Events in Seewiesen and Radolfzell

September 2016
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International projects

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First evidence of sleep in flight

On October 1st, Clemens Küpper will start a new research group with the aim to study how natural variation in behaviour, i.e. different strategies of mating and parental care behaviour evolve and co-exist next to each other. We warmely welcome you in Seewiesen!

New Max Planck Research Group in Seewiesen

On October 1st, Clemens Küpper will start a new research group with the aim to study how natural variation in behaviour, i.e. different strategies of mating and parental care behaviour evolve and co-exist next to each other. We warmely welcome you in Seewiesen! [more]
Social play is a frequent behaviour in great apes, which involves sophisticated forms of gestural exchanges. However, relatively little is known about whether signals are adjusted to specific attributes of conspecifics. Marlen Fröhlich and Simone Pika of the Humboldt Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, in collaboration with Roman Wittig from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, carried out the first study on the exchange of play-soliciting gestures in two chimpanzee communities in their natural environments. The results of this study strengthen the view that our closest living relatives are able to adjust gestures flexibly according to social circumstances and individual matrices of their interaction partners.

Play-soliciting gestures in chimpanzees

Social play is a frequent behaviour in great apes, which involves sophisticated forms of gestural exchanges. However, relatively little is known about whether signals are adjusted to specific attributes of conspecifics. Marlen Fröhlich and Simone Pika of the Humboldt Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, in collaboration with Roman Wittig from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, carried out the first study on the exchange of play-soliciting gestures in two chimpanzee communities in their natural environments. The results of this study strengthen the view that our closest living relatives are able to adjust gestures flexibly according to social circumstances and individual matrices of their interaction partners. [more]
Martin Wikelski, director in Radolfzell and honorary professor at the University of Constance receives this year's Max Planck Research Award for his research into the sensory perception of organisms. Using the satellite-based monitoring system Icarus, he is a pioneer in the field of wild animal telemetry.

Martin Wikelski receives Max Planck Research Award

Martin Wikelski, director in Radolfzell and honorary professor at the University of Constance receives this year's Max Planck Research Award for his research into the sensory perception of organisms. Using the satellite-based monitoring system Icarus, he is a pioneer in the field of wild animal telemetry. [more]
Researchers of the group "communication and social behaviour" found in a tropical bird (Zonotrichia capensis) that in places with strong noise level, birds started to sing earlier at dawn. Artificial night lighting, however, had no effect on the song behaviour. The researchers suggest that tropical birds might be less sensitive to variations in day length and thus less sensitive to light pollution.

Noise pollution makes birds sing earlier at dawn

Researchers of the group "communication and social behaviour" found in a tropical bird (Zonotrichia capensis) that in places with strong noise level, birds started to sing earlier at dawn. Artificial night lighting, however, had no effect on the song behaviour. The researchers suggest that tropical birds might be less sensitive to variations in day length and thus less sensitive to light pollution. [more]
With their project, the researchers aim to find out how conflict, cooperation and communication shape collectives. They compare an ant and spider species that both live in groups, share food and move as cohesive groups to new nest sites - however, differ in intra-group relatedness. How cooperation withstands the inherent conflict between individuals is a key question to understand the functioning of biological collectives.

Alex Jordan from the Department of Collective Behaviour and a collaborator from Israel got awarded with a three-year grant from the Minna-James-Heineman Foundation

With their project, the researchers aim to find out how conflict, cooperation and communication shape collectives. They compare an ant and spider species that both live in groups, share food and move as cohesive groups to new nest sites - however, differ in intra-group relatedness. How cooperation withstands the inherent conflict between individuals is a key question to understand the functioning of biological collectives. [more]
Descriptive studies have investigated whether artificial light drives songbirds to advance their onset of dawn song. As experimental tests of this effect in the wild were missing, it was not clear whether early singing was due to long-term behavioural changes or immediate behavioural plasticity. This is why researchers of the Department of Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics experimentally illuminated the birds‘ habitats at night in a cyclic fashion, after territory settlement of singing males. Mainly robins, but also the other three study species blackbirds, great tits, and blue tits, adjusted dawn song during the lighted nights, and returned to natural starting times during the dark nights, suggesting that behavioural plasticity is an important component of the birds response to artificial night lighting.

Behavioural plasticity behind early singing: an experimental test with artificial light

Descriptive studies have investigated whether artificial light drives songbirds to advance their onset of dawn song. As experimental tests of this effect in the wild were missing, it was not clear whether early singing was due to long-term behavioural changes or immediate behavioural plasticity. This is why researchers of the Department of Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics experimentally illuminated the birds‘ habitats at night in a cyclic fashion, after territory settlement of singing males. Mainly robins, but also the other three study species blackbirds, great tits, and blue tits, adjusted dawn song during the lighted nights, and returned to natural starting times during the dark nights, suggesting that behavioural plasticity is an important component of the birds response to artificial night lighting.

[more]
Our Humboldt Research Group just started a new study "Milestones of Language" to investigate the development of communication in children at the age of 0 to 24 months. Everybody interested may participate in the online-survey and record the communicative abilities of the child by filling out a development calendar.

Citizen Science Project: Milestones of language

Our Humboldt Research Group just started a new study "Milestones of Language" to investigate the development of communication in children at the age of 0 to 24 months. Everybody interested may participate in the online-survey and record the communicative abilities of the child by filling out a development calendar. [more]
The list of animal species you can follow with the Animal Tracker increased considerably. New species are:Turkey Vultures, Black Vultures, Himalayan Griffon Vultures, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Black Storks, Bald Eagles, Whooper Swans, and our first mammal species:Black Flying Foxes!Often requested, now implemented: search and filter features!

New Animal Tracker features and species

The list of animal species you can follow with the Animal Tracker increased considerably. New species are:Turkey Vultures, Black Vultures, Himalayan Griffon Vultures, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Black Storks, Bald Eagles, Whooper Swans, and our first mammal species:Black Flying Foxes!
Often requested, now implemented: search and filter features! [more]
Buteo-morph is a hand-on-project of our institute for all interested bird observers: Data is collected throughout whole Europe on the geographical and temporary differences in the distribution of the various morph-types in the common buzzard.

Citizen Science project on plumage colour polymorphism of common buzzards

Buteo-morph is a hand-on-project of our institute for all interested bird observers: Data is collected throughout whole Europe on the geographical and temporary differences in the distribution of the various morph-types in the common buzzard. [more]
 
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