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Understand how science studies the character of animals

Understand how science studies the character of animals

Animal behavior has been a subject of study and research for many years as scientists seek a better understanding of the behavioral diversity of species.

So researchers at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland made a curious observation about the study of animals.

This is because, in the test the scientists conducted with crows, the animals would need to explore a perforated trunk, and inside the holes was hidden food.

If the bird had no reaction to trying to catch the food within 90 minutes, it would be dropped from the search data set.

Thus, during analyzes of the lives of crows, scientists have noticed that only one animal of a species is actually capable of disrupting research around a group of species.

This means that studying just one animal can jeopardize research on an entire group of those species.

This is because, during studies, an individual animal’s organism may behave differently than a group of its own kind.

Christian Rotz, lead researcher, confirmed that they were only looking at subpopulations of crows residing in New Caledonia. This is rather than studying species in general.

Image: shutterstock

Researcher warns: Some animal studies are biased

After noticing that some New Caledonian crows were approaching the trunk without any fear of the different object, the team decided to change protocol.

The new idea involved leaving the log for two more days so that crows that hesitated to approach could get used to their surroundings.

Thus, other birds began to approach the trunk. For Rutz, this was the key moment, as they were able to witness that animals can also have properties, just like humans, regardless of the behavior of their group in general.

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Therefore, for Rutz, after this experience, he considered that other research on other groups of animals might be wrong or biased.

His consideration starts from the point that studying only small slices of a species can leave out some important information about the animals, especially about their behaviour.