A distinguishing feature of human intelligence is our ability to understand the goals and intentions of others. This ability develops gradually during infancy, and the extent to which it is present in other animals is an intriguing question. New research by Friederike Range and Ludwig Huber, of the University of Vienna, and Zsofia Viranyi, of the Eötvös University in Budapest, reveals striking similarities between humans and dogs in the way they imitate the actions of others. The phenomenon under investigation is known as “selective imitation” and implies that dogs–like human infants–do not simply copy an action they observe, but adjust the extent to which they imitate to the circumstances of the action.
A research team led by the University of Exeter has discovered that, after laying their eggs, sea turtles travel hundreds of miles to feed at exactly the same sites. The research, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), shows for the first time that marine turtles appear to be as loyal to specific foraging sites and migratory routes as they are to nesting sites. Published 25 April in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the findings strengthen the argument for the protection of key foraging sites of these endangered species.
The American Lobster, Americanus homarus, can be found from Cape Hatteras, NC to Newfoundland but is most abundant in the Gulf of Maine, from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia. It is in this area where it is most heavily targeted by commercial fisheries. And no wonder, according to a recent New York Times article, the retail price has doubled since last spring, now about $15 for a one-pound lobster. For the millions of tourists that visit New England each year, the sweet taste of a New England lobster is worth the price. However, few of those shelling out their hard earned dollars to crack into the shell of this delicacy realize the conflict between lobsters and whales.
Following the April 18 announcement that only 25 to 34 of the Amur or Far Eastern leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) remain in the wild, World Wildlife Fund says the number must now be revised because a female Amur leopard was killed.