The Ecology of Dance

Post provided by Chloe Robinson

Dance has been part of human culture for millennia. Some scholars refer to dance as a specific language, dependent on the space and time in which it exists and dependent on the power structures that rule in that time. April 29th marks International Dance Day; a day initiated in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the UNESCO International Theatre Institute to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, a distinguished French choreographer.

Male Maratus volans peacock spider. Picture credit: Jürgen Otto.

For humans, dance is considered a sacred ritual, sometimes a form of communication and sometimes an important social and courtship activity. A recent study has even linked the innate ability to dance with greater survival rates in prehistoric times. However, for certain species of wild animal, dance-like behaviours are crucial for communication and mating. In this blog, I am going to highlight the evolutionary foundations of dance in wild animals and explore some of the ways that dance is used in ecology.

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Un nuevo método para automatizar los estudios de comportamiento en aves

Escrito por Gustavo Alarcon-Nieto

This blog post is available in English

Existe un creciente interés por parte de muchos investigadores por entender cómo el comportamiento social de los animales influencia otros procesos biológicos. Sin embargo, estudiar las interacciones entre múltiples individuos presenta un enorme reto metodológico, ya que el número de potenciales interacciones simultáneas aumenta, casi exponencialmente, con el tamaño del grupo (cada individuo puede interactuar con todos los demás miembros del grupo). Además, la cantidad de datos necesarios para un análisis robusto también se incrementa, haciendo difícil que los registros sean completos y representativos. Continue reading