Latest University of Auckland Stories

Are New Caledonian Crows Smarter Than A First-Grader?
2014-07-28 03:42:16

By Andrea Estrada, UC Santa Barbara UCSB researcher shows that New Caledonian crows can perform as well as 7- to 10-year-olds on cause-and-effect water displacement tasks In Aesop’s fable about the crow and the pitcher, a thirsty bird happens upon a vessel of water, but when he tries to drink from it, he finds the water level out of his reach. Not strong enough to knock over the pitcher, the bird drops pebbles into it — one at a time — until the water level rises enough for him...

Insects Found To Have Similar Hearing System To That Of Dolphins
2012-12-14 11:00:01

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists have discovered a hearing system component previously thought to be unique to toothed whales — such as dolphins — in insects. The team, comprised of scientists from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland, with colleagues from Plant & Food Research in New Zealand, and engineers from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, is challenging ideas about how a large group...

Image 1 - Falling Clouds May Combat Global Warming
2012-02-22 13:47:46

In what may be a natural response to rising global temperatures, Earth's clouds fell by an average of approximately one-percent over the first decade of this century, a new study funded by NASA and completed by scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand has discovered. According to a Tuesday press release from the U.S. space agency, experts at the university studied 10 years worth of global cloud-top height measurements from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR)...

Crows Show Advanced Learning Abilities
2011-12-16 03:49:10

New Caledonian crows have, in the past, distinguished themselves with their advanced tool using abilities. A team of researchers from the University of Auckland and the University of Cambridge have now shown these crows can learn to use new types of tools. When confronted with the Aesop's fable paradigm, which requires stones to be dropped into a water-filled tube to bring floating food within reach, the crows quickly learned to use stones as tools. They then preferred to drop into the...

2011-06-27 10:52:04

After being hunted to local extinction more than a century ago and unable to remember their ancestral calving grounds, the southern right whales of mainland New Zealand are coming home. A new study published today has shown for the first time that whales from a small surviving population around remote, sub-Antarctic islands have found their way back to the New Zealand mainland. Before the onslaught of 19th century whaling, historical records suggest that up to 30,000 of these impressive...

2011-06-15 13:50:00

According to a new study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), women who do not sleep on their left side during late pregnancy have double the risk of late stillbirth. The researchers who conducted the study said women should not worry because the increased risk is very small. The New Zealand team said a significant link was also found between sleeping regularly during the day, or sleeping longer than average at night. Tomasina Stacey of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the...

2011-01-21 07:47:28

Couples who have trouble conceiving could find help from antioxidants such as vitamin E and zinc, according to a new review of more than 30 studies. The research focused on men who were sub-fertile -- less fertile than average but still capable of making a baby -- and found that those who took antioxidants were more than four times as likely to impregnate their partners than those who did not take the supplements. The researchers did not go as far as to say that antioxidants actually...

2010-04-21 11:25:00

Recently-published research completed by scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand proves that New Caledonia crows can use multiple tools to solve problems and complete tasks. The crows, scientific name of Corvus moneduloides, live in the South Pacific island of New Caledonia and are the only species of birds that have been observed making and using tools into the wild. The scientists further studied their skills in a laboratory setting and discovered that they can use up to...

2010-02-04 07:50:36

The high price of fresh, whole foods has long been the excuse for unhealthy eating habits, but a new study found that reducing the price of such foods could result in continued purchasing of them even after the discounts are taken away. "Traditionally there has been a reliance on nutrition education to promote healthier diets," lead researcher of the study Dr. Cliona Ni Mhurchu of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, told Reuters Health by email. "These results highlight the importance...

Word of the Day
  • To stammer.
  • Present participle of maffle, to stammer.
  • A simpleton.
The word 'maffle' may come from a Dutch word meaning 'to move the jaws' or a French word meaning 'having large cheeks'.