The findings have resulted in the retraction of an influential study that he led. “MH accepts responsibility for the error,’’ says the retraction of the study on [...]
My friends working on the New Caledonian Crow have a new paper out in today’s Proceedings of the Royal society. The paper “Do New Caledonian crows solve physical problems through causal reasoning?” by Alex Taylor et al provides evidence of how crows can reason about physical problems:
The extent to which animals other [...]
Frans de Waal in PLoS Biology:
The Eurasian magpie (Pica pica) has a poor reputation. As a child, I learned never to leave small shiny objects, such as teaspoons, unattended outdoors as these raucous birds will steal anything they can put their beaks on. This folklore even inspired a Rossini opera, “La gazza ladra” (“The [...]
Joe Queenan in the LA Times tries to justify his hatred of sharks, hyenas and anacondas:
Like most people in this country, I have long hated sharks, largely because of what they did to Robert Shaw in “Jaws.” For years, I thought of sharks as mindless, demonic eating machines, an attitude reinforced by [...]
Today’s PRS.B sees the publication of a supertree of 600 Dinosaur species. Awesome. ScienceDaily has more information here. Here’s a picture of it (note: a full version is available here):
The abstract says:
The observed diversity of dinosaurs reached its highest peak during the mid- and Late Cretaceous, the 50Myr that [...]
Back in the 1970s, a chimpanzee named Nim Chimpsky took part in a Columbia University research study called “Project Nim.”
Project Nim was led by Herbert Terrace, a psychologist at Columbia who was attempting to find out if a chimpanzee could learn to communicate using American Sign Language.
“Everyone knows that words are learned [...]
Kenneth Chang in the NY Times talks about The Grim Story of Maya Blue:
The vibrant sky color can be seen on pottery, murals and other artifacts produced by the Maya people of Central America centuries ago and the unusual, durable pigment remains vibrant today long after other colors have faded away.
In PLoS One – Singing in the Rain Forest: How a Tropical Bird Song Transfers Information:
How information transmission processes between individuals are shaped by natural selection is a key question for the understanding of the evolution of acoustic communication systems. Environmental acoustics predict that signal structure will differ depending on general features of the [...]
Long-term readers will know that I’ve got a number of friends working on the wonderfully intelligent New Caledonian Crow. These birds make and use a number of different tools for extracting grubs from logs. You can see my catalogue of posts on these birds here.
Recently, they’ve got a new paper out showing [...]