Scientists know that humans, chimpanzees, and other primates can convey surprising amounts of information by means of a glance and tilt of the head. But what about animals with eyes on the sides of their heads, like deer and horses? What kind of social cues do they use to communicate? Now, mammal communication experts report that, at least for horses, a great deal of information is conveyed through the position of the animal’s ears as well as its eyes. To find out which facial cues equines use, the scientists placed two buckets of feed in front of a wall with a life-size photograph of a horse’s head. The head faced either left or right. They then released 24 horses, one at a time, and let them choose which bucket to dine from. If the eyes or ears of the pictured horse were covered, the freed horse randomly selected either bucket for its dinner. But if the eyes and ears in the photo were visible, the horse (such as the one in the photo above, pictured with study author Jennifer Wathan) used these cues to guide its choice, and most often picked the bucket that the pictured horse was facing, as in this video. The study, reported today in Current Biology, serves as a reminder that creatures with faces shaped differently from those of humans and other primates can nevertheless exchange social signals, the scientists say. None of this is likely to surprise people who work with horses or dogs, they note, but then it sometimes takes a while for science to catch up.
Wildlife officials captured a bear early Friday afternoon that had been spotted near Lacamas Lake.Around 11:20 a.m., Camas police notified Washington State Fish and Wildlife officials that the bear was in the 1700 block of 31st Court. With 30 minutes, Sgt. Jeffrey Wickersham and a few other officers arrived in the area and found the bear lying under a tree in a neighbor’s backyard. They used a dart gun to sedate the bear and removed it from the property“It couldn’t have gone better,” Wickersham said.The bear had apparently been wandering down one of the main streets in the residential area.