How owners determine if the social and behavioral needs of their horses are being met: Findings from an Australian online survey

Horse owners and carers are responsible for judging the health and welfare status of animals in their care, deciding if and when professional advice should be sought and following any recommendations for treatment. However, little is known about how horse owners perceive and determine the well-being of horses in their care, or the themes that […]

New perspectives in primate cognitive ecology

The papers in this issue are from a symposium presented at the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists held in Buffalo, New York, in April 2002. In the light of recent theoretical and methodological advances and debates in the study of cognition, this symposium addressed questions concerning primate cognitive ecology and […]

Dynamic averaging and foraging decisions in horses (Equus callabus)

The variability of most environments taxes foraging decisions by increasing the uncertainty of the information available. One solution to the problem is to use dynamic averaging, as do some granivores and carnivores. Arguably, the same strategy could be useful for grazing herbivores, even though their food renews and is more homogeneously distributed. Horses (Equus callabus) […]

Iberian Rock Lizards (Lacerta monticola) Assess Short-Term Changes in Predation Risk Level When Deciding Refuge Use

Prey might assess that risk level estimated in the first encounter with a predator was fixed in subsequent responses, whereas prey using flexible behavior would track short-term changes in risk. The authors examined, in the field, refuge use of Iberian rock lizards (Lacerta monticola) after simulated predator attacks and tested (a) how risk was assessed […]

Autonomy and paternalism in quality of life determinations in veterinary practice

Assessments and predictions of patient quality of life (QoL) permeate many veterinary decisions, including (1) whether to perform a procedure due to concurrent QoL issues, (2) whether a procedure will negatively affect QoL in the near or distant future, and (3) whether QoL is poor enough to warrant euthanasia. In order to understand how veterinarians […]

Decision making under stress: A selective review

Many decisions must be made under stress, and many decision situations elicit stress responses themselves. Thus, stress and decision making are intricately connected, not only on the behavioral level, but also on the neural level, i.e., the brain regions that underlie intact decision making are regions that are sensitive to stress-induced changes. The purpose of […]

The Influence of Social Organisation on Leadership in Brown Lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) in a Controlled Environment

Studies on leadership during group movements in several lemur species showed that females were responsible for the travelling choices concerning time and direction. Interestingly, in these species females are dominant over males. We investigated the influence of social organisation upon leadership processes by studying a lemur species in which social organisation is characterized by the […]

A Fruit in Hand is Worth Many More in the Bush: Steep Spatial Discounting by Free-Ranging Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Decision making is one of the principal cognitive processes underlying goal-directed behaviour and thus there is justifiably strong interest in modeling it. However, many of these models have yet to be tested outside of the laboratory. At the same time, field work would benefit from the use of experimental methods developed in the laboratory to […]

Animal Minds and Animal Emotions

The possibility of conscious experiences of emotions in non-human animals has been much less explored than that of conscious experiences associated with carrying out complex cognitive tasks. However, no great cognitive powers are needed to feel hunger or pain and it may be that the capacity to feel emotions is widespread in the animal kingdom. […]

Behaviour-mediated group size effect constrains reproductive decisions in a social insect

The formation of cooperative entities between lower-level units is characterized by increasing complexity. Apart from the degree of cooperation, social complexity is determined by the number of cooperative individuals. Previous studies have considered the relationships between group size and traits affecting inclusive fitness, such as reproductive efficiency. In social insects, little is known about the […]