Are Foreign Mating Calls Still Sexy?
Sure enough, most of the females wandered over to where the calls of the male red deer seemed to be coming from. But ten percent of the females actually seemed to prefer the calls of the sika males, apparently finding them more enticing than the ones from their own males. The researchers say that this may lead to "permeability of pre-zygotic reproductive barriers"... by which they mean a willingness to have sex with the wrong species. And, indeed, after sika deer were introduced into parks in Europe, some hybrids between the two have been reported. Some red deer does, it seems, just find the exotic attractive.
The Insightful Elephant
We've known for a while that we aren't the only species to use tools, even if we ignore instinctive use of objects - such as birds smashing open snails on rocks. Chimpanzees, for example, have the intelligence to work out how to use simple tools to acquire food, and, outside the world of mammals, even some species of crow have been shown to do the same. Elephants seem a reasonable candidate for another animal that might do the same. They are intelligent animals, and they have a trunk that can pick up and manipulate objects.