24 May 2008

Comportamente destepte la animale

de la New Scientist: Profesori meerkats

We may be the only animals to go to school, but we are not the only ones that can teach. Meerkats, for example, are taught the most important life skills they need by their elders. It might seem that intelligence is the key to being a good teacher, but researchers believe this is not necessarily true for these animals. Meerkats rely on instinct when they are teaching their young how to kill scorpions.

Cum invata o pasare sa cante

When a toddler is learning to walk or talk, there is a lot of trial and error involved. But learning through experimentation is not unique to humans – in fact, birds do it too when they are learning to sing. Researchers recently discovered that the part of the brain used by young zebra finches when they babble is different from the brain area used by adults when they belt out their more melodious songs. So while a baby bird is experimenting discordantly with its vocal range, it will eventually develop the brain pathway that will allow it to sing its heart out with great skill.

Cooperare la corbi

A human can easily gauge when a helping hand is necessary, but what about a rook? Video footage from a recent study shows a precarious set-up where birds had to work together if they wanted some dinner. Researchers found that they needed little training in order to cooperate on the task. But it seems they did not fully understand that they could not complete the task alone. If one rook arrived before the other, it would attempt to get at the food, in vain.

Paianjeni care se prefac morti pentru a insela femelele si a avea parte de mai mult sex

Puii de cimpanzeu au memoria mai buna decat oamenii

As humans, we prize our cognitive abilities, but this video puts us to shame. Humans and adolescent chimps were given the same memory test, which involved remembering a sequence of numbers on a computer screen. The chimps easily outperformed the humans – the first time humans have been bested by chimps at a cognitive test. Although there is little mention of how much training the chimps had beforehand, it shows we are not the masters of all things mental.