Monday, June 17, 2019

The speed of evolution in domestication

In PNAS today an article on "Evolution of facial muscle anatomy in dogs" which argues for an adaptation of canine facial anatomy in the context of domestication.

From the abstract: "Domestication shaped wolves into dogs and transformed both their behavior and their anatomy. Here we show that, in only 33,000 y, domestication transformed the facial muscle anatomy of dogs specifically for facial communication with humans."

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Bees learn symbols for the numbers 2 and 3

In PTRSB today, bees learned to associate "N" with groups of 2, and "⊥" with groups of  3.

From the discussion: "Our findings show that independent groups of honeybees can learn and apply either a sign-to-numerosity matching task or a numerosity-to-sign matching task and subsequently apply acquired skills to novel stimuli. Interestingly, despite bees demonstrating a direct numerosity and sign association, they were unable to transfer the acquired skill to solve a reverse matching task."

So, remembering watching Romper Room as a child, these bees are clearly Do Bees.