Sunday, 24 June 2018

Are smarter animals bigger troublemakers?



Date:  June 18, 2018
Source:  University of Wyoming

You have probably encountered a raccoon raiding the trash in your neighborhood, seen a rat scurrying through the subway or tried to shoo away birds from your picnic. But have you ever wondered what makes these animals so good at living in suburbs and cities, and whether these same traits also make them such a nuisance?

A new paper in the journal Animal Behaviour written by Lisa P. Barrett, Lauren Stanton and Sarah Benson-Amram, of the University of Wyoming's Animal Behavior and Cognition Lab, takes an in-depth look at these questions.

The authors examine whether smarter animals might be better at learning to live in cities -- but, at the same time, also may come into more conflict with humans. For example, crows' memories allow them to predict and capitalize on sources of food, such as trash collection routines, but their memories also can bring them into conflict with humans when the birds strew trash on the street or congregate in agricultural fields or on buildings.


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