honest signalling

Sizing up the competition via scent

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Urine marking is the canine equivalent of a graffiti artist leaving a tag to mark their territory.  Not only does scent marking serve to cover up scents left by neighbourhood canines, it also provides precious information to others: from when that individual passed by, the animal’s state of health and emotional state to age, gender and […]

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Deception in dogs

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A new study by Heberlein et al. (2017) suggests dogs have the ability to deceive. Honesty in animal signals is an important aspect of communication whether that is information about a prey’s unprofitability, a mate’s fitness or both, the message they transmit may determine the evolution of intricate relationships amongst species.  Thus signals can be […]

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Did my pets know I was ill before I did?

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence from dog owners that suggest their pets have sniffed out or alerted in some way their human friend to an illness or disease.  Indeed, in recent years there has been a rise in the number of dogs being trained to alert when an owner is likely to have an […]

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