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My picks from ScienceDaily


Identifying Hyenas By Their Giggle:

To human ears, the laughs of individual hyenas in a pack all sound the same: high-pitched and staccato, eerie and maniacal. But every hyena makes a different call that encodes information about its age and status in the pack, according to behavioral neurologists from the University of California, Berkeley and the Université de Saint-Etienne, France. They have developed a way to identify a hyena by picking out specific features of its giggle.

How House-hunting Ants Choose The Best Home:

Dr Elva Robinson and colleagues in the University’s School of Biological Sciences fitted rock ants with tiny radio-frequency identification tags, each measuring 1 / 2,000 (one two-thousandth) the size of a postage stamp, then observed as they chose between a poor nest nearby and a good nest further away.

The Season Of Ticks: Could Climate Change Worsen Lyme Disease?:

In a finding that suggests how global warming could impact infectious disease, scientists from Yale University, in collaboration with other institutions, have determined that climate impacts the severity of Lyme Disease by influencing the feeding patterns of deer ticks that carry and transmit it.

Brain Music: Putting The Brain’s Soundtracks To Work (srsly?!):

Every brain has a soundtrack. Its tempo and tone will vary, depending on mood, frame of mind, and other features of the brain itself. When that soundtrack is recorded and played back — to an emergency responder, or a firefighter — it may sharpen their reflexes during a crisis, and calm their nerves afterward.

Dogs Are Aggressive If They Are Trained Badly:

Many dogs are put down or abandoned due to their violent nature, but contrary to popular belief, breed has little to do with a dog’s aggressive behaviour compared to all the owner-dependant factors. This is shown in a new study from the University of C√≥rdoba, which includes breeds that are considered aggressive by nature, such as the Rottweiler or the Pit Bull. The conclusions, however, are surprising: it is the owners who are primarily responsible for attacks due to dominance or competition of their pets.