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Latest Fauna of Barbados Stories

2012-04-26 09:33:24

Among vervet monkeys, social learning is strongly influenced by matrilineal family members, according to a study published Apr. 25 in the open access journal PLoS ONE. The authors of the report, led by Erica van de Waal of University of St. Andrews, presented wild vervets with sand-covered grapes and monitored their grape-cleaning behavior to investigate different channels of social learning. Some monkeys cleaned the grapes by rubbing them between their hands or substrate, others peeled...

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2010-06-15 10:14:23

A groundbreaking study of banded mongooses in Uganda has shown even small-brained animals pass on traditions, giving a valuable insight into how complex human culture could have evolved. Scientists from the University of Exeter's School of Biosciences studied five groups of banded mongooses, one of them made famous in the BBC TV series Banded Brothers: The Mongoose Mob. Their pioneering research observed the animals passing on traditions (namely foraging preferences) from one generation to...

2010-06-03 16:37:38

For the passing on of traditions, it appears that an especially big brain isn't required. A new report published online on June 3rd in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, shows that even mongooses in the wild carry out traditions that are passed down from one generation to the next. "Our study is, to my knowledge, the first to provide strong evidence that foraging specializations are not only long-lived in wild animals but are also transmitted from adults to young through social...

2008-08-03 12:00:17

The smallest snake known to man has been discovered on the Caribbean island of Barbados, a U.S. expert says. Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist at Pennsylvania State University, came across the tiny species in a forest in the east of Barbados. The snake has a width similar to a piece of spaghetti and can fit on a U.S. quarter. Hedges said it is possible the snake is hard to find because much of its habitat has been developed into farms and buildings. Habitat destruction is a...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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