A few weeks ago, I wrote about research that suggests whales and dolphins have cultures the same way humans do. A recent article in the Smithsonian Magazine points to similarities in the brains of social animals -- whales, great apes, and yes, humans -- that might explain the ability to work within social structures. Combining lab research with fieldwork and medical studies, scientists have discovered that the presence of von Economo neurons signifies ability to successfully communicate with others. Elephants and whales, like humans, operate in elaborate societies, quickly adapting to changing situations, such as rescuing an abandoned calf. The absence or destruction of these neurons, as in the case with certain neurological diseases, leads to a break down in social skills and adaptability.
- Ocean Roundup: Penguin Chick Survivorship Influenced by Weather, Norway Cuts Seal Hunting Subsidies, and More Posted Tue, October 28, 2014
- Graphics: New Oceana Study Finds Shrimp Misrepresented in the U.S. Posted Thu, October 30, 2014
- Sam Talbot's Fish Tacos with Tomato Salsa and Citrus Crema Posted Fri, October 24, 2014
- Celebrate National Seafood Month with This Sustainable Recipe: Diver Scallops Posted Wed, October 29, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Seagrass Travels via Ocean Currents, Plump Leatherbacks Can Swim More Easily, and More Posted Thu, October 30, 2014