Navigation Links
Red squirrels: Altruists or self-serving survivalists?
Date:6/2/2010

A University of Alberta researcher has discovered a rare practice by red squirrels that seems to have human-like dimensions of altruism, but at its heart is also a survival tactic.

U of A researcher Jamieson Gorrell was observing a red-squirrel population when he discovered a female had adopted a newborn squirrel abandoned by its biological mother.

Gorrell, a PhD candidate in evolutionary biology, found a baby red squirrel had been taken from its mother-absent home nest and was being cared for by another female in a nearby tree. Researchers think it's likely the biological mother was taken by a predator.

Squirrels are among the most solitary animals, having little to do with one another, so the adoption of a foundling struck Gorrell as an anomaly. But while checking through nearly 20 years of research gathered by the U of A on this particular red squirrel population in the Yukon, Gorrell made a breakthrough finding: On four other occasions, over the life of the study, female red squirrels had adopted abandoned baby squirrels and in every case Gorrell determined the foundling was related to its adoptive mother.

Unlike social animals such as chimpanzees, the solitary, antisocial squirrels were able to identify kinship without making contact with one another.

The researchers think that before the biological mother disappeared, the adoptive mother-to-be recognized a genetic link between them. Gorrell's team theorized that the constant vocalizing or chattering a squirrel uses to mark its territory and ward of intruders contains signals describing its genetic history. The adopting mother knew the biological mother was family and after it disappeared she recognized her genetic connection to the abandoned baby.

This research is significant because it proves a long-accepted theory of evolutionary biology is correct for a solitary, non-social animal. Hamilton's Rule, dating back to 1963, explains that despite th
'/>"/>

