Зоологический журнал


Animal intelligence: laboratory experiments and observations in nature

Zorina Z.A.

Modern concepts of thinking (reasoning) in vertebrate animals as an evolutionary prerequisite of human intelligence are considered. A brief history of the problem, definitions, classification, and the main trends of studies are given. The simplest forms of animal thinking (extrapolation and categorization abilities) are shown to manifest themselves in many species of vertebrates, beginning from reptiles. This fact attest that reasoning prerequisites emerged at the early phylogenetic stages. Similar gradations of reasoning complexity were characteristic of bkds and mammals, and they are shown to correlate with the brain structural and functional complexity. The higher the phylogenetic developmental level in species and the more complex the structure and function of their brain, the wider the range of reasoning abilities in these species. Highly developed mammals are not only capable of complex concept formation but of symbolization as well. Large apes appear to be capable to acquire simple forms of human language (ameslan, yerkish) and to use them for communication in a symbolic manner being compared with that in three-year-old children. The data obtained in experiments of physiologists and psychologists were verified using natural observations. These combined results promoted the development of new concepts, which connect the reasoning ability and behavioral adaptability. The behavioral pattern of animals in captivity was shown to correspond to that in nature. Classic ethology concepts, the problem of animal thinking, the significance of current ethological studies of vertebrates are discussed. Long-term and regular observations in nature have revealed a number of forms of animal reasoning, which were not described in the laboratory. The complete knowledge of the species-specific behavioral repertoire helps to exclude from a reasoning list those behavioral phenomena, which were falsely attributed earlier to categories of reasoning.

Animats and verification of ethological concepts

Nepomnyashchikh V.A.

Animals are artificial autonomous agents, the behavior of which should follow the principles of adaptive animal behavior. They are a useful tool for studying the behavior of animals. Experiments with animals provide a possibility to verify hypotheses regarding their principles, as well as to put forward new hypotheses to be verified in biological studies. The results obtained in these experiments have already allowed one to formulate some principles of adaptive behavior. However, a general theory for a design of animats has not been developed.

Behavior of polar bear in coastal congregations

Ovsyanikov N.G.

Quantitative aspects of the polar bear's behavior within autumn coastal congregations on Wrangel Island are described. Congregations are determined as relatively stable temporary groups of polar bears within a definite territory where animals constantly meet with each other, interact, manage their social distances and relations. In different years, the number of polar bears in the congregations observed varied from 40 to 160 animals. The formation of a congregation, spatial distribution within it, the role of communicative channels and the mental ability to estimate events, as well as the role of social orientation and positional interaction are considered. A social rank within a polar bear community is determined as a degree of independence from the presence and actions of con-specifics. According to this principle, large adult males have the highest rank, but the course and results of particular relations are stipulated by the current motivation of the participants. Male-male alliances and examples of composite family groups in polar bears are described. Indicators of high sociality and factors responsible for their development in polar bears are discussed. Criteria of high sociality applicable to polar bears and to a bear family as a whole are presented.

Comparative ethology: its past, present, and future

Panov E.N.

The past, present, and future of comparative ethology is considered from the historical-methodological viewpoint. After a brilliant start, in the 1930s and 1940s, the discipline flourished for only a quarter of a century. In the 1970s the interest of zoologists in problems of comparative ethology began to fade. The reasons of this crisis, inherent to the very paradigm of early classical ethology, are considered. Of the reasons of sociopsycholog-ical and epistemological character, one of the most important was the neglect of development of adequate methods of analytic description of behaviour. A programme of comparative ethology rehabilitation is suggested. Present-day problems of comparative ethology are analysed. Among them an important theme seems to be a combined use of behavioural and molecular data in phylogenetic reconstruction of the process of divergence on the different levels of evolution in animal world.

Ethology and nonequilibrium thermodynamics

Efremov A.A.

Behavior of animals is compared with that of dissipative systems. The possibilities of analyzing the behavior of animals in the framework of general laws of nonequilibrium thermodynamics are discussed. When properly adjusting the scales of the study, evolution of individual and social behavior in animals proceeds according to scenarios similar to those for dissipative structures arising in nonequilibrium conditions in gases and liquids. Based on the comparison made, the conclusion is drawn that special ethological terminology and approaches are not always needed for studies of animal behavior. In some cases, an ethologist may restrict himself to the analysis of living systems in the framework of general laws of thermodynamics.

Functional differentiation and dominance in the development of biosociality

Zakharov A.A.

The main independent motivations in animal behavior lie in the striving for raising their status, becoming a master of a territory, nest, etc., and for reproduction. In individually territorial species, the status of an individual and its reproductive success are intimately interrelated. Along with the development of sociality, the role of the master is transformed into that of a dominant. Functional differentiation of individuals is the main driving force in the evolution of social structures, being mainly expressed in the formation of a dominance system. The dominant is the first social role in a socium and the starting point in its origin. With the development of a soci-um, the functions of dominance and reproduction are divided, with constant functional groups being formed. In these groups, the leaders attain some functions of a dominant. The reproductive differentiation like that occurring in eusocial insects is only a particular case of the general evolution of sociality. In order to bring "eu-sociality" to the general biological level, reproductive differentiation should be eliminated from its definition. The animals that can be termed eusocial are those that exist over a number of generations in hierarchically organized socia with several channels of constant specialization of adult individuals.

Individual and cooperative food searching tactics in young fish

Mikheev V.N.

Food searching behavior of young fish and the main environmental factors that modify their activity are analyzed. Prey density and patterns of their distribution, the number of competitors and pressure of predators, as well as the habitat heterogeneity and stability affect the choice of food searching tactics by fish larvae and fries. The clumped distribution and cryptic mode of preys' life along with costly locomotion make habitat exploration and choice of a profitable foraging site by fish the most difficult stage of food search. In addition, in the course of food searching fish are the most vulnerable for predators. Fish cooperate, form schools and use mobile searching tactics when habitats are uniform or changeable, and pressure of competitors and predators is rather high. The permanently high level of competition for food within a school makes individual tactics more profitable. These tactics are usually related to territoriality and stationary (stable) position in a restricted area, through which preys are moved actively or passively. Such a "stationary" search is efficient within physically structured and stable habitats where a territory owner possesses not only food source but also a reliable refuge. When food is abundant and refuges are scarce, fish form stationary schools, which maintain the stable position in water flow at spatially fixed objects. The behavior of many fish species is rather flexible. Fish easily switch from individual to cooperative tactics and back depending on environmental conditions.

Man and apes: linguistic abilities and dialogue potentialities

Butovskaya M.L.

The paper presents a review of previous and recent studies in the field of evolution of cognitive abilities in large apes and humans and discusses an intellectual potentialities of large apes related to their success in acquisition of language. The recent data on the language in apes have confirmed the presence of premises for symbolic abilities in chimpanzee, bonobo, and gorilla. Large apes demonstrate the abilities for deception and humor, and they may have rudimentary mind. They can teach language each other. At least, some apes (Kanzi, Panbanisha, and others) are able to rate symbols by semantic function and possess some rudiments of grammar. Apes can associate concepts with arbitrary symbols but they have a limited mastery of syntax. Their linguistic abilities are comparable to those in very young children who begin to acquire language. Human language is based on a number of specialized cognitive skill. It may be developed in the process of evolution by the normal Darwinian fashion like other morphological structures. The evolutionary pathways connecting cognitive and communicative abilities of apes and present-day humans, need to be reconstructed in the future. The information provided by the ape language studies may be of substantial importance in this respect.

On foraging behavior as a species-specific characteristic of birds

Khlebosolov E.I.

Кормовое поведение птиц рассматривается как ключевой системный признак, целостно характеризующий структуру экологической ниши и функциональную роль вида в экосистеме. Особенности кормового поведения определяют формирование всех других признаков вида и обусловливают целостность и дискретность видов и более высоких систематических групп птиц.

Sexual behavior of three species of the family Isotomidae (Collembola)

Goloshchapova N.P., Potapov M.B., Chernova N.M.

Sexual behavior of three isotomid species

Subjective animal world and objectivistic Konrad Lorentz's ethology

Gorokhovskaya E.A.

Konrad Lorentz (1903-1989), the founder of ethology, was an adherent of an objective study of animal behavior. According to this approach, which became a credo of ethology, the subjective animal world is beyond scientific knowledge and animal mind. However, the fact the Lorentz's thoughts on the subjective experience of animals played an important part in developing the theoretical fundamentals of his concept has received little attention. Taking into account subjective phenomena, Lorentz could reveal specific patterns of instinctive animal behavior. Only at the final stage of developing the classical theory of ethology, he neglected the subjective aspects of animal behavior. Lorentz believed that animal psychology aimed to study animal mind was impossible, but he kept having interest in this subject over all his life. He was also convinced that our assumption about the existence of subjective experience in animals was a priory belief, but not a conclusion drawn by analogy.

The use of the concept of sociality in mammological research

Popov S.V., Tchabovsky A.V.

The concept of sociality is discussed in the framework of ecological, sociobiological and ethological approaches to studying the behavior of mammals. As a result, in ecological studies sociality is mainly considered as a group mode of life and is associated with the clumped distribution of individuals and a high degree of space and resource sharing by group members. In the context of this paradigm, the degree of sociality increases with increase in the number of group members. Sociobiologists recognize sociality as a complex of phenomena associated with the subdivision of reproduction or, in a broad sense, with reproductive skew. From the ethological viewpoint, the constitutive features of sociality are complexity and personification of social bonds. The criteria of social species that are used in these three approaches differ. Though the corresponding gradients of sociality are not quite independent, they weakly correlate and often do not match one another in comparative studies. In order to overcome this problem, the degree of species sociality is suggested to assess as a species position within a three-dimensional space where each axis presents one of the sociality gradients that corresponds to one of the approaches. All three approaches view sociality as one of the key characteristics of social species relationships, but not as characteristics of individuals or organisms that form animal communities. An attempt to consider sociality as an individualistic species-specific trait was also made. This view is based on the approach that considers sociality as an individual adaptation to social pressure from the social environment. In these terms, sociality is a measure of evolutionary specialization to a certain species-specific consistency of social environment or, in other words, a measure of social dependence.


Hernandez-Bianco Kh. A., Poyarkov A.D., Krutova V.I.

Using a combination of several methods from snow tracking, scanning routes to visual and acoustic observations, a GIS monitoring of 24 wolves

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