Kangaroos with Puppy Dog Eyes

60-Second Science


Let's say you have a dog or maybe you're watching a friends pop. You have a treat in your hand so you have the dogs attention. Then you put the treat into a dog you proof box and let them figure it out. What do you think the dog will do. If you're a dog owner you probably know spike or spot or miss fluffy will probably try in vain for a while but soon they'll probably turn back to you with those puppy dog eyes with a look. That's both hurt. Why would you make it so hard for them. After all and pleading that it turns out is a sophisticated. Cognitive phenomenon called referential. Communication is an attempt to shift the humans attention towards the problem and dogs as it turns out. Aren't the only species who can do this in two thousand and three on garin biologist named adam mcclatchy tested this ability with an experiment. He gathered handful of dogs. And a group of wolves. Both groups of canine had been hand-raised from birth by people in much the same way. He put a piece of food inside of that doggy proof. Box the wolves kept trying and failing to get the food inside and we already know what the dogs did alan. Miguel ag- animal cognition researcher at the city. University of hong kong wanted to push this test further. He wanted to move beyond dogs versus wolves. The discussions of those papers in the discussion depresses oil about them. Being domesticated closely by humans. He thinks that there's more to the story. What if animals don't to be domesticated but instead simply need to be socialized. Maybe it's not. The dogs are especially social but instead that wolves are just especially stubborn so we came along in two thousand sixteen. I did the goats and showed that. Actually it's probably general domestic animal thing. It's nothing do being domesticated as a companion animal in a new study. He's gone even further enter. Kangaroos and kangaroos generally haven't been used for any of that sort of research. I think most people emailed them and suggested. Oh you know this problem solving tests with australia. Kangaroos thought i kind of mad or some really eccentric scientist mc elegant rounded up a group of marsupials from three different zoos and sanctuaries in all he tested three different species kangaroo island kangaroos eastern grey kangaroos and red kangaroos of eleven animals tested. Ten of -em past turning their gaze back to mcculloch yet and of the ten who turned to look at him nine. Kangaroos actively shifted their gaze between the box in the human the results were published in december in the journal. Biology letters this domestication hypothesis for all these behaviors. We've over relied on it. And i'm not saying that you know. Kangaroos are just as good as dogs. Are anything like that. But i'm saying the cognitive capabilities of wild animals that are habituated to humans have probably been underestimated. Mcgilla elegant says that it's not enough to study domesticates in their wild counterparts like dogs and wolves. That's why he decided to try kangaroos which were never domesticated. You can't use the effects of domestication on animal. behavior animal ignition by only studying domesticated. I mean it sounds pretty simple but it's important so you need to see what the other ones are capable of doing. If they're used to being around people michaela gets says that the pouched marsupials offer up a whole new set of possibilities for understanding the evolution of social cognition and he's now turned his attention to yet another unexpected species the asian water buffalo.

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