FillsYourNiche OP t1_jdsf30k wrote

So dogs are not evolved from grey wolves they are sister taxa, they share a common ancestor (Scientific American). African wild dogs also share the same common ancestor.

From the article:

> Analyzing whole genomes of living dogs and wolves, last January's study revealed that today's Fidos are not the descendants of modern gray wolves. Instead the two species are sister taxa, descended from an unknown ancestor that has since gone extinct. “It was such a long-standing view that the gray wolf we know today was around for hundreds of thousands of years and that dogs derived from them,” says Robert Wayne, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “We're very surprised that they're not.” Wayne led the first genetic studies proposing the ancestor-descendant relationship between the two species and more recently was one of the 30 co-authors of the latest study, published in PLOS Genetics, that debunked that notion.


FillsYourNiche OP t1_jdsd3xo wrote

If you prefer video, this New York Times YouTube video also explains the sneeze votes:

PBS Nature also has a video:

Sneezing is pretty common in canids as a form of communication. Our beloved pet dogs also sneeze to communicate with us and each other that they are excited and having fun, that they want to play, or to get attention.


FillsYourNiche OP t1_jdr561s wrote

Science also has an article Wild dogs vote to initiate a hunt by sneezing.

Journal article source Sneeze to leave: African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) use variable quorum thresholds facilitated by sneezes in collective decisions.


>In despotically driven animal societies, one or a few individuals tend to have a disproportionate influence on group decision-making and actions. However, global communication allows each group member to assess the relative strength of preferences for different options among their group-mates. Here, we investigate collective decisions by free-ranging African wild dog packs in Botswana. African wild dogs exhibit dominant-directed group living and take part in stereotyped social rallies: high energy greeting ceremonies that occur before collective movements. Not all rallies result in collective movements, for reasons that are not well understood. We show that the probability of rally success (i.e. group departure) is predicted by a minimum number of audible rapid nasal exhalations (sneezes), within the rally. Moreover, the number of sneezes needed for the group to depart (i.e. the quorum) was reduced whenever dominant individuals initiated rallies, suggesting that dominant participation increases the likelihood of a rally's success, but is not a prerequisite. As such, the ‘will of the group’ may override dominant preferences when the consensus of subordinates is sufficiently great. Our findings illustrate how specific behavioural mechanisms (here, sneezing) allow for negotiation (in effect, voting) that shapes decision-making in a wild, socially complex animal society.

The journal article is open access, so anyone can read the entire thing if they are interested.


FillsYourNiche OP t1_jdeteoc wrote

Journal article A robotic honeycomb for interaction with a honeybee colony.


>Robotic technologies have shown the capability to interact with living organisms and even to form integrated mixed societies composed of living and artificial agents. Biocompatible robots, incorporating sensing and actuation capable of generating and responding to relevant stimuli, can be a tool to study collective behaviors previously unattainable with traditional techniques. To investigate collective behaviors of the western honeybee (Apis mellifera), we designed a robotic system capable of observing and modulating the bee cluster using an array of thermal sensors and actuators. We initially integrated the system into a beehive populated with about 4000 bees for several months. The robotic system was able to observe the colony by continuously collecting spatiotemporal thermal profiles of the winter cluster. Furthermore, we found that our robotic device reliably modulated the superorganism’s response to dynamic thermal stimulation, influencing its spatiotemporal reorganization. In addition, after identifying the thermal collapse of a colony, we used the robotic system in a “life-support” mode via its thermal actuators. Ultimately, we demonstrated a robotic device capable of autonomous closed-loop interaction with a cluster comprising thousands of individual bees. Such biohybrid societies open the door to investigation of collective behaviors that necessitate observing and interacting with the animals within a complete social context, as well as for potential applications in augmenting the survivability of these pollinators crucial to our ecosystems and our food supply.