The animals living within cities are losing their antipredator awareness. Scientists looked into 173 studies of over 100 species and found that once they started to inhabit the urban areas, they appeared to evolve in a way that allowed them to co-exist more effectively with humans. But they lost the skills that helped them survive the presence of predators – a case of the herbivores especially. Now the researchers try to find the answer to the question of whether the presence of tourists in the wildlife areas may do the same with the animals living there.
The indigenous people from the Pacific Northwest made blankets and pelts out of specially bred dogs. The Salish Woolly Dog was held by the local communities for around 5000 years, according to studies of the bone data. Scientists found dog wool in the majority of the blankets from up to the XIXth century that were found in that region. However, all the knowledge of it is long gone now. With colonization came the imported textiles which slowly killed the industry of breeding dogs for wool.
The illusionists’ tricks that work for humans can be applied to animals as well. As the animals fall for the tricks, people can learn a lot about how their brains work. Do they have similar assumptions as adults or think more like children? ”Magic” was already used to probe human perception and cognition in the past, and now it is practiced by animal scientists to understand animals’ brains and – eventually – consciousness.