADIES (IN MICE, ANYWAY)

Sometimes the nice guy gets the girls. At least that's how it is for striped mice. A research team led by Carsten Schradin (University of Zurich and University of the Witwatersrand) studied the breeding strategies of striped mice in South Africa. They found that dominant males who controlled breeding groups had lower testosterone levels than subdominant males. "What is unusual about this society is that the dominant males are in fact the most sociable, often grooming other group members," Schradin says. "It is the smaller and solitary living males, which roam from one group to another, that have the highest testosterone levels." The roaming males try to coerce females to mate, which, as one might imagine, is less successful than establishing a breeding group.

Carsten Schradin, Michael Scantlebury, Neville Pillay, and Barbara Knig, "Testosterone levels in dominant sociable males are lower than in solitary roamers: physiological differences between three male reproductive tactics in a sociably flexible mammal," 173:March

MEERKATS AND THE EVOLUTION OF SPECIALIZED ALARM CALLS

Meerkats' cooperative social structure may have led them to evolve a specialized system of alarm calls, according to an article by Roman Furrer and Marta Manser from the University of Zurich. Meerkats have the ability to vary their alarm calls depending on what type of predator threatens them. In other words, they use one call when threatened from the air by an eagle, and a different call when threatened from the ground by a snake. But Cape ground squirrels, that live side-by-side in the same habitat as meerkats, have not evolved this type of alarm call. So why would such calls evolve on one species and not the other when both live in the same area? Furrer and Manser suggest it has to do with social structure. Meerkats are highly social creatures. They coordinate their foraging activities as well as their escape plans. So knowing what predator is approaching helps in coordination. The ground squirrels, on the other hand, act largely independent of each other and may have less need for specified alarm calls.

Roman D. Furrer and Marta B. Manser, "The evolution of urgency-based and functionally referential alarm calls in ground-dwelling species," 173:March.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kevin Stacey
kstacey@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Fiddler crabs reveal honesty is not always the best policy
2. Beyond batteries: Storing power in a sheet of paper
3. Selexis Announces Advanced Approach to Maximize Power of Genetic Elements for Rapid Development of High Performance Cell Lines
4. Enzyme alerts cells powerful army to repair DNA damage
5. Fuel cells gearing up to power auto industry
6. Choices and Challenges forum to address nuclear power issue
7. Powerful integration of lipid metabolic profiling with gene expression analysis
8. In the laboratory, green tea proves a powerful medicine against severe sepsis
9. RAND paper finds diesel, hybrid vehicles can provide more societal benefits than gas-powered autos
10. The power of multiples: Connecting wind farms can make a more reliable - and cheaper - power source
11. Smarter energy storage for solar and wind power
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... DUBLIN , April 27, 2016 ... of the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report ... ) , The analysts forecast ... a CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... a number of sectors such as the healthcare, ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... TEL AVIV, Israel , April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... in Behavioral Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the ... has already assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s ... for BioCatch, on the heels of the deployment of ... In addition, BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... , March 29, 2016 ... "Company") LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to ... ink used in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring ... of originally created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will ... analysis of the DNA. Bill Bollander ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ON , June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. ... has been advised by its major shareholders, Clean Technology ... United States based venture capital ... shares of Biorem (on a fully diluted, as converted ... the disposition of their entire equity holdings in Biorem ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Newly created 4Sight Medical ... to the healthcare market. The company's primary focus is on new product introductions, ... strategies that are necessary to help companies efficiently bring their products to market. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including ... two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is ... "In certain areas there ... common economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a ... eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research ... by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape ...
Breaking Biology Technology: