Miss Behavior

71 posts · 53,073 views

Sort by Latest Post, Most Popular

View by Condensed, Full

  • January 12, 2015
  • 10:24 AM

Collective Personality and Our Environment

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

We are all familiar with the concept of the personality of an individual. We are less familiar with group- or collective personalities (although most teachers can tell you at length about the personalities of each of their classes). The concept is the same: whereas an individual personality relates to an individual’s consistent behaviors across time and contexts, a collective personality relates to a group’s consistent behaviors across time and contexts. Collective personalities can be stron........ Read more »

  • October 27, 2014
  • 03:40 PM

Real Zombie-Making Parasites Among Us

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

The mummified cat and the rat in the crypt of Christ Church in Dublin. Photo by Adrian Grycuk at Wikimedia Commons.The Happening, M. Night Shyamalan’s worst panned movie of all time, is a science fiction thriller about people going into a mysterious trance and committing suicide as a result of other mind-hacking species. One of the leading criticisms raised against this movie is the ridiculousness of the premise. One species can’t cause another to willingly commit suicide! …Or can they? T........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 02:29 PM

The Biology of Nagging

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

A female pied flycatcher can't feed herself sufficientlywhile she incubates her eggs and newly-hatchedchicks. Photo by Alejandro Cantarero.I have been blessed with the fortune of not just having two healthy and happy babies, but being able to spend much of the spring and summer nurturing them and watching them develop and grow. But it has not been all roses: their smiles beam through the fog of my sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Their tears are met with my own. Our clothes are stained in a ra........ Read more »

  • January 22, 2014
  • 03:52 PM

We Are Each A Community

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Lactobacillus (the purple rod-shaped things) is a common bacterial species in reproductive tracts. Image by Janice Carr from the CDC at Wikimedia Commons. In our world of antibacterial soaps, we have learned that bacteria are evil, dirty, sickness-causing agents to be eliminated at all costs. Although some bacteria can cause sickness, bacteria in general are actually a critical component of animal bodies. A human body has ten times as many bacterial cells as human cells and a hundred times........ Read more »

Archie, E.A., & Theis, K.R. (2011) Animal behaviour meets microbial ecology. Animal Behaviour, 425-436. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.05.029  

  • January 8, 2014
  • 01:12 PM

Freezing the Winter Away

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

The clutches of the Polar Vortex are finally releasing its grasp on us and we can be thankful for our home heating, our layers of warm clothing, and most of all, our bodies’ abilities to generate heat. But it is times like these that make me wonder about our friends that live outside year-round… especially those that don’t generate most of their own body heat. How do they survive these periods of intense cold? There are several species of North American frogs that have an unusual trick up ........ Read more »

  • January 1, 2014
  • 04:52 PM

Metabolism and Body Size Influence the Perception of Movement and Time

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Zoetropes like this one have been used for almost 2000 years. If you look in the slits from the side, the image appears to be animated. Image by Andrew Dunn at Wikimedia Commons.When we watch TV or a movie, we are essentially watching a series of still images presented in rapid succession… so rapid, in fact, that we perceive them to be a single moving image. The ability of movie-makers to convince us that still images are fluid in time is based on our physiology. Specifically, moving-pictures,........ Read more »

  • December 11, 2013
  • 11:43 AM

Personality and the Spread of Disease

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

This image was provided by the CDC and the Partnership, Inc. Available at Wikimedia Commons.Studies of the spread of infectious diseases have shown that behavior plays a strong role in which individuals are more likely to be infected and which ones aren't. For example, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are more commonly diagnosed in people that have more sexual partners. But despite our understanding of how diseases are spread among people, we know very little about the spread of diseases amo........ Read more »

  • November 20, 2013
  • 10:06 AM

What Cetaceans Can Teach Us About Culture

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

A bottlenose dolphin mother shares her culture with her offspring. Image by M. Herko at the National Undersea Research Program (NURP) available at Wikimedia Commons.We often think of culture as being food dishes, music, dance, and clothing that are specific to a group of people. But are we the only species that have culture? What is culture exactly and how does it relate to relationships? Scientifically, culture is behavior that is socially transmitted between individuals and shared within po........ Read more »

  • November 13, 2013
  • 02:15 PM

Can Animals Sense Each Other’s Wants and Hopes?