Contact: Brian Murphy
brian.murphy@ualberta.ca
780-492-6041
University of Alberta
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/14/2015)... -- NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... growing mobile commerce market, announces that its Wocket® smart ... Design Awards under the category  ,Product Design – Technology,. ... are part of a global multi-disciplinary awards program. The ... marketplace, industry and judging panel. Winners will be announced ...
(Date:4/13/2015)... 2015  higi, a leading cloud-based consumer engagement platform ... engage with their communities around health and wellness, announced ... secure API.  ... affordable, and convenient vehicle to receive validated health information ... The API will allow higi,s trusted partners, on ...
(Date:4/9/2015)... April 9, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ... today that it will report financial results for the ... 2015, after the close of market. The company will ... at 2:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. ET), during which ... participate on the live call, analysts and investors should ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):NXT-ID's Wocket Smart Wallet Nominated for 2015 New York Design Awards in 'Product Design- Technology' 2NXT-ID's Wocket Smart Wallet Nominated for 2015 New York Design Awards in 'Product Design- Technology' 3higi Launches Seamless Access to HIPAA-Compliant Health Outcomes and Activity Data 2higi Launches Seamless Access to HIPAA-Compliant Health Outcomes and Activity Data 3Synaptics to Report Third Quarter Results on April 23 2
... FP7 funded project IMPRESSIONS (Impacts and Risks from High-End Scenarios: ... from 13 to 15 January 2014 in Oxford, United Kingdom. ... 18 countries will join forces to answer one of the ... future of humankind and nature if climate continues to change ...
... of great current interest as chemical sensors, in ... David G. Cahill, a Willett Professor and head ... at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Applications ... of light at a different wavelength than the ...
... retina can be bombarded by reactive oxygen species in diabetes, ... ones and ruin vision. Now researchers have learned that ... marrow as well as the retinal cells themselves to cause ... players to signal the next event that causes the damage," ...
Cached Biology News:IMPRESSIONS: Advancing understanding of the consequences of high-end climate change 2IMPRESSIONS: Advancing understanding of the consequences of high-end climate change 3Understanding secondary light emission by plasmonic nanostructures may improve medical imaging 22 players produce destructive cascade of diabetic retinopathy 2
(Date:5/29/2015)...  Caris Life Sciences ® , a leading ... precision medicine, today announced the presentation of data ... of Caris Molecular Intelligence ® , the company,s ... identify targeted treatment options for patients with rare ... results of which are to be presented in ...
(Date:5/29/2015)... Seoul Semiconductor (CEO: Chung-hoon Lee, http://www.seoulsemicon.com ), ... announced that it will increase the global automotive ... and high reliable LED product line-up for the ... developed efficient and reliable LED packages for the ... headlamps to global auto makers. Seoul Semiconductor’s 14 ...
(Date:5/28/2015)... 28, 2015  Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX ... announced that it is scheduled to speak at the ... Steve Rusckowski , the company,s President and CEO, will ...  The presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, June 2, 2015 ... will be webcast live during the conference and will ...
(Date:5/28/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/6cg3zw/cell_therapy ) ... report "Cell Therapy - Technologies, Markets and ... report describes and evaluates cell therapy technologies and ... important role in the practice of medicine. Hematopoietic ... bone marrow transplants. Role of cells in drug ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Multi-Platform Tumor Profiling from Caris Life Sciences Identifies Targeted Treatment Options for Patients with Rare and/or Aggressive Tumors 2Multi-Platform Tumor Profiling from Caris Life Sciences Identifies Targeted Treatment Options for Patients with Rare and/or Aggressive Tumors 3Multi-Platform Tumor Profiling from Caris Life Sciences Identifies Targeted Treatment Options for Patients with Rare and/or Aggressive Tumors 4Multi-Platform Tumor Profiling from Caris Life Sciences Identifies Targeted Treatment Options for Patients with Rare and/or Aggressive Tumors 5Multi-Platform Tumor Profiling from Caris Life Sciences Identifies Targeted Treatment Options for Patients with Rare and/or Aggressive Tumors 6Seoul Semiconductor Increases the Global Automotive LED Market Share with its High Efficient and Reliable LEDs for Automotive Lightings 2Quest Diagnostics to Speak at the Jefferies 2015 Global Healthcare Conference 2Global Cell Therapy Market 2015-2020 - Technologies, Markets and Companies 2
... July 11, 2011 MRIGlobal, an internationally recognized ... the U.S. and overseas, has appointed Richard A. Winegar, ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110711/DC32923 ) Dr. Winegar is ... in radiation biology and genetic toxicology.  As Principal Advisor ...
... WORCESTER, Mass. and TORONTO, July 11, 2011 ... announced today the publication of studies conducted at ... Ii-Key technology.  Antigen Express, Inc., the Company,s wholly-owned ... development of self-potentiating immunotherapeutic vaccines for cancer.  AE37, ...
... York, NY July 10, 2011 Researchers at ... them to engineer the index of refraction and fully ... possible for light (electromagnetic waves) to propagate from point ... through the artificial medium as if the medium is ...
Cached Biology Technology:MRIGlobal Appoints Richard A. Winegar, Ph.D., as Principal Advisor for Science 2Generex Announces Publication of Studies with the Mayo Clinic Confirming and Extending the Antigen Express Ii-Key Platform Technology 2Generex Announces Publication of Studies with the Mayo Clinic Confirming and Extending the Antigen Express Ii-Key Platform Technology 3Generex Announces Publication of Studies with the Mayo Clinic Confirming and Extending the Antigen Express Ii-Key Platform Technology 4Generex Announces Publication of Studies with the Mayo Clinic Confirming and Extending the Antigen Express Ii-Key Platform Technology 5Light propagation controlled in photonic chips -- major breakthrough in telecommunications field 2
... Start Taq Monoclonal Antibody ... the onset of thermal ... and primer-dimer formation. When ... the antibody is quickly ...
... Human Pathogenic Viruses The ... (NCPV) preserves well characterised, authenticated ... secure facility, and NCPV is ... or nucleic acids derived from ...
... 5 Fluorescein 6-Fam, Hex, ... 3 Fluorescein Tamra Black Hole ... 6-Fam, Hex, Tet Tamra, Joe ... Health Research Institute, New York Double labelled ...
... easy to use Ascent Software ... members of the Ascent microplate ... clear and easy-to-follow approach with ... and highly sophisticated data handling, ...
Biology Products: