behavior

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Out on the grassy plains of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, a group of six female topi antelope (Damaliscus lunatus) walk across the savanna. It is the time of the annual rut – a one and a half month period in which most males control small patches of land and try to attract adult females…

The tail of a thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus). From Wikipedia. Thanks to sensational documentaries and summer blockbusters, we are all familiar with the anatomy of a shark attack. The victim, unaware that they are in peril, is struck from below and behind with such speed and violence that, if they are not actually killed during…

African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), photographed at the Bronx Zoo. African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) don’t have it easy. Their taste for large mammalian prey puts them in competition with lions and spotted hyenas for both prey and living space, meaning that wild dogs regularly have their kills stolen or are even killed by other…

A margay (Leopardus wiedii). From Wikipedia. Even if they spend years in the field, researchers rarely witness predation on primates. Cats, birds, and other hunters regularly feed on primate species, but what we know about the habits of primate-hunters often comes from bones and fingernails picked out of predator droppings. Every now and again, though,…

Spotted hyenas giggling over an antelope spine. Courtesy BMC Ecology. For spotted hyenas, a laugh can speak volumes about an individual. Despite being portrayed as stupid scavengers who rely on the leftovers of lion prides, hyenas are highly intelligent and social predators. They communicate with each other through an array of whoops, yowls, grunts, screams,…