Tag Archives: sarah benson amram

Captive Hyenas Outfox Wild Relatives

About the video: Captive hyenas solve puzzles faster than their wild brethren. Courtesy of MSU.

When it comes to solving puzzles, animals in captivity are, well, different animals than their wild brethren.

Testing animals’ ability to solve new problems has been historically conducted on animals in captivity. Only recently has a shift been made to run these tests on animals in their natural habitat. In a study appearing in Animal Behaviour, however, researchers at Michigan State University found vast differences in the problem solving skills between captive and wild spotted hyenas. (more…)

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Hyenas that Think Outside the Box Solve Problems Faster

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Innovative problem solving requires trying many different solutions. That’s true for humans, and now Michigan State University researchers show that it’s true for hyenas, too.

The study, published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, presented steel puzzle boxes with raw meat inside to wild spotted hyenas in Kenya. To get the meat, the hyenas had to slide open a bolt latch. Even though most of the animals had many opportunities to open the box, only nine out of 62 hyenas succeeded. The successful hyenas tried more solutions, including biting, flipping or pushing the box, than the ones that failed, said MSU zoology graduate student Sarah Benson-Amram. (more…)

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Hyenas’ Ability to Count Helps Them Decide to Fight or Flee

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Being able to count helps spotted hyenas decide to fight or flee, according to research at Michigan State University.

When animals fight, the larger group tends to win. In the current issue of Animal Behaviour, Sarah Benson-Amram, an MSU graduate student studying zoology, showed that hyenas listen to the sound of intruders’ voices to determine who has the advantage. (more…)

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