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Latest Christine Drea Stories

2014-01-31 11:06:37

The strength of a lemur couple's bond is reflected in the similarity of their scents The strength of a lemur couple's bond is reflected by the similarity of their scents, finds a new study. "It's like singing a duet, but with smells instead of sounds," said Christine Drea, a Duke University professor who supervised the study. Duke researchers sampled and analyzed scent secretions produced by lemurs known as Coquerel's sifakas living at the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, NC. The...

Lemur Babies Born To Older Mothers Less Likely To Get Hurt
2013-12-19 07:21:33

Duke University Finding emerges from Lemur Center's 35 years of detailed records A long-term study of aggression in lemurs finds that infants born to older mothers are less likely to get hurt than those born to younger mothers. The researchers base their findings on an analysis of detailed medical records for more than 240 ring-tailed lemurs -- cat-sized primates with long black-and-white banded tails -- that were monitored daily from infancy to adulthood over a 35-year period at the...

2010-07-28 13:26:23

Hormonal contraceptives change the ways captive ring-tailed lemurs relate to one another both socially and sexually, according to a Duke University study that combined analyses of hormones, genes, scent chemicals and behavior. Contraception alters the chemical cues these scent-reliant animals use to determine genetic fitness, relatedness and individuality. And, as a sort of double whammy to birth-control efforts, male lemurs were shown to be less interested in females that were treated with...

2009-09-29 13:37:58

U.S. evolutionary anthropologists say they've discovered spotted hyenas outperform primates on cooperative problem-solving tests. Duke University scientists led by Associate Professor Christine Drea said captive pairs of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) that needed to tug two ropes in unison to earn a food reward cooperated successfully and learned the maneuvers quickly with no training. And the researchers discovered experienced hyenas even helped inexperienced partners do the trick. When...

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2009-09-28 15:09:49

Spotted hyenas may not be smarter than chimpanzees, but a new study shows that they outperform the primates on cooperative problem-solving tests. Captive pairs of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) that needed to tug two ropes in unison to earn a food reward cooperated successfully and learned the maneuvers quickly with no training. Experienced hyenas even helped inexperienced partners do the trick. When confronted with a similar task, chimpanzees and other primates often require extensive...

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2008-06-24 10:29:19

Perhaps judging a man by his cologne isn't as superficial as it seems. Duke University researchers, using sophisticated machinery to analyze hundreds of chemical components in a ringtailed lemur's distinctive scent, have found that individual males are not only advertising their fitness for fatherhood, but also a bit about their family tree as well. "We now know that there's information about genetic quality and relatedness in scent," said Christine Drea, a Duke associate professor of...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'