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Is the ability to empathize uniquely human? This question has long been pondered by philosophers and animal behaviorists alike. Empathy depends in part on the ability to recognize the wants and hopes of others. A new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge suggests that we may not be alone with this ability. A male Eurasian jay feeds his female mate. Photo provided by Ljerka Ostojić.Ljerka Ostojić, Rachael Shaw, Lucy Cheke, and Nicky Clayton conducted a series of studies on Eurasia........ Read more »

  • October 31, 2013
  • 01:30 PM

The Mimic Octopus: Master of Disguise

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

The disguises of the mimic octopus: (a) shows a mimic octopus looking out of its burrow; (b) is a foraging mimic octopus with coloration to blend with the sand; (c) shows a mimic octopus as a sole fish and (d) is an actual sole fish; (e) shows a mimic octopus as a lion-fish and (f) is an actual lion-fish; and (g) shows a mimic octopus as a banded sea-snake and (h) is an actual banded sea-snake. Images from the Norman, 2001 article in Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B.Different animal species have evolv........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2013
  • 10:43 AM

Honeybees Can Avoid Deadlock When Making Group Decisions, So Why Can't We?

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

This honeybee swarm has precious little time to make a democratic decision as to where they will move to. A decision deadlock could have fatal consequences. Image by Nino Barbieri at Wikimedia Commons.In case you've been living in a cave lately, the U.S. Government has been shut down since October 1st. Not because of a terrorist attack or a bank system meltdown or a natural disaster, but because Congress cannot agree on a spending bill to determine our government's funding plan for the next year........ Read more »

  • September 25, 2013
  • 10:52 AM

Just Another Day (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Cassie Apostolou The zooplankton picture on the left was provided by the EPA at Wikimedia Commons. The human picture on the right was provided by Cassie Apostolou.Check out the two pictures above. It doesn’t look like those two animals share a lot in common, right? Obviously the two organisms don’t look alike and the zooplankton (the odd looking microorganism creature in the left picture) lives in water and us humans typically like to stay dry on land. But if you dig a little deeper than ........ Read more »

Haney, J.F. (1988) Diel Patterns of Zooplankton Behavior. Bulletin of Marine Science, 43(3), 583-603. info:/

  • September 18, 2013
  • 10:01 AM

Hiding in Plain Sight

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

The fish on the far left is a juvenile cleaner wrasse in the act of cleaning another fish. The two fish in the middle and on the right are both bluestriped fangblennies, one in its cleaner wrasse-mimicking coloration (middle) and the other not (right). Figure from the Cheney, 2013 article in Behavioral Ecology.Sometimes the best place to hide is right under everybody's nose. If you look like you are innocuous and you belong there, every so often you can get away with trouble. The blu........ Read more »

  • September 4, 2013
  • 01:49 PM

Who Said What? (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Porscha CarriveauAs an aviculturist-turned-scientist, to me, it is common sense to tell people that birds are heard more often than seen. People study bird songs or calls for a variety of reasons. The reason I study bird songs is to identify the songs that my African grey parrot has learned to mimic. His repertoire includes the vocalizations of several birds’ songs such as robins, cardinals, cat birds, and chickadees. He also mimics humans. When leaving home in the morning, the last thing t........ Read more »

Ohms, V., Beckers, G., Ten Cate, C., & Suthers, R. (2012) Vocal Tract Articulation Revisited: The Case of the Monk Parakeet. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 85-92. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.064717  

  • August 28, 2013
  • 09:04 PM

Some City Birds Are Changing Their Tune

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

European starlings are one of the many bird species changing their songs in urban environments. Image by 4028mdk09 at Wikimedia Commons.The human world population has climbed to over 7.1 billion people and for the first time ever, more than half of us live in an urban area. Urban areas are spreading and more animals are either getting pushed out or are becoming urbanized in the process. Birds are among the many species we are used to seeing and hearing in our cities, but how exactly a........ Read more »

  • August 7, 2013
  • 07:35 AM

What Comes First: The Signal or the Response?

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Jewel wasps show us how new communication systems may have come to be. Photo by M.E. Clark at Wikimedia Commons.Finding and attracting a mate is tricky business for most species. It can be quite helpful then to have a species-specific signal that is sent and received by members of your own species, but not perceived as well by predators. Chemical signals (those we perceive through smell and taste) are among the most diverse and specific signals produced in the animal kingdom, so they make good c........ Read more »

Niehuis, O., Buellesbach, J., Gibson, J.D., Pothmann, D., Hanner, C., Mutti, N.S., Judson, A.K., Gadau, J., Ruther, J., & Schmitt, T. (2013) Behavioural and genetic analyses of Nasonia shed light on the evolution of sex pheromones. Nature, 345-348. DOI: 10.1038/nature11838  

  • July 24, 2013
  • 12:08 PM

Welcome Home to Wood Tick Acres!

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Early last spring I was offered a new job and embarked on a search for a new home. We found a beautiful property: wooded acreage with a trout stream and spring-fed pond, all in a reasonable commuting distance. The potential of this forest sanctuary glistened even under feet of spring snow. When we returned in the rains of early summer to collect our keys and move in, we found that the thaw had revealed our forest sanctuary to be a mosquito-infested swampy wetland, complete with this welcome sign........ Read more »

  • July 17, 2013
  • 05:42 PM

The Laws of Attraction: Mangrove Killifish Style

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

A mangrove killifish. Photo by D. Scott Taylor at Wikimedia.In the game of love, we typically think of males as being the showy courting sex and females being the coy choosy sex. But what if your species doesn't have the simple division of males and females? Most populations of animal species (and most notably our own) are roughly half male and half female, so this is the standard we tend to accept as "normal". In this common system, males generally invest less in each potential offspring than ........ Read more »

Ellison, A., Jones, J., Inchley, C., & Consuegra, S. (2013) Choosy males could help explain androdioecy in a selfing fish. The American Naturalist, 181(6), 855-862. DOI: 10.1086/670304  

  • July 3, 2013
  • 12:39 PM

The Genetics of Drinking Like a Fish

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

 Image by J. Dncsn at Wikimedia Commons Among people, drug and alcohol addictions are the most prevalent preventable cause of death in the Western world. But not everyone that tries an addictive substance like alcohol, cigarettes, and addictive drugs becomes addicted to the point that it has a devastating effect on their life and health. People that do struggle with addiction commonly have less control over their impulsive behavior than those that do not, and it is likely that our genes play ........ Read more »

  • June 26, 2013
  • 11:22 AM

Do Animals Have Personalities?

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Leaders and followers. What makes personality? Photo by Thang Nguyen at Wikimedia Commons.The heart of science lies in existential questions such as "Who am I?" and "Where did I come from?" Yet somehow, these are the very questions that scientists tend to shy away from. It's as if we're afraid that by unraveling the mysteries of our world and ourselves, we'll be left with nothing but a handful of yarn. But many of us see the quest for personal understanding differently - as a journey to gain app........ Read more »

Réale, D., Reader, S., Sol, D., McDougall, P., & Dingemanse, N. (2007) Integrating animal temperament within ecology and evolution. Biological Reviews, 82(2), 291-318. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-185X.2007.00010.x  

Huntingford, F.A. (1976) The Relationship between anti-predator behavior and aggression among conspecifics in the three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus. Animal Behaviour, 245-260. info:/

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use ResearchBlogging.org to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit seedmediagroup.com.