Article written by Maria Tello-Ramos, edited by Felicity Muth. Like it or not, male and females differ from each other in a number of ways.
I recently read a remarkable story of research done by people right at my home university at the University of Nevada, Reno. Thirty minutes from where we live is Lake Tahoe, which is a large lake which is half in Nevada, half in California.
You might have heard of serotonin as one of the ‘happy’ hormones in humans. Indeed, mood disorders like anxiety and depression are associated with low levels of serotonin.
We often hear about animals where the males mate with multiple females. However, many animals have the opposite system, where a single female courts and mates many males.
Some animals defend themselves by spraying liquid at potential threats. Perhaps the most well-known example of this is the skunk, whose spray contains chemicals that smell awful to the animals it's defending itself from.
Art and science are usually held up as two opposing disciplines. However, arguably very similar abilities are needed to be an artist and a scientist: an ability to observe the world in detail, to perhaps notice things that other people don't, to creatively come up with ideas and to draw novel connections.
As I wrote about in my last post, bees are capable of learning which flowers offer good nectar rewards based on floral features such as colour, smell, shape, texture, pattern, temperature and electric charge.
One of the first things I get asked when I tell people that I work on bee cognition (apart from `do you get stung a lot?') is `bees have cognition?'.
The males of many animals compete with each other for females. This can be through direct fighting, as in the case of crickets and fruitflies.
Many animals behave aggressively towards one another. This is usually when they are fighting for something like territory, mates or food. However, an animal's decision to become aggressive isn't a simple on-off switch and many factors feed into how aggressive an animal is.
King penguins are pretty social animals. Not only do they tend to hang out in a big group, but even within the group, they form little sub-groups; cliques of penguins who like to hang out together.
For a change, I thought this week instead of writing about black widow spiders or praying mantids I'd write about an animal I often neglect: humans.
Visual illusions are fun: we know with our rational mind that, for example, these lines are parallel to each other, yet they don't appear that way.
If you're lucky enough, you may have seen a peacock displaying to a female. It's an impressive event to witness: the peacock spreads and ruffles his enormous, brightly coloured tail feathers for a female, who, after checking him out, may choose to mate with him or not.
There are a handful of traits that scientists and philosophers would argue would make us human, including self-awareness and language. Another key part of being human is thought to be our ability to empathize (although I sometimes find myself doubting some humans' abilities to empathize).
Bowerbirds are perhaps the most intriguing artists of the bird world. Their beautiful constructions are built purely to impress females (they are not nests, as often mistaken to be).
When you read the word `communication', you probably think of language in some form, likely spoken or written. This is because, as humans, we're obsessed with communicating through language; it's likely that an hour doesn’t go by in your day when you don't communicate with someone by phone, email or text.
We usually think about male and female mates getting along pretty well (that's `mate' in the biological sense, not your friendly British/ Australian friend).
The title of this article probably is an overstatement. Perhaps instead it should have been ‘a small subset of people in Reno, and possibly in Vegas (because everything you can think of exists there) celebrated pollinators for a week.
Working in the field of animal behaviour means that around World Cup season it’s hard to avoid being sent links to so-called ‘psychic’ animals that predict the outcome of matches, such as Paul the octopus, Leon the porcupine and Anton the tamarin.