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A pair of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)
Monogamous Rodents Don’t Need “Love Molecule” To Pair Up
Prairie voles lacking functional receptors for oxytocin form normal social bonds, a finding that could explain the hormone’s clinical failures.
Monogamous Rodents Don’t Need “Love Molecule” To Pair Up
Monogamous Rodents Don’t Need “Love Molecule” To Pair Up

Prairie voles lacking functional receptors for oxytocin form normal social bonds, a finding that could explain the hormone’s clinical failures.

Prairie voles lacking functional receptors for oxytocin form normal social bonds, a finding that could explain the hormone’s clinical failures.

social behavior
Brown-red ants climb over a pile of white translucent larvae and orange pupae. Some use their mandibles to position the larvae.
Ant Pupae Feed Adults, Larvae with Secreted Liquid 
Viviane Callier | Nov 30, 2022 | 4 min read
The molting fluid of ant pupae functions as “metabolic currency” in the ant colony and may have enabled the evolution of eusociality. 
Three white mice
High-Fat Diet in Mice Affects Social Behavior Across Generations
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Oct 27, 2022 | 4 min read
Pups born to mice whose mothers had been fed a high-fat diet showed social deficits, a study shows. 
A black dog with tearful eyes looks at the camera
Dogs Cry Tears of Joy: Study
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Aug 22, 2022 | 6 min read
Pet dogs produce a larger volume of tears when they are reunited with their owners than with acquaintances, possibly because of surging oxytocin levels—findings that could be the first evidence of emotional crying in nonhuman animals.
Two women in athletic clothing smiling at each other.
Study: People “Click” Better When Their Body Odor Matches
Dan Robitzski | Jun 24, 2022 | 6 min read
Pairs of same-sex friends who reported strong connections when they first met had similar body odors, and body odor similarity predicted whether two strangers would hit it off.
Artist’s rendering of aquamarine T cells in front of a blue and green background.
Study Links Stress to a Faster-Aging Immune System
Margaret Osborne | Jun 21, 2022 | 4 min read
Health data from 5,744 adults over the age of 50 reveals an association between stressors such as discrimination and a relatively small proportion of younger infection-fighting immune cells.
Two bonobos facing each other on a tree branch
Q&A: In Battle of the Sexes, Dominance Doesn’t Always Equal Power
Raegan Scharfetter | May 18, 2022 | 6 min read
The Scientist spoke to hyena researcher Eve Davidian for a broad look at power relationships between male and female mammals.
Photo of John Calhoun crouches within his rodent utopia-turned-dystopia
Universe 25, 1968–1973
Annie Melchor | May 2, 2022 | 3 min read
A series of rodent experiments showed that even with abundant food and water, personal space is essential to prevent societal collapse.
Photo of a Dwarf mongoose
Dwarf Mongooses Shun Bullies to Manage Conflict: Study
Mary Bates | Apr 4, 2022 | 5 min read
These social animals keep tabs on aggressive members of the group and groom them less after fights to punish them.
Book cover of Why We Love: The New Science Behind Our Closest Relationships
Opinion: Can Science Capture Love?
Anna Machin | Mar 14, 2022 | 4 min read
Researchers who study the phenomenon in humans should incorporate subjective experiences into data on love.
an Australian magpie stares down the camera
Altruism in Birds? Magpies Have Outwitted Scientists by Helping Each Other Remove Tracking Devices
Dominique Potvin | Feb 22, 2022 | 4 min read
It was the first time a bird has removed a tracking device, and the second time a bird species showed cooperative “rescue” behavior.
One chimpanzee grooming another on its chin
Chimps Appear to Treat Others' Wounds Using Insects
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Feb 7, 2022 | 2 min read
The practice, which hasn’t been previously observed among nonhuman animals, may be a display of empathy. 
A black and brown ant stands over various sizes of whitish purple, oval shaped larvae and yellow, oblong eggs
A Single Transcription Factor Changes Ants to Queens
Abby Olena, PhD | Nov 5, 2021 | 3 min read
The transcription factor can also drive the opposite transition depending on which hormone activates it, according to a new study.
One white mouse with red eyes runs on a blue exercise wheel, while another mouse stands with front paws on the wheel
Serious Infections Linked to Autism: Study
Abby Olena, PhD | Sep 17, 2021 | 5 min read
In both a mouse model and the hospital records of more than 3 million children, researchers found a connection between strong immune activation in males and later symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.
Screams Communicate Human Emotions
Phil Jaekl | Jul 1, 2021 | 5 min read
A group of self-styled screamologists are sifting through the noisiness of nonverbal human vocalizations and finding previously undemonstrated forms of communication.
WITH VIDEO
One chimpanzee has its hand on the ear of another, as it peers onto the back of its neck. A third chimpanzee is in the background.
Chimp Groups Have Their Own Distinct “Handshakes”
Robin Donovan | Jun 18, 2021 | 4 min read
A 12-year study shows variation among primate groups in how the animals clasp hands during grooming, but consistency within them, even as group membership shifts over time.
What a Video Game Can Reveal About Monkeys’ Minds
Shawna Williams | Apr 1, 2021 | 5 min read
Researchers find that the animals can account for others’ behavior and circumstances in their strategies.
mole-rat, naked mole-rat, animal behavior, social behavior, dialect, language, eusocial, evolution,
Naked Mole Rat Colonies Have Their Own Unique Dialects
Amanda Heidt | Feb 4, 2021 | 6 min read
Chirp dialects appear to be enforced by the colony’s queen, but scientists aren’t sure how. 
Honeybee Microbes Shape the Colony’s Social Behavior
Max Kozlov | Jan 1, 2021 | 4 min read
Recent research shows that the insect’s microbial community is central to protecting the hive from invaders—both big and small.
animal learning, zebra finch, model organism, communication, fast mapping, individual recognition, cognition, evolution
Zebra Finches Recognize the Calls of Over 40 Fellow Finches
Amanda Heidt | Nov 13, 2020 | 5 min read
Their ability to distinguish between individuals is strong evidence for fast mapping, a learning tool generally thought to belong only to humans.
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