Birds may be capable of forward planning
Birds show greater "solidarity" when preparing for conflict with rival groups, research by a university in Bristol has revealed.
A study of birds behaviour surrounding conflict conducted by the University of Bristol found birds may be capable of anticipation and future planning - a trait that was until recently considered the preserve of humans and other primates.
Dr Andy Radford, from the University's School of Biological Sciences, studied a population of green woodhoopoes, common forest-dwelling birds in southern Africa, for the research.
Green woodhoopoes, which live in groups of up to 12 individuals, frequently preen each other to promote social cohesion within the group.
The new research, published on Wednesday in Biology Letters, found dominant group members increase their preening of subordinate members when moving into areas where clashes with other groups are likely.
"It's a case of scratching your back if you cover mine", Dr Radford said.
"Self-directed behaviour would indicate stress, whereas the increased preening of subordinates by their superiors is likely to be a deliberate social behaviour when the threat of conflict is higher."
From the blogs
As a reluctant vegetarian (so reluctant that I'm not vegetarian at all) and a reluctant risotto eate...
Time for the monthly treat from David Hayes, who writes about British politics for the Australian In...
Nadine Dorries talks freely about many things, but not whether she was paid to go on I'm a Cleberity...
Thirteen-year-old Conor awakes in bed one night to discover that the yew tree outside his house has ...
Lord Lawson's climate-change think tank risks being dismantled after complaint it persistently misled public
'To farm I have to rape the countryside. It’s got to be wrong': The true effect of the badger cull
Mind how ewe go: the sheep-eating killer plant that’s ready to bloom
The 10 best folding bikes
10 best hiking boots
- 1 Diary of Second World War German teenager reveals young lives untroubled by Nazi Holocaust in wartime Berlin
- 2 'Jail reckless bankers': Report urges the Government to introduce new criminal offence for reckless management
- 3 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 4 Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed
- 5 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf
£33000 - £35000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
£110 - £135 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Teaching opportunites in t...
£21000 - £32000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Primary Teaching opp...
£21000 - £32000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Primary School teach...