Category Archives: What’s New in Sensory Ecology?

Where’s my nest? Multimodal cues facilitate nest recognition in carpenter bee aggregations

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Social organisms experience a trade-off between the benefits of group living and the potential fitness costs generated by spatial crowding. The advantages of group living are partially offset by the cognitive challenges present in maintaining social boundaries. Group-living organisms typically … Continue reading

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Frog and Toad (and Mockingbird) Are Friends: Mockingbirds Mimic Frogs and Toads in North America

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Mockingbirds have the extraordinary ability of imitating non-mockingbird and even non-bird animals. A great deal of research has been done on birds’ mimicry of other birds, but examples of birds imitating non-bird models are very limited; included among this small … Continue reading

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Do bats confuse traffic with the weather?

Animals rely on their sensory systems to gather information about their environments and use that information to help them behave in ways that will be beneficial to their ability to survive and reproduce. However, anthropogenic noise in the environment can … Continue reading

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Jumping to Their Own Beat – Jumping Spiders Shortcut Recognition

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Wherever you’re reading this from, whether it be your home, the library, wherever, you had to navigate to your current location. We don’t typically think of this as navigation as it usually requires minimal effort when following known routes. But … Continue reading

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The eye of the dragon: retina differences in dragon lizards

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Vision is incredibly important for spotting predators and prey, especially for animals that live in open and flat environments. Dragon lizards, a genus of 29 different lizard species endemic to Australia, are one such group. Despite a lot of similarities … Continue reading

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Why is that monkey making that weird noise? The function of boom calls in blue monkeys.

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Communication is a key part of life. It is what allows us, and many other species, to function successfully as social animals. A world without communication is a world of quiet isolation. This is why it is so important to … Continue reading

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Do You Smell That? – Predator-Averse Nesting Habits of Rodents and Birds

As these warm summer days slowly fade into cool autumn you may notice squirrels, chipmunks and other small animals seeking refuge in a hollowed tree or underground burrow in preparation for a cold winter. While the imminent threat of freezing … Continue reading

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To Hide or Dance? Male Fiddler Crabs’ Behavior under Predator Threat

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The decision of taking risks in the presence of a predator involves complex trade-offs between future reproduction and immediate survival. When faced with a predator, many individuals will seek safety in a refuge and must decide when to re-emerge based … Continue reading

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To Fight or Not to Fight, That is the Question

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There’s no way around it, conflict is a part of life: animals must often compete with one another to ensure their own survival. But how does an animal know whether that food source, potential mate or shelter are worth the … Continue reading

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Can socializing save you? The impact of social information on population survival

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A marmot sees an eagle circling above the prairie and lets out an alarm call to warn others before hiding. A sparrow hears a cat climbing the tree its perched on and takes off to fly to safety. Other birds … Continue reading

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