Animal behaviour

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Crocodiles keep their own secrets. Tambako

The unknown crocodiles

Just a few years ago, crocodilians – crocodiles, alligators and their less-known relatives – were mostly thought of as slow, lazy, and outright stupid animals. You may have thought something like that…
Some of the bird world’s mimicry superstars. Clockwise from top left: superb lyrebird; silvereye; satin bowerbird; Australian magpie; mistletoebird; brown thornbill. Alex Maisey; Justin Welbergen; Johan Larson; Leo/Flickr; David Cook/Filckr; Patrick/Flickr

The mimics among us — birds pirate songs for personal profit

From Roman classics to British tabloids, humans have long celebrated the curious and remarkable ability of birds to imitate the sounds of humans and other animals. A recent surge of research is revealing…
Tired? I know how you feel, my friend. Fran Tapia/Flickr

Contagious yawns show social ties in humans and bonobos

Most of us have experienced the overwhelming urge to yawn in response to another person yawning – but we’re not the only…
Who could be a bad parent to this face? Jennifer Sanderson

Stressed out mongooses can’t cope with baby booms

Many of us know from personal experience that raising children can be stressful, but a new study reveals that stress can be enough to affect the quality of parenting – in mongooses, at least. A recent…

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