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  1. Preschoolers make fewer errors on an object categorization task in the presence of a dog

    Contributor(s):: Gee, N. R., Church, M. T., Altobelli, C. L.

    Previous research has shown that the presence of a dog can positively impact the speed at which preschoolers perform motor skills tasks and also their ability to adhere to instructions. The current study focused on the execution of a cognitive task - object categorization - by developmentally...

  2. The origin of the dog revisited

    Contributor(s):: Koler-Matznick, J.

    The most widely accepted hypothesis of the origin of the dog, Canis familiaris, is that the dog is a domesticated grey wolf, Canis lupus. This paper reviews the evidence for this conclusion, finds many unanswered questions and conceptual gaps in the wolf origin hypothesis, and explores the...

  3. What's in a name? Uncovering the connotative meanings of animal names

    Contributor(s):: Baenninger, R., Dengelmaier, R., Navarrete, J., Sezov, D.

    Osgood's Semantic Differential technique was used with a sample of 12 animal names to see if they elicited responses that were distinctively characteristic, and therefore useful in uncovering connotative meaning. The 100 survey participants responded with unanimity to some species, whereas their...

  4. Breeding amiable animals? Improving farm animal welfare by including social effects in breeding programmes

    Contributor(s):: Rodenburg, T. B., Bijma, P., Ellen, E. D., Bergsma, R., Vries, S. de, Bolhuis, J. E., Kemp, B., Arendonk, J. A. M. van

    Social interactions between individuals, such as co-operation and competition, are key factors in evolution by natural selection. As a consequence, evolutionary biologists have developed extensive theories to understand the consequences of social interactions for response to natural selection....

  5. Could empathy for animals have been an adaptation in the evolution of Homo sapiens ?

    Contributor(s):: Bradshaw, J. W. S., Paul, E. S.

    In humans, empathy has emotional and cognitive components, both of which are linked to caring and nurturant behaviour. Variations in each of these facets of empathy were likely to have been accessible to natural selection during the evolution of Homo, although the likely details of their...

  6. Factors that can be used to predict release rates for wildlife casualties

    Contributor(s):: Molony, S. E., Baker, P. J., Garland, L., Cuthill, I. C., Harris, S.

    Of the wildlife casualties admitted to rehabilitation centres in England, less than half are subsequently released back into the wild. If the factors associated with survival within rehabilitation centres can be determined, they may be used to focus efforts on individuals with high chances of...

  7. What's in a name? - Consequences of naming non-human animals. (Special issue: Minding animals: Emerging issues concerning our relationships with other animals.)

    Contributor(s):: Borkfelt, S.

    The act of naming is among the most basic actions of language. Indeed, it is naming something that enables us to communicate about it in specific terms, whether the object named is human or non-human, animate or inanimate. However, naming is not as uncomplicated as we may usually think and names...

  8. Domestication and behaviour

    Contributor(s):: Goldberg, J.

    The domestication of animal species has led to complex relations with humans entailing profound transformations, especially at the behavioural level. It is a rather difficult task to answer the question of whether the wild ancestors of a given domestic form were in some way preadapted to...