A loving relationship can be an oasis in uncertain times, but nurturing it requires attention, honesty, openness, vulnerability, and gratitude.
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The neuroscience of behavior in the wild.
Mary Bates Ph.D.
When our ancestors bred wild junglefowl for tameness, they may have unwittingly selected birds with a different brain—one suited for a life among humans.
When talking to infants, people tend to change aspects of their voice in a phenomenon known as motherese or baby talk. According to new research, this may not be unique to humans.
Researchers studying Yellowstone National Park’s wolves are learning intimate details of these predators’ lives — and finding out wolf families are a lot like our own.
How heritable are cognitive traits in dogs? Researchers find breed differences in inhibitory control and communication skills, likely influenced by the domestication process.
Why do birds sing when no one's listening? A new study links birdsong, reward, and endogenous opioids, suggesting birds sing because it feels good.
Commercial whaling cut a swath through the northern bottlenose whale population. Now, samples from whaling expeditions are helping scientists learn more about these animals.
In an area of French Polynesia where as many as 900 sharks pack into a narrow channel, scientists have observed a new behavior: sharks hunting in packs and competing for fish.
Eavesdropping on bird alarm calls provides skinks with an early warning signal, allowing them to share space with a predator.
What can the physiological peculiarities of naked mole-rats and their kin teach us about pain relief?
Some ant colonies have workers with special jobs: to rescue those who are trapped. Research shows these ant first responders inherit their specialization from their dads.
Horses are group-living animals that share a close relationship with humans. What sorts of sophisticated social skills have they evolved to manage their social lives?
Seals, sea lions, and walruses have highly prominent and sensitive whiskers. Are they as adept at using them as land-living whisker specialists such as rats and shrews?
Bumble bees can discriminate objects they have only experienced through sight by touch and vice versa. Does it mean they have mental imagery?
According to new research, cows talk to one another, expressing their emotions, both positive and negative, through individualized voices.
Can animals predict earthquakes? A study of farm animals in Italy shows that, collectively, they may be sensitive to some precursors of seismic activity.
Some birds hiss like snakes to keep intruders out of their nests, but is it a true case of mimicry?
Once described as "living rocks," giant tortoises are proving that they have giant learning and memory prowess, too.
What can rats tell us about the evolution of empathy? Is it all about avoiding danger rather than helping others?
What factors affect the ability to delay gratification? Researchers test the self-control of kids and crows under varying conditions.
Does your dog remember specific personal events like you do? A new study suggests that they can form and use episodic-like memories.
Mutual grooming and blood regurgitation form the basis of long-term social relationships in vampire bats.
How can a fish use electricity to navigate without the help of vision?
These ants welcome one snake species into their nest, which may help protect them from another kind of snake.
Rats quickly learn to play hide-and-seek with humans—and they turn out to be quite strategic players!
Squirrels look to neighboring songbirds for signs of danger, or signals that it's safe.
Male birds aren't the only ones who sing. But much less is known about when and why female birds break into song.
Could building nests for their tadpoles be the reason Goliath frogs grow to be giants?
Octopuses represent an alternative evolutionary path towards intelligence.
When play fighting, meerkats swiftly and automatically mimic playmates’ facial expressions to share their positive mood.
Elephants have a nose for quantity discrimination—they can distinguish between containers of more and less food using only their sense of smell.
Mary Bates, Ph.D., is a science writer who specializes in neuroscience, animal behavior, psychology, and biology.