Birds may be capable of forward planning
Wednesday 07 July 2010
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."
Greenland’s dark snow may start global warming ‘feedback loop’
Climate change march: Investors pledge to take their money out of firms blamed for climate change
Climate change means rate of growth of trees has gone up by 77%
Badger found shot in the abdomen is 'proof' that cull is inhumane, activists say
Rockefellers go green: Rockefeller foundation divests funds in fossil fuel industries
- 1 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install update
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Maths Teacher (one day per week) Gr...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Science Teacher Greater Manchester
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Humanities teacher required for ...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: ENGLISH TEACHER REQUIRED - Humbe...