Tag Archives: predator-prey relations

Bird Brilliance

Birds may use alligators as security guards -- previous studies show that birds that nest near alligator habitat produce more offspring. But a new study also showed that alligators near nesting birds were heartier, suggesting that the nesting birds may "pay" for this security service with a few babies that fall out of the nest...into the alligator's mouth. Read a summary here.

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crowWhy are New Caledonian crows good at some tasks and not others? Is it the nature of the test? Researchers in New Zealand looked at the reasons that primates performed better on "self-control tasks" in a recent study that compared cognition across many species (hey I was one of the many authors of that study!) - could hands and experience with humans have an effect?

Meanwhile, a new paper explores the fact that corvids and parrots show cognitive abilities on par with primates, despite having a VERY different brain structure (which lacks the neocortex that is often considered responsible for "higher functions"). Summary here.

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Squirrel attacks

Squirrels world-wide have apparently been on a collective, crazy, aggressive rampage:

Animal control was called to the scene near Kansas City, when three squirrel attacks were reported in one 24-hour period, including one incident that sent a victim to the emergency room.

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A German squirrel was “arrested” for chasing a woman, only to be fed honey and apples once officers realized he was just exhausted.

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