Life as We Know It
Dog faces, the history of laughter, snakes, and bird warning calls
- By Joseph Caputo, T.A. Frail, Megan Gambino, Ashley Luthern and Abigail Tucker
- Smithsonian magazine, August 2009
(Paal Hermansen / NHPA / Foto Natura)
Siberian jays screech at a predator if it enters their territory. Now a researcher from Uppsala University in Sweden says the birds aren't just panicking. They use more than 25 different calls—more than any other known bird species—depending on what kind of predator (hawk or owl) is nearby, how big a risk it poses and whether birds listening nearby are kin.
Learn more about Siberian jays at the Encyclopedia of Life.
"The mechanics of slithering locomotion," David L. Hu et al., PNAS, June 8, 2009.
"New nitrogen uptake strategy: specialized snow roots," Vladimir G. Onipchenko et al., Ecology Letters, June 4, 2009.
"Disambiguating the 'guilty look': Salient prompts to a familiar dog behaviour," Alexandra Horowitz, Behavioural Processes, July 2009.
"Mobbing calls signal predator category in a kin group-living bird species," Michael Griesser, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, May 27, 2009.
"Reconstructing the Evolution of Laughter in Great Apes and Humans," Marina Davila Ross et al., Current Biology, June 4, 2009.