Animals laugh too, analysis of vocalization data suggests

Human laughter is common, but it's a somewhat mysterious part of our evolution. It's clear to evolutionary scholars that we laugh as a part of play, signaling our cooperation or friendliness. But how did laughter evolve? ...

Birds share food with less fortunate conspecifics

People aren't the only ones who show sympathy. Birds also seem to care about the fate of conspecifics. They notice how much food the others already have and then share theirs with individuals that were not given any. "They ...

Prairie dogs kiss more when being watched

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers in the US studying the behavior of black-tailed prairie dogs at a local zoo have discovered they behave differently, kissing and cuddling each other more when people are watching than when they ...

Azure-winged magpies show human-like generosity

Magpies do not always have the best reputation, as they are generally known for their tendency to steal shiny things. Also other bird species tested for prosociality so far turned out to be either indifferent to benefitting ...

Secrets of flocking revealed

Watching thousands of birds fly in a highly coordinated, yet leaderless, flock can be utterly baffling to humans. Now, new research is peeling back the layers of mystery to show how exactly they do it -- and why it might ...

Cooperative behavior is for the birds

(PhysOrg.com) -- Cooperative behaviors are rare in the animal kingdom and remain a great enigma for evolutionary biologists. A new study by Frederique Dubois, a professor at the University of Montreal Department of Biology ...

Great tits change their traditions for the better

Researchers at the University of Konstanz and Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior in Germany have found that birds are able to change their culture to become more efficient. Populations of great tits were able to switch ...

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