One reader hails this as the best title ever for a science paper: Where there are girls, there are cats (Elsevier)
The growing population of outdoor free-ranging cats poses an increasingly serious threat to biodiversity. Identifying the strategies that outdoor free-ranging cats apply to live with humans is an interesting research topic. In this study, we provided robust estimates of free-ranging cat density in 30 universities in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China. We found that the population density of free-ranging cats is linearly related to the proportion of female students in the university. An online questionnaire confirmed that human females were more concerned about the living conditions of free-ranging cats than human males in China. By contrast, a socialization test on 27 free-ranging cats suggests that the cats may have the ability to distinguish human sex and adopt a sociable skill to human females. This study leaves an interesting coevolution story between humans and cats and suggests that human sex may be an important factor to consider in cat population managements and wildlife conservation.
Keywords: Free-ranging cat Feral cat Human sex ratio Socialization test
Is this a gag? Maybe. But most Darwinian theses sound like gags anyway. See, for example, “The evolutionary psychologist knows why you vote — and shop, and tip at restaurants”
h, but when we checked this morning,…
TEMPORARY REMOVAL: Where there are girls, there are cats
Yuhang Li, Yue Wan,Yigui Zhang, Zhaomei Gong, Zhongqiu Li p1 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108412
The publisher regrets that this article has been temporarily removed. A replacement will appear as soon as possible in which the reason for the removal of the article will be specified, or the article will be reinstated.
The full Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal can be found at https://www.elsevier.com/about/our-business/policies/article-withdrawal.
Seriously, the big problem with the thesis is the obvious one. It’s a bridge too far. Cats have doubtless co-evolved with humans for a long time. They adapt readily to living in human environments. If taken from their feline mothers shortly after weaning and neutered, they are very willing to build relationships with humans rather than with other cats. It’s possible that cats, given a choice, prefer female humans to males because all humans are substitutes for Mommy Kitty. But it would take much more study to demonstrate that as a fact.
Meanwhile: Rawr. Hiss. Rrrrrrrr….
Study: Cats do recognize their names
Cats DO bond with people. In a study noted in Nature, both cats and kittens showed about the same level of attachment to caregivers as children and dogs did