Vampire bats form close friendships and help each other.

A vampire bat carrying a proximity sensor to study its social behavior in the wild. By Jessie Young Vampire bats may be bloodsucking creatures of the night — but they also form strong friendships and help each other out in times of need, a study has found. The study, published in the journal Current BiologyContinue reading “Vampire bats form close friendships and help each other.”

Chimpanzees grow closer when they watch a movie together

By Katie Camero Watching a movie with a friend can make you feel closer to that person, and more likely to hang out with them in the future. The same, it turns out, is true of chimpanzees. Researchers analyzed 36 pairs of chimpanzees in the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Uganda. They led the apes—twoContinue reading “Chimpanzees grow closer when they watch a movie together”

Ants Stick to Cliques to Dodge Disease

By Lucy Huang Ants infected with fungal pathogens steer clear of other cliques within the colony—avoiding wider infection, and allowing for a sort of immunity. Lucy Huang reports. It’s peak cold and flu season, which means taking a lot of preventive measures. Frequent hand-washing is a must. As is avoiding co-workers or friends who areContinue reading “Ants Stick to Cliques to Dodge Disease”

Monogamy may have a telltale signature of gene activity

Patterns of gene expression unite the prairie vole Microtus ochrogaster with other monogamous species, including certain frogs, fish, and birds. YVA MOMATIUK AND JOHN EASTCOTT/MINDEN PICTURES By Kelly Servick In the animal world, monogamy has some clear perks. Living in pairs can give animals some stability and certainty in the constant struggle to reproduce andContinue reading “Monogamy may have a telltale signature of gene activity”

The behavioral immune system curbs human dating

Activating something called the behavioral immune system puts a damper on dating, new research shows. About a decade ago, evolutionary psychologists suggested that humans have evolved a first line of defense against disease: this behavioral immune system or BIS. The theory is that perceiving, rightly or wrongly, the threat of disease unconsciously activates this system.Continue reading “The behavioral immune system curbs human dating”

Brain waves of concertgoers sync up at shows

BY RACHEL EHRENBERG Getting your groove on solo with headphones on might be your jam, but it can’t compare with a live concert. Just ask your brain. When people watch live music together, their brains waves synchronize, and this brain bonding is linked with having a better time. The new findings, reported March 27 atContinue reading “Brain waves of concertgoers sync up at shows”

Monkeys are exquisitely attuned to the same signals signals about sex and social status upon which many successful advertisements rely.

Any ad executive will tell you that sex sells. But why? Do sexy images stimulate our biological urges, somehow motivating us to buy products? Or do marketers merely exploit and perpetuate our cultural obsession with sexual imagery? Do people want the beauty, wealth and power celebrities have, and use the products they endorse in theContinue reading “Monkeys are exquisitely attuned to the same signals signals about sex and social status upon which many successful advertisements rely.”

Dominant male mammals are particularly at risk of infection by parasites

By Richard Kemeny According to much of the scientific literature, dominance in social animals goes hand-in-hand with healthier lives. Yet leaders of the pack might not be healthier in all aspects, and according to a study published last week (February 26) in Scientific Reports, they are more at risk of parasite infection. “While high-ranking animalsContinue reading “Dominant male mammals are particularly at risk of infection by parasites”