Separation distress in artificially-reared lambs depends on human presence and the number of conspecifics

The way animals perceive partners, including humans, is yet relatively unknown. Research has shown that humans can provide social support or act as social substitute for domestic animals. Nonetheless, studies investigating the perception of humans by domestic animals in their social environment, i.e. alongside conspecifics, have been scarce. We investigated if humans could modulate lambs’ […]

Restraint Methods of Laboratory Non-Human Primates: A Critical Review

Published information provides scientific evidence that traditional, involuntary restraint techniques of research non-human primates are intrinsically a source of distress resulting from fear. It has been documented that common methods of enforced restraint result in significantly increased adrenal activity as well as significant changes in a variety of other physiological parameters. There is no scientific […]

Friends with benefits: On the positive consequences of pet ownership

Social support is critical for psychological and physical well-being, reflecting the centrality of belongingness in our lives. Human interactions often provide people with considerable social support, but can pets also fulfill one’s social needs? Although there is correlational evidence that pets may help individuals facing significant life stressors, little is known about the well-being benefits […]

The influence of sex and relatedness on stress response in common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)

Research in stress physiology has demonstrated the benefits of receiving social support during stressful conditions. However, recent data have shown that the efficacy of social support in buffering physiological and behavioral responses to stressor agents depends on species, sex, and relatedness among animals. This study investigated whether different kinds of social support (presence of same […]

Behavioural and physiological reactions of goats confronted with an unfamiliar group either when alone or with two peers

Abstract When introduced into a new herd, goats are confronted with unfamiliar animals. Their behavioural and physiological reactions during this confrontation are likely to differ depending on the presence or absence of familiar conspecifics (peers). To assess these reactions, we confronted 12 goats both alone and with two peers (confrontees) with established groups (n = […]

Variable postpartum responsiveness among humans and other primates with “cooperative breeding”: A comparative and evolutionary perspective

This article is part of a Special Issue “Parental Care”.Until recently, evolutionists reconstructing mother–infant bonding among human ancestors relied on nonhuman primate models characterized by exclusively maternal care, overlooking the highly variable responsiveness exhibited by mothers in species with obligate reliance on allomaternal care and provisioning. It is now increasingly recognized that apes as large-brained, […]