Friday Faves April 11, 2014

Climate change changing frogs

Warming trends are changing these male Puerto Rican coqui frogs - like its effects on other animals, they are getting smaller, and their calls are getting squeakier. The summary article did not comment on how this might impact their ability to attract mates, but the manuscript suggests that changes in male frogs' calls without corresponding changes in the females' frequency-dependent detection system could have dire effects.

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People kind of understand their dogs

A study of primarily Australian dog owners asked them to what extent they felt dogs possessed certain cognitive abilities, such as communicating with humans, understanding of human attention, problem solving, tool use, deception, recognizing themselves in a mirror  and questions about empathy and emotions. Owners correctly attributed many abilities to dogs that have been scientifically demonstrated, but also assigned others that have not (such as deception) - and feeling close to their dog increased the intelligence ratings they assigned their dog. Read a great summary by Companion Animal Psychology here.

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All gum trees are not created equally

Koala bears, like many of us, don't want to sleep where they eat. In a new study, scientists used radiotags to see what koalas were up to day and night, and where they like to hang out. They prefer Eucalyptus globulus for lounging in the daytime, but at night, they do more snacking, in Eucalyptus viminalis. This could have important implications for koala conservation, because assumptions have been made that the trees koalas have been seen in are the same ones they eat. Read more here!

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