Extraordinary large brains in tool-using New Caledonian crows

Comparisons between myriapod assemblages at mine sites in Upper and Lower Lusatia that had different soil and age conditions revealed that myriapods are good indicators of biological soil quality and are reliable and easy to use. Using soil sampling and subsequent heat extraction of animals, four alder stands in the wetlands of the Biebrza, Narew and Bia³owieŜa national parks, north-eastern Poland, were surveyed for millipedes and centipedes. Among 12 millipede species revealed, Xestoiulus laeticollis, Polydesmus complanatus and Craspedosoma rawlinsii occurred and predominated in all alder woods.

gerd knaebe

The presence of saprophagous millipede species showed a clear succession in parallel with mine-site development, but there is no species with true pioneer behaviour. Centipedes – with Lamyctes emarginatus as a true pioneer – as predators behave less predictably; Geophilomorphs, hunting in the subsoil, are the last to invade. After 50 years of development of mine-site woodlands, five species of millipedes and six species of centipedes, though common in adjacent reference woodlands, had not yet colonised the mine sites.

Care and Maintenance for Wood Flooring

Discussions of the evolution of intelligence have focused on monkeys and apes because of their close evolutionary relationship to humans. Other large-brained social animals, such as corvids, also understand their physical and social worlds. Here we review recent studies of tool manufacture, mental time travel, and social cognition in corvids, and suggest that complex cognition depends on a “tool kit” consisting of causal reasoning, flexibility, imagination, and prospection. Because corvids and apes share these cognitive tools, we argue that complex cognitive abilities evolved multiple times in distantly related species with vastly different brain structures in order to solve similar socioecological problems.

We draw attention to the high degree of inconsistency among empirical findings relating interindividual variation in innovativeness to interindividual variation in learning performance. We go on to propose a model that reconciles the possible (but perhaps controversial) existence of positive associations between cognition and innovation at the cross-taxon level with inconsistent associations at the within-species level.

Soil zoological investigations at soil monitoring sites are carried out with the objective to track changes in the soil’s habitat function. At 60 soil-monitoring sites in north-western Germany, earthworms and microannelids (enchytraeids, tubificids and polychaetes) are currently being used as system indicators for the soil biota. Investigations started 1992, followed by re-investigations every 5 to 10 years. Variations in abundance, biomass and species number of annelids are assessed with respect to nondirectional fluctuations or directional changes, caused by natural variations of environmental factors or due to management practices. The sites are grouped according to land-use type and site condition into six different categories for which typical ranges of variation of the zoological parameters can be distinguished (reference ranges).

Timeesha

Especially at sites that passed three investigations already, major changes become discernible. If the temporal variation goes in the same direction throughout the time series, it is considered a trend.

Tinkerbrain

Manakin displays vary across species in terms of behavioural complexity, differing in number of unique motor elements, production of mechanical sounds, cooperation between displaying males, and construction of the display site. Historically, research emphasis has been placed on neurological specializations for vocal aspects of courtship, and less is known about the control of physical, non-vocal displays. By examining brain evolution in relation to extreme acrobatic feats such as manakin displays, we can vastly expand our knowledge of how sexual selection acts on motor behaviour.

Karger AG, Basel. A further intensive study was made with millipedes and centipedes which need – like earthworms – a longer time for immigration.

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Furthermore, motor diversity constitutes a proximate link between diet generalism and innovativeness. Acrobatic display behaviour is sexually selected in manakins (Pipridae) and can place high demands on many neural systems.

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