Navigation Links
Hyenas' ability to count helps them decide to fight or flee
Date:8/22/2011

EAST LANSING, Mich. Being able to count helps spotted hyenas decide to fight or flee, according to research at Michigan State University.

When animals fight, the larger group tends to win. In the current issue of Animal Behaviour, Sarah Benson-Amram, an MSU graduate student studying zoology, showed that hyenas listen to the sound of intruders' voices to determine who has the advantage.

"They're more cautious when they're outnumbered and take more risks when they have the numerical advantage," said Benson-Amram, who conducted the study through MSU's BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action. "Hyenas appear to be as capable as chimpanzees or lions at assessing their advantage."

The finding supports the concept that living in complex social groups, as hyenas, lions and chimpanzees do, is one of the keys to the evolution of big brains, Benson-Amram added.

Even though spotted hyenas live in clans of up to 90 individuals, they spend much of the day in much smaller, more vulnerable groups. When researchers played recordings of potential intruders, the hyenas' reaction depended on how many voices they heard compared to how many fellow pack members surrounded them. Groups of three or more hyenas were far more likely to approach the source of sound than pairs or individuals.

This study was the first to show that hyenas can tell the difference between individual voices, and most of the animals in the study could distinguish up to three different voices, said Kay Holekamp, MSU zoologist and BEACON researcher, whose field study of spotted hyenas in Kenya has been ongoing for more than 20 years.

"The recordings were taken from hyenas from other parts of Africa," she said. "But even though the voices were unfamiliar, the hyenas in the study were able to tell when they were from the same or different animals."


'/>"/>

Contact: Layne Cameron
layne.cameron@ur.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Larger female hyenas produce more offspring
2. Why are there no hyenas in Europe?
3. Hyenas cooperate, problem-solve better than primates
4. Laughing hyenas, wailing levees, the sound of cheese and blaring bagpipes
5. NYU Langone researchers reveal a new mechanism of genomic instability
6. Fading ability to taste iron raises health concerns for people over age 50
7. Feeding hormone ghrelin modulates ability of rewarding food to evoke dopamine release
8. Mutant flies shed light on inherited intellectual disability
9. Psychologists find link between ovulation and womens ability to identify heterosexual men
10. Renaissance of 200-year old technology could ease 21st century sustainability challenges
11. New biofuel sustainability assessment tool and GHG calculator released
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/1/2016)... , Feb. 1, 2016  Today, the first day ... announced plans to develop a first of its kind ... of IBM Watson. In the first application of ... (NYSE: IBM ), and Welltok will create a ... assessments with cognitive analytics, delivered on Welltok,s health optimization ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... Jan. 25, 2016  Glencoe Software, the world-leading supplier ... publication industries, will provide the data management solution OMERO ... Photo ... Phenotypic analysis measures the characteristics ... allowing comparisons between states such as health and disease, ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... Jan. 20, 2016   MedNet Solutions , an ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce the ... achievements are the result of the company,s laser focus ... eClinical , it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly affordable ... --> Key MedNet growth achievements in 2015 include: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 Early-career researchers from ... , Uganda and Yemen ... and nutrition   Indonesia , Nepal ... and Yemen are being honored for their accomplishments ... also celebrated for mentoring young women scientists who are pursuing careers in ...
(Date:2/10/2016)...  IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ISR), a medical technology ... applications for the treatment of prostate, brain, lung, head ... results for the second quarter and six months of ... --> --> Revenue was ... which ended December 31, 2015, a 12% increase compared ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... LATHAM, NEW YORK... ... the SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center from February ... the same venue. , These latest InGaAs PIN diode standard packages feature a ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Cenna Bioscience Inc., an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on ... today it has been selected to present at the Cavendish Global Health Impact Forum ... The purpose of the Forum is to help family offices and foundations develop ...
Breaking Biology Technology: