Anindita Bhadra

Anindita Bhadra
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata · Department of Biological Sciences

Faculty

About

130
Publications
47,911
Reads
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949
Citations
Citations since 2017
78 Research Items
700 Citations
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Introduction
The dog is known as man's best friend. A lot of scientific research focuses on understanding their physiology and psychology, but there is hardly any research on dogs in its intrinsic state in nature. I work on free-ranging dogs in India, an excellent model system for behavioural ecology, to address questions pertaining to their behaviour and ecology. I aim to use this to build and understanding of the evolution of the dog-human relationship. Homepage: https://sites.google.com/site/abhadra7/
Additional affiliations
May 2019 - June 2021
Global Young Academy
Global Young Academy
Position
  • Executive
March 2019 - present
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
March 2019 - present
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Introductory biology (UG), Cognition (PG), Ecology practicals (PG), Animal behaviour practicals (PG), Evolution (UG), Bio Lab I (UG), Evolution Practicals (UG)
Education
August 2001 - April 2008
Indian Institute of Science
Field of study
  • Animal Behaviour

Publications

Publications (130)
Preprint
Full-text available
Foraging and acquiring of food is a delicate balance between managing the costs, both energy and social, and individual preferences. Previous research on the solitary foraging of free ranging dogs showed that they prioritized the nutritionally highest valued food patch first but do not ignore other less valuable food either, displaying typical scav...
Preprint
Full-text available
Rapid urbanization is a major cause of habitat and biodiversity loss and human-animal conflict. While urbanization is inevitable, we need to develop a good understanding of the urban ecosystem and the urban-adapted species in order to ensure sustainable cities for our future. Scavengers play a major role in urban ecosystems, and often, urban adapta...
Article
Rapid urbanisation leading to habitat loss is a major problem for biodiversity conservation. While urbanisation negatively affects the survival of many species, some species are well adapted to the urban environment, often depending on humans directly or indirectly for food and shelter. Such animals show various behavioural adaptations to anthropog...
Article
Full-text available
Animals of different taxa can read and respond to various human communicative signals. Such a mechanism facilitates animals to acquire social information and helps them react in a context-dependent manner. Dogs have garnered extensive attention owing to their socio-cognitive skills and remarkable sensitivity to human social cues. For example, dogs...
Research
Full-text available
Review of the book: Experiments in Animal Behaviour: Cutting-Edge Research at Trifling Cost by Raghavendra Gadagkar
Presentation
Presented my MS thesis work on the effects of sterilization on the social behaviour of free-ranging dogs of India.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Talks about the effects of sterilization on the social behaviours of free-ranging dogs in India.
Poster
Full-text available
My virtual poster presented at Animal Behaviour Live held virtually on 18th-19th November 2021 features the effects of sterilization on the social behaviours of free-ranging dogs in India.
Preprint
Rapid urbanisation, leading to habitat loss is a major problem for biodiversity conservation. While urbanisation negatively affects the survival of many species, some species are well adapted to the urban environment, often depending on humans directly or indirectly for food and shelter. Such animals show various behavioural adaptations to anthropo...
Article
The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is known to have evolved from gray wolves, about 15,000 years ago. They frequently exist as free-ranging populations across the world. They are typically scavengers and well adapted to living among humans. Most canids living in and around urban habitats tend to avoid humans and show crepuscular activity pea...
Poster
Full-text available
The poster talks about the scavenging strategies and feeding preference of free-ranging dogs both in solitary and groups
Article
Full-text available
Interaction with its immediate environment determines the ecology of an organism. Short-lived perturbations in the habitat can adversely affect both wild and domesticated species. When such disturbances are unpredictable, they are more challenging to tackle. Therefore, specific strategies become essential for species to overcome adversities that ca...
Article
Full-text available
Apparently random events in nature often reveal hidden patterns when analyzed using diverse and robust statistical tools. Power law distributions, for example, project diverse natural phenomenon, ranging from earthquakes to heartbeat dynamics into a common platform of self-similarity. Animal behavior in specific contexts has been shown to follow po...
Preprint
Full-text available
Interaction with its immediate environment determines the ecology of an organism. Species present in any habitat, wild or urban, may face extreme pressure due to sudden perturbations. When such disturbances are unpredictable, it becomes more challenging to tackle. Implementation of specific strategies is therefore essential for different species to...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ability of dogs to read human communicative intents is cognitively remarkable. For example, pet dogs have been shown to follow human pointing cues readily, from simple to complex ones. The dual influence of domestication and ontogeny is thought to be responsible for such socio-cognitive skills in dogs. While domestication talks about genetic pr...
Article
Full-text available
Research on human-animal interaction has skyrocketed in the last decade. Rapid urbanization has led scientists to investigate its impact on several species living in the vicinity of humans. Domesticated dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are one such species that interact with humans and are also called man’s best friend. However, when it comes to the f...
Article
Cohabiting with humans in the same ecological space requires significant variation in the behavioral repertoire of animals. Behavioral variation can potentially improve the chances of survival of an individual. The influence of humans can be measured by quantifying specific behavioral parameters of the interacting individuals. Sociability or the te...
Preprint
Research on human-animal interaction has skyrocketed in the last decade. Rapid urbanization has led scientists to investigate its impact on several species living in the vicinity of humans. Domesticated dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are one such species that interact with humans and are also called man’s best friend. However, when it comes to the f...
Preprint
Full-text available
Co-habiting with humans in the same ecological space requires significant variation in a species’ behavioral repertoire. Behavioral variation can potentially improve the chances of survival of a species. Influence of humans can be measured by quantifying specific behavioral parameters of the interacting species. Sociability or the tendency to be fr...
Article
Full-text available
In urban environments, humans are a part of an interaction network of several species, impacting them directly or indirectly. The positive, negative and neutral components of such impact can be assessed by studying human-animal interactions in various habitats. While studies have shown animals' reactions to specific human social cues, information i...
Poster
Full-text available
Since free-ranging dogs regularly engage in various kinds of interactions with each other, it is interesting to know whether they are capable of distinguishing between vocalizations of their own and other groups. In this study, a playback experiment was used to test if dogs can differentiate between barkings of their own vs other groups.
Preprint
Full-text available
Canids display a vast diversity of social organizations, from solitary-living to pairs to packs. Domestic dