For humans who live in a household where one family member is responsible for meal preparation, the universal “Come and get it!” and “Dinner!” commands are used, loudly, as a signal that food is ready for consumption. Unlike chickadees, we primates are not reciprocal altruists. Most of us are not in the business of providing food to whoever happens to hear us calling. Much to the contrary, the specific signals we use are meant for
Food signalling calls are commonplace in the animal kingdom. A diverse range of organisms use some form of communication with respect to food. The general idea in several species is that if you make food signalling calls to others when a food source is found, similar generosity should find its way back to you when someone else is the food-finder. Image via Adobe Stock Altruistic Organisms Altruistic organisms are those that live together in groups
Giraffe moms form strong bonds with their calves. They remain in close contact for the first 12-16 months of their lives. Moms only leave their calves briefly, while they are well hidden, to procure food and water for them. Photo by Lisa H on Unsplash Giraffe moms tend to remain close to their deceased infants for an extended period postmortem. However, dead bodies do not sit around for long before scavenging mammals and birds show up. Evidence of
Predation is a common aspect of life for most members of the animal kingdom. It’s difficult to concentrate on wooing a partner with a courtship display when one’s life is at stake. Unfortunately, the showy sexual signals of many males have the side effect of making them even more noticeable and attractive to predators. This is a classic evolutionary trade-off between the demands of natural selection versus those of sexual selection. Swordtail Fish – Break
junk food
Food choices in the animal kingdom are assumed to adhere to the tenets of optimal foraging theory. An animal is expected to weigh the costs and benefits of including certain foods in its diet so as to maximize survival and reproduction. Whatever the specifics of a certain organism’s diet might be, biologists assume that is the best diet for that species based on factors such as risk of predation, nutritional quality, and the amount of work
In nature, most animals that are newborns or infants at the time of their mother’s death are almost always destined to meet the same fate. An exception is if they live in a cooperatively or communally breeding species. In these situations, they will be cared for by another mother figure immediately. However, we don’t know too much about how older infants, juveniles, and adolescents fare after losing their mother. Image via Adobe Stock Chimpanzees Chimpanzee
It is becoming increasingly obvious that animals rely on aspects of “personality” when it comes to mate choice. A discerning female may not always be drawn to the brightest, shiniest, or most vocal male. Instead, she may choose a mate for his disposition rather than his physique. There are distinctive behavioural types within species. These variations affect the amount of sexual action received, regardless of other aspects of physicality. Distinctive animal personalities form the basis