Dogs, Canis familiaris, communicate with humans to request but not to inform

Dogs are especially skilful at comprehending human communicative signals. This raises the question of whether they are also able to produce such signals flexibly, specifically, whether they helpfully produce indicative (‘showing’) behaviours to inform an ignorant human. In experiment 1, dogs indicated the location of an object more frequently when it was something they wanted […]

Prosocial behaviour in animals: the influence of social relationships, communication and rewards

Researchers have struggled to obtain a clear account of the evolution of prosocial behaviour despite a great deal of recent effort. The aim of this review is to take a brief step back from addressing the question of evolutionary origins of prosocial behaviour in order to identify contextual factors that are contributing to variation in […]

Meerkat helpers increase sentinel behaviour and bipedal vigilance in the presence of pups

Helpers in cooperatively breeding species may assist in a number of cooperative activities, such as nest building, incubating, babysitting and feeding of offspring. In addition, individuals may engage in sentinel behaviour and other forms of vigilance, which benefits other group members not only by reducing the risk of predation, but also by allowing them to […]