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Stories by Felicity Muth

A trip to the Animal Behaviour Society conference in Colorado

Last week I went to the Animal Behavior Society conference in Boulder, Colorado. This is a meeting where scientists and students working in all aspects of animal behaviour can get together, talk about their work, meet others in their field and share ideas...

August 9, 2013 — Felicity Muth

Are pigs stupid? Perhaps they re just stressed

Pigs are one of the top animals consumed across the world. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2010, around one hundred million metric tons of pork were consumed that year, with 10% of this being in the US (although it does seem that overall meat consumption is declining).With so many of us eating pork, you might think we’d know a bit more about these animals...

June 11, 2013 — Felicity Muth

Left-eyed Lizards

I recently came across an article entitled ‘Advantages in exploring a new environment with the left eye in lizards’ and I couldn’t help but read more.In this study, conducted in Italy, scientists caught 44 wall lizards and glued eye patches on to them (using a paper glue that is harmless to the lizards as they can shed and renew their skin)...

June 10, 2013 — Felicity Muth

Wasps aren't objective when it comes to fighting

If you grew up with brothers or sisters you will know that competition is a key part of childhood. Personally, I experienced competition for food resources (the last bar of chocolate), parental investment (attention) and other more unusual resources (the best colour of lego pieces).As we age, we continue competing, although what we compete for changes...

June 3, 2013 — Felicity Muth

Why do dogs yawn when they see sleepy humans?

Watch this videoDid it make you yawn? Well if it did then you’re not alone. Humans exhibit ‘contagious yawning’, where just seeing another individual makes you want to yawn yourself.Why we yawn at all isn’t entirely clear...

May 28, 2013 — Felicity Muth

Birds arrange eggs in their nests to better detect imposters

Most birds build their own nests and incubate their own eggs. However, some birds like the cuckoo have managed to get around this inconvenience by simply laying their eggs in the nests of other species and letting someone else do the hard work of keeping the eggs warm and protected until the chick hatches...

May 8, 2013 — Felicity Muth

Animal culture: insights from whales

This article is the second part of a two-part series on animal culture. The first part discusses some new findings of adopting local food preferences in vervet monkeys.

April 27, 2013 — Felicity Muth

Animal culture: insights from vervet monkeys

Something I get asked occasionally as someone who works on animal cognition is ‘what makes humans different from other animals?’ This is a tough one, because, as humans are of course animals, it is much easier to list the similarities between us and other animals in our behaviour and how our brains process things than the differences...

April 25, 2013 — Felicity Muth

Building on experience

This move from my old site to the Scientific American network has also coincided with my own physical move from the UK to the USA to start some new research.

March 20, 2013 — Felicity Muth

An Introduction

I remember a moment I had in high school where a friend of mine told me that she was going to become an animal behaviour scientist. I had a feeling of shock at the notion that this was actually a job...

March 13, 2013 — Felicity Muth

Drugs and error bars

I've been away from writing here for a while, as recently I've been stuck into a very different type of writing - finishing up my thesis for my PhD.

October 17, 2012 — Felicity Muth

Animal Minds

I recently attended a meeting in london (‘Animal Minds: from computation to evolution), where there were some really interesting talks.

February 24, 2012 — Felicity Muth

What are dogs trying to tell us?

In shows like Lassie, I was always impressed at the amount of information a dog was able to convey to a human: `What's that, Lassie? A little girl trapped in a building that you tried to reach but then couldn't owing to the fire that caught alight to the fence surrounding it?' I never owned [...]..

December 7, 2011 — Felicity Muth

Crows take a look in the mirror

One question in an animal cognition is whether animals other than humans have the ability to recognise themselves. A classic way of testing this, established in 1970 by Gordon Gallup, is the `mirror test'...

September 20, 2011 — Felicity Muth

Budgies remember the sound of their mates

What do shingleback lizards, budgerigars and Mexican grey wolves all have in common? All these animals are monogamous: they generally mate with a partner for a substantial period of time, in many cases to raise offspring together...

September 15, 2011 — Felicity Muth

Notes from some not bad science

The largest animal behaviour conference in the UK (the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour) was held last Thursday and Friday in my hometown of St Andrews.

August 23, 2011 — Felicity Muth
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