Archive for the ‘Non Human Animals’ Category


Brain to Brain interface in real time. It has happened. Now what?

via BBC News – One rat brain ‘talks’ to another using electronic link.

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“Now, it should be noted that the researchers aren’t trying to emulate a complete honey bee brain, but rather two specific and complex functions within it, namely vision and sense of smell.”

“By isolating and modeling these particular functions, the researchers hope to provide their flying robot with the cognitive power required to perform basic tasks — and without a set of pre-programmed instructions. It is hoped, for example, that the robotic bee will be able to detect particular odors or gasses in the same way that real bee can identify certain flowers.”

via New project aims to upload a honey bee’s brain into a flying insectobot by 2015.

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Scientists have taken a step forward in helping to solve one of life’s greatest mysteries – what makes us human?
via New brain gene gives us edge over apes, study suggests.

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via Humpback Whale Shows AMAZING Appreciation After Being Freed From Nets – YouTube.

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For many people, meat and leather are an ethical and environmental nightmare, causing misery to billions of animals and wreaking havoc on the planet’s ecosystems.

The company Modern Meadow is one of the cutting edge labs working on in-vitro meat and now have announced in-vitro leather, too.

Within the next decade, there will be no excuse other than cruelty to eat the flesh of non-human animals or to wear their skins.

Now, that’s progress!

via Modern Meadow plans on producing lab-grown leather.

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Just days after a poacher’s snare had killed one of their own, two young mountain gorillas worked together Tuesday to find and destroy traps in their Rwandan forest home, according to conservationists on the scene.

“This is absolutely the first time that we’ve seen juveniles doing that … I don’t know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares,” said Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program coordinator at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center, located in the reserve where the event took place.

“We are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas … so I would be very surprised if somebody else has seen that,” Vecellio added.

via Gorilla Youngsters Seen Dismantling Poachers’ Traps—A First.

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“Ants that are held as slaves in nests of other ant species damage their oppressors through acts of sabotage. Ant researcher Professor Dr. Susanne Foitzik of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) first observed this “slave rebellion” phenomenon in 2009. According to the latest findings, however, this behavior now appears to be a widespread characteristic that is not limited to isolated occurrences. In fact, in three different populations in the U.S. states of West Virginia, New York, and Ohio, enslaved Temnothorax longispinosus workers have been observed to neglect and kill the offspring of their Protomognathus americanus slavemakers rather than care for them. As a result, an average of only 45% of the parasite’s offspring survived. This presumably reduces the strength of the parasites in the area and thereby increases the chances of survival for the neighboring colonies populated by the slave ants’ relatives.”

via Slave rebellion is widespread in ants.

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“The beginning of a beautiful friendship? In some interspecies relationships, ants “tend” to a single caterpillar, preventing it from being attacked by predators. In return for such protection services, they are rewarded with the larva’s sugary secretions. New research has now shown that the rate of evolution in a mutualistic relationship does not depend only on the type of interactions, but also on the number of individuals involved.

The relationship between species determines how rapidly they evolve. Parasites and their hosts coevolve more rapidly, and partners in a mutualistic relationship can evolve more slowly. But this view is obviously too simplistic. The rate of evolution in a mutualistic relationship does not depend only on the type of interactions, but also on the number of individuals involved, according to a model developed by researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, Germany. Therefore, while partners can benefit from slow evolution if only two individuals interact, a higher rate of evolution may be favoured if several individuals are involved.”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-09-relationships-based-mutuality-individuals-involved.html#jCp

via In relationships based on mutuality, number of individuals involved can determine rate at which species evolve.

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Crows clearly demonstrate causal reasoning. This cognitive ability has never been experimentally demonstrated in a species other than humans, until now.

via Whodunit? Crows Ask That Question, Too – ScienceNOW.

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When 25 of the top minds in the world met earlier this year to discuss non-human animal consciousness, they were compelled to issue a declaration regarding their momentous conclusions. They, as a scientific body of experts, declared to the world “Non-human animals are conscious creatures”. 

Their “Declaration of Animal Consciousness” is a simple document laying out the facts and points of their findings. 

Humans, being conscious and intelligent creatures, will now begin a (likely) slow process of redefining our relationships to, and our treatment of, the other other animals with which we share this planet. 

We are moving fast in the direction of major scientific discoveries and breakthroughs. Technology gives us an edge not previously known to mankind. What will we do when the first robot passes the Turing Test? What if we make “first contact” with beings not of our own kind? What kind of protocol will advanced beings have regarding us? What kind of protocol would we like them to have? 

We are learning more and more about our own cosmos. Each discovery moves us in the direction of understanding more, and requiring large shifts, at times, of our current view of ourselves and the cosmos which we inhabit. How do we better implement these new pieces of knowledge and understanding? How can we streamline the process to make the understanding known to all humans faster, quicker and with efficiency?

via Non-Human Consciousness Exists Say Experts. Now What? – Forbes.

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he behavior of harvester ants as they forage for food mirrors the protocols that control traffic on the Internet.


via Stanford biologist, computer scientist team up to discover the ‘anternet’.

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Bottlenose dolphins that have learnt to use sea sponges as hunting tools form cliques with others that do the same — the first evidence of animal grouping based on mutual interest, a study said Tuesday.

via Dolphins sponge up culture: study.

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From an evolutionary perspective, a central nervous system has two main functional aims:

1) avoiding damage (where the sensation of pain and learning from those negative experiences is central)

2) seeking pleasure (shelter, food, sex etc.).

So I really don’t undestand why some scientists still question whether or not some animals feel pain. It’s ridiculous. How did they become scientists to begin with if they are missing this fundamental understanding?

via Can slugs and snails feel pain? – The Naked Scientists June 2012.

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Get ready. Here comes authentic, and somewhat simple, mind control. Really.

For the first time, scientists have been able to affect the behavior of a primate using optogenetics—a technique by which genetically modified neurons are made to fire with light.

via Scientists Control Monkeys’ Brains with Light – Technology Review.

via Scientists Control Monkeys’ Brains with Light – Technology Review.

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Birds can solve problems like the one in Aesop’s fable, but children are quicker to master more ambiguous puzzles.

via The Wisdom of Not Being Too Rational – ScienceNOW.

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