If you think that social distancing is a practice made up because of our current situation, think again. Apparently, social distancing is a thing as well in animals, from finches to mandrills, and they practice it when they have to, in order to reduce the risk of disease transmission. This is according to this paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
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Science chatted with two of the study’s authors—Andrea Townsend, a behavioral ecologist at Hamilton College, and Dana Hawley, a biologist at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University—about how self-isolating works throughout the animal kingdom.
… some animals like house finches use very general behavioral cues, such as lethargy, to assess potential infections and avoid certain individuals.
In other cases, animals have evolved fairly complex cues to induce social distancing. The Caribbean spiny lobster [a social lobster that normally lives in groups] has evolved to detect a chemical cue in the urine of sick lobsters and avoid areas that these sick lobsters occupy.
Read the whole interview over at Science Magazine.
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