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Latest Neuroethology Stories

2013-06-13 12:38:47

Weakly electric fish spend their lives bathed in their own internally generated mild electric field, interpreting perturbations in the field as objects pass through and when communicating with members of their own species through high frequency electric 'chirps'. Rüdiger Krahe, from McGill University, Canada, says, 'These fish are very cryptic and hard for us to understand because we don't have this electric sense'. Electric fish actively produce their weak electric fields;...

High-Pitched Echolocation Helps Harbor Porpoises Avoid Killer Whales
2013-06-12 14:17:20

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) have determined why harbour porpoises are doing so well in coastal and busy waters. The team wrote in the journal Frontiers in Physiology that these animals are able to thrive through the Northern Hemisphere due to their sophisticated echolocation abilities. Coastal waters like the ones harbor porpoises live in can be challenging for whales due to the risk of beaching and...

Blind People Can Learn To Use Their Inner Bat
2013-05-21 05:51:25

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers have known for a long time that blind and visually impaired people rely on other senses. A new study led by the University of Southampton, however, now shows that they have the potential to use echolocation, similar to that of bats and dolphins, to determine the location of an object. The researchers examined how hearing, particularly the hearing of echoes, could help blind people with spatial awareness and navigation....

Detailing The Evolution Of Echolocation In River Dolphins
2013-04-05 13:51:23

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study by researchers from researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) and Aarhus University in Denmark is focusing on one of the most endangered animal species currently known: the river dolphin. The Ganges river dolphin, after having diverged from other toothed whale species some 30 million years ago, is thought to be one of the oldest species of aquatic animals to employ the technique of echolocation, or...

Higher Pitch Bird Songs Are Louder
2013-01-11 19:07:25

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Have you ever been to oh, let´s say, New York City or Chicago? Maybe Philadelphia or even downtown Fort Worth? If you have and you are, like me, a lover of city life and city residents, you will have noticed that the inhabitants of these cities move a little faster, have a little less patience and talk quite a bit louder. Is it the environment that drives these actions and behaviors? Does the city just attract these...

Songbirds Sing In 3D
2013-01-08 19:14:57

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Since both human and songbird infants learn vocal communication at an early age, the cognitive mechanisms behind bird songs have a rich history of groundbreaking research. However, an international team of scientists decided to take a deeper look into the physical mechanics behind birds´ vocalizations, according to a new study in the open access journal BMC Biology. "We know quite a bit about how the songbird brain...

Birdsong Study Looks Into Whether Music Is Uniquely Human
2012-12-31 09:16:52

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Many birds use song to communicate everything from threats to mating intentions, but are these vocalizations considered music? Emory University neuroscientist Sarah Earp, also a classically trained viola player, decided to tackle this question, along with her colleague Donna Maney, by comparing neural responses of birds while they listened to male bird songs. “We found that the same neural reward system is activated in female...

Learning How Song Birds Sing By Doing The Math
2012-12-21 14:32:30

Emory University Scientists studying how songbirds stay on key have developed a statistical explanation for why some things are harder for the brain to learn than others. “We´ve built the first mathematical model that uses a bird´s previous sensorimotor experience to predict its ability to learn,” says Emory biologist Samuel Sober. “We hope it will help us understand the math of learning in other species, including humans.” Sober conducted the...

New Tool Can Identify Bats By Sound
2012-08-07 11:17:02

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Have you ever tried to tell the difference between 34 different bat species? Like a fingerprint or the specific pitch and timbre of a person´s voice can differentiate one human from another, so, too, can the subtleties in squeaks and squelches set one bat apart from the others. Now, a team of ecologists have built an echo-location tool which can identify specific bats based on their vocal signatures. The new tool,...

Sex Can Be A Very 'Risky Business' For Flies In Bat Territory
2012-07-24 13:30:39

[ Watch The Video ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online According to a study in the July 24th issue of Current Biology,  bats eavesdrop on the sounds of fly sex to earn themselves a super-sized dinner deal: two flies for the price of one.  For flies living with bats in a cowshed, sex really could be the death of you. The study is the first to show that increased conspicuousness to hungry predators is a huge downside of sex, the researchers say. "When...


Word of the Day
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.