Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ravens remember relationships they had with others

Date:
April 19, 2012
Source:
University of Vienna
Summary:
In daily life we remember faces and voices of several known individuals. Similarly, mammals have been shown to remember calls and faces of known individuals after a number of years. Ravens have now been found to differentiate individuals based on familiarity. Additionally, scientists discovered that ravens can remember the closeness they had with others for three years.

Ravens have long-term memory.
Credit: Markus Boeckle

In daily life we remember faces and voices of several known individuals. Similarly, mammals have been shown to remember calls and faces of known individuals after a number of years. Markus Boeckle and Thomas Bugnyar from the Department of Cognitive Biology of the University of Vienna show in their recent article, published in Current Biology, that ravens differentiate individuals based on familiarity.

Additionally, they discovered that ravens memorize the closeness of a relationship and affiliation.

Until now it was unknown whether ravens could remember the closeness of a relationship based on former positive or negative interactions. In response to calls of formerly known individuals ravens not only increase the number of calls but also change call characteristics dependent on whether they hear former "friends" or "foes." This suggests that ravens remember specific individuals at least for three years.

The ability to change call characteristics is especially interesting: In case they hear a "friendly" individual they respond with a "friendly" call, whereas when listening to a "foe," they exhibit lower frequencies with rougher auditory characteristics, an effect already described for other animal species.

Ravens respond to calls from previously unknown individuals with even lower and rougher calls and thus try to increase the acoustic perceivable body-size -- akin to humans, where larger people have lower voices than smaller ones and angry humans use rougher-sounding voices. While it was known that mammals change their voices based on the relationship they share with others, the researchers were now able to show for the first time that also birds change their calls according to relationship quality.

The duration of the memory is beyond the previously estimated ability for birds and the ability to remember the closeness of a relationship has been shown for the first time in ravens.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Vienna. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Markus Boeckle, Thomas Bugnyar. Long-Term Memory for Affiliates in Ravens. Current Biology, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.03.023

Cite This Page:

University of Vienna. "Ravens remember relationships they had with others." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120419132558.htm>.
University of Vienna. (2012, April 19). Ravens remember relationships they had with others. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120419132558.htm
University of Vienna. "Ravens remember relationships they had with others." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120419132558.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins