Category archives: Ethology

Seagulls, songbirds and parrots: what new research tells us about their cognitive ability

Seagulls, songbirds and parrots: what new research tells us about their cognitive ability

BiologyEthology

By Invited Researcher

As you can imagine, a human intelligence test doesn’t really cut it for birds. It isn’t that easy to assess how an animal perceives information from the environment, processes it and decides to act. But researchers have developed a range of clever experiments to find out more about their cognitive abilities. Do they recognise each […]

The bodyguard

The bodyguard

EthologyNeurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

Ladybugs are beautiful beetles and many present what is called an aposematic coloration, bright and striking colors that warn: do not eat me, I am dangerous. When they are disturbed, they defend themselves with legs and jaws, expel a poison and their brightly colored elytra with black dots are a warning to anyone who tries […]

Bad companies

Bad companies

BiologyEthologyNeurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

Forming large groups (flocks, banks, swarms, herds, schools, …) is characteristic of many species. The generally accepted idea is that it is an adaptive process, in which the individual improves its chances of survival by being part of a numerous group. A shark does not know which fish to attack in a sardine bank and […]

Sex, alcohol and flies

Sex, alcohol and flies

EthologyNeurobiology

By Ignacio Amigo

Men have been drowning their love sorrows in alcohol since the dawn of times. What probably none of those lonely broken-hearted drinkers might have imagined, is that their despair would serve as inspiration for an interesting research involving sex, alcohol and flies. As the story goes, a group of researchers at the University of California […]

Building bridges

Building bridges

BiologyEthology

By José Ramón Alonso

Slime mold is an informal name given to several kinds of unrelated eukaryotic organisms that can live freely as single cells but when food is in short supply, many of these unicellular organisms will congregate to form multicellular structures that move together as a single body. Thus, the aggregation and joint movement require the coordination […]

Defend your friends

Defend your friends

BiologyEthology

By José Ramón Alonso

Mutualistic interactions are ubiquitous phenomena occurring between many classes of organisms . The mutually beneficial relationship between ants and honeydew-producing mealybugs (hemipterans) is a very well-studied example. Mealybugs belong to the family Pseudococcidae and they are unarmored scale insects found in moist and warm climates. The ants collect and exploit the honeydew produced by the […]