While pet dogs and pet pigs pay their owners a similar amount of attention, when it comes to pointing to the location of an out-of-range treat, only dogs direct their owner's attention to the location. Findings suggest directing human attention to an interesting location is not ubiquitous in domesticated animals.
Toddlers are twice as likely to help a dog reach a toy, even when the animal showed no interest in the object. The findings suggest toddlers' prosocial and goal-reading abilities extend beyond other humans and to animals.
People who score higher for empathy traits are better able to understand and decode the emotional sounds of animals.
Areas of the genome associated with brain development harbor variants that seem to account for behavioral differences between dog breeds. The genomic differences between dog breeds are related to the development of their nervous systems. Researchers say genes associated with different dog lineages may relate to genes involved in the development of human behavior.
Social bees venture further for pollen and nectar than their less social counterparts.
Cats alter their behavior when their owner speaks in a cat-directed tone toward them, but not when their owner talks to another human or when a stranger addresses them in a cat-directed tone. Evidence suggests cats are able to, and do form strong bonds with their owners.
Male vampire bats infected with rabies socially withdraw, scaling back their social behavior of grooming other bats before they succumb to the disease.
Dogs have multi-modal mental imagery of items and objects that are familiar to them. When a dog thinks about an object, they imagine the object's different sensory features.
Researchers have developed a set of tests that can quantify cognitive changes in aging dogs and accurately detect canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome, a disorder with similar pathology and outcomes as Alzheimer's disease in humans. The findings show promise for both humans and dogs in understanding Alzheimer's progression.