Thu, Jun 29, 2017 | updated 02:42 AM IST

Babysitter helps female chimps to wean offspring faster

Updated: Nov 09, 2016 13:09 IST      
Babysitter helps female chimps to wean offspring faster

Washington D.C. [USA] Nov. 9(ANI): Looks like even chimps get benefitted by the babysitters.

A University of Toronto study says that it may even mean that mothers can wean their infants faster, which can allow them to reproduce again more quickly, with the help of babysitters.

The study looked at 42 pairs of chimpanzee mothers and infants at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda. They wanted to better understand the impact of "alloparenting" - or babysitting - when individuals other than the mother assisted with infant care.

In the study, two particular aspects of care that these other individuals provided, was taken into consideration: infant handling, that is carrying and holding the infants, and natal attraction, the interest in infants demonstrated through behaviours like grooming and playing.

The researchers compared whether the extent of involvement of these individuals impacted the proportion of time that mothers spent foraging, the rates that infants nursed, and the contribution of milk to infants' diets.

However, in a separate study, the researcher and her colleagues found that chimpanzee mothers let their "toddlers" nurse for comfort, even after lactation was over and they were receiving no milk.

"Infants who were held and carried more by babysitters, nursed less often and drank less milk," said lead author of the study Iulia Badescu. "This means that they were becoming more nutritionally independent compared to infants of the same age who were babysat less or not at all. They were going through the weaning process quicker, and would likely be done weaning at a younger age."

"But not all chimpanzee mothers relied on babysitters, and in fact, in other chimpanzee communities, babysitting may be a behaviour that rarely occurs. Our findings emphasize the significance of babysitting as a flexible component of female reproductive strategies in some species," Badescu added.

The researchers employed a novel method in both studies to arrive at their conclusions, analyzing fecal samples to determine what the contribution of maternal milk was to the diet of the chimpanzee infants.

The study has been published in Royal Society Open Science Journal. (ANI)

Washington D.C. [USA], June 28 (ANI): The restoration of the globe's protective ozone shield may be delayed by three decades if fast-rising emissions of a chemical used in paint strippers and pharmaceuticals is not restricted, warns a study.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 27 (ANI): Panda is not an adorable animal, but a study has found that conserving them can also boost biodiversity and fight climate change.

Full Story >>

Humans can regenerate their heart: Study

Updated: Jun 27, 2017 10:47 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 27 (ANI): A team of researchers have discovered that communication between the heart genes may give rise to heart cells that can regenerate the human heart.

Full Story >>

Rising ocean levels could lead to 2 bn refugees by 2100

Updated: Jun 27, 2017 07:32 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 27 (ANI): Climate change is causing sea level rise around the world. According to a recent study, in the year 2100, two billion people - about one-fifth of the world's population - could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels.

Full Story >>

Now, a 'friendly' car horn that alerts without jarring

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 08:14 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 26 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a car horn that alerts people to danger while reducing the cacophony on city streets.

Full Story >>

When disaster strikes, selfless heroism may not be good

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 17:53 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 24 (ANI): Putting others first can cost lives in life-and-death disaster situations involving groups of people, a new study suggested.

Full Story >>

Now, 'self-folding' origami

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 17:38 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 24 (ANI): According to a team of researchers, a simple chemical "programming" can induce a single piece of Nafion foil to fold itself using origami and kirigami principles.

Full Story >>

European Union to continue fight against climate change

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 19:50 IST     

Strasbourg [France], June 23 (ANI): The European Council on Thursday reiterated its commitment to fully implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, adding that the agreement remains a keystone in global efforts to effectively tackle climate change, and therefore, cannot be renegotiated.

Full Story >>

Scientists understand the formation of sun's spicules

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 11:58 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 23 (ANI): To understand the formation of abundant jets of plasma in the Sun's atmosphere (called spicules), researchers have, for the first time, built a model.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 22 (ANI): Warmer temperatures mean sea turtles could be driven to extinction, suggests a new study.

Full Story >>

Six cups of ground coffee can improve nose, throat surgery

Updated: Jun 21, 2017 08:42 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 21 (ANI): Rejoice coffee lovers! Researchers have recently improved the accuracy of a scanner used to map the skull of nose and throat surgical patients with six cups of ground coffee.

Full Story >>

Spruce budworm outbreak can put forests at fire risk

Updated: Jun 19, 2017 11:30 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 19 (ANI): Turns out, it is not "a moth to a flame," but "a flame to a moth" as a new study has revealed that a spruce budworm outbreak could increase forest fire risk.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], June 17 (ANI-Businesswire India): Choosing oneself to become just a successful engineer or a doctor in future is passe. With the growing competition and the growth in career options, Kids and their parents are becoming more confused towards identifying their actual passion and talent. Just as the 10th and 12th board results are out, parents are now worried about what goals have their kids made up in their mind to peruse in future. There are dozens of questions revolving in their head making them befuddled with thoughts like, does my kid fits for his goals or his talent lay in some other streams?

Full Story >>

New 'Phystrology Therapy' may cure high blood pressure

Updated: Jun 16, 2017 10:31 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 16 (ANI): Good news! Here's a promising treatment to cure the chronic condition of high blood pressure, which accounts approximately eight million death of Indians every year.

Full Story >>

Vicious cycle of 'phone snubbing'

Updated: Jun 14, 2017 13:34 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 14 (ANI): Turns out, people who are phone snubbed or "phubbed" by others are, themselves, often turning to their smartphones and social media to find acceptance.

Full Story >>

Personalised molecular therapy slows progression of tumors

Updated: Jun 13, 2017 13:45 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 13 (ANI): A study has found that patients with neuroendocrine cancer may experience fewer symptoms and survive longer by undergoing personalised peptide-receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT).

Full Story >>

Steroids may up effectiveness of AAV-based gene therapy

Updated: Jun 11, 2017 13:29 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 11 (ANI): Glucocorticoid steroids, such as prednisone, may improve effectiveness of AAV-based gene therapy by reducing immune response, according to a recent research.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 10 (ANI): Those common chemicals that manufacturers use to make plastic food containers, water bottles and other consumer products, instead of BPA, do not contribute to obesity, says a study.

Full Story >>

Male farmers at high risk of contracting 'monkey malaria'

Updated: Jun 10, 2017 10:40 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 10 (ANI): Beware! A study has found that in Malaysia, adult male farmers, involved in plantation, clearing vegetation and forestry work were four times more likely to contract monkey malaria.

Full Story >>

Previously unseen teeth in jawbone of Megalosaurus revealed!

Updated: Jun 08, 2017 09:15 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 8 (ANI): Cutting edge technology sheds fresh light on world's first scientifically-described dinosaur, Megalosaurus, thanks to research by WMG at the University of Warwick and the University of Oxford's Museum of Natural History.

Full Story >>