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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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ScienceShot: Translating a Dog's Growl
23 March 2010 2:36 pm
Is there hidden meaning in your dog's growls? In the April issue of Animal Behaviour, scientists report on an experiment in which they put a pooch in a room with a juicy bone. As the animal approaches the bone, the researchers play a recording of a dog growling to guard food from an interloper. In most cases, that stops the dog in its tracks. However, if the researchers instead play a recording of a dog growling at a stranger—which sounds very similar to the human ear—the experimental dog is usually not deterred from the bone. The researchers say this may show that dog growls are not generic hostile warnings, but actually convey content. Whether animals can communicate this way is a hot topic in animal cognition circles. Some monkeys can specify the type of prey they've spotted through their alarm calls. But this type of ability in dogs hasn't been proved.