Which seals have the stiffest whiskers?

Pinnipeds (for example seals) tend to have vibrissae (i.e. whiskers) of varying flexurality (stiffness), arranged in a mystacial (moustache-like) format. Warranting an experimental investigation: “This is the first comparative study on the mechanical properties of pinniped mystacial vibrissae.” – explain a team of researchers from Texas A&M university and West Chester University, US. The investigators […]

Do orangutans prefer functional tools or non-functional tools?

Orangutans (Pongo spp.) have been observed to spontaneously use tools of various kinds to achieve their objectives. But researchers from The Great Ape Trust, Des Moines, IA, and Iowa State University wondered whether, given the choice, they might prefer to go for a functional tool (stiff) or a non-functional (floppy) tool. Their experimental study presented […]