Intelligent bears and animals that pretend death during mating season
According to scientists, female European common frogs can pretend to be dead to repel the advances of males. It is their way of avoiding situations where many males cling to a female simultaneously, sometimes leading to her death. That stillness may be a stress reaction. “It was previously thought that females were unable to choose a mate or defend themselves against male coercion,” says Dr Carolin Dittrich from the Natural History Museum in Berlin.
According to researchers from Simon Fraser University in Canada, peregrine falcons fake attacks to tire out their future prey. The prey must compensate for this effort by taking additional risks at another time or place to meet its food and energy needs. That way, however, she becomes more accessible to catch. Scientists based their research on the behaviour of falcons and dunlins in the Pacific.
Some species of bears can use tools to obtain food – for example, a polar bear was observed trying to kill a seal with a block of ice. This is a trait associated only with truly intelligent animals. According to the experiments conducted by Jennifer Vonk, a comparative psychologist at Oakland University, black bears can learn the differences between concepts (e.g. primates vs. other animals and animals vs. landscape). Moreover, they can link the number of objects they see with numbers in everyday life: for example, animals realised that three almonds in a photo correspond to receiving three almonds in real life.