Category: Animals

  • Plants “deciding”. Death and Life.

    Animals facing competition have been shown to optimally choose between different behaviors, including confrontation, avoidance and tolerance, depending on the competitive ability of their opponents relative to their own. For example, if their competitors are bigger or stronger, animals are expected to “give up the fight” and choose avoidance or tolerance over confrontation. Similar responses […]

  • Copying nature. For what?

    Sunlight reflected by solar cells is lost as unused energy. The wings of the butterfly Pachliopta aristolochiae are drilled by nanostructures (nanoholes) that help absorbing light over a wide spectrum far better than smooth surfaces. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now succeeded in transferring these nanostructures to solar cells and, thus, enhancing […]

  • Clever raccoon. Wise humans?

    A raccoon managed to solve an intelligence problem by bypassing it. In a study, the researchers set up a cylinder with a floating marshmallow too low for the raccoons to grab. For the training session, the team balanced some stones on the rim of the tube. When the raccoons knocked them in, it showed how […]

  • Bear. Silence. Destruction.

    Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park is so vast that it stretches across an area bigger than Vermont, Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Karupa Lake, tucked off in its northern corner, is so remote that reaching it takes a four-hour skiplane flight from Fairbanks. And it’s so quiet — a day alone there could […]

  • Doing less. Being a human. Not a pigeon.

    Pigeons are capable of switching between two tasks as quickly as humans – and even more quickly in certain situations. These are the findings of biopsychologists who had performed the same behavioral experiments to test birds and humans. The authors hypothesize that the cause of the slight multitasking advantage in birds is their higher neuronal […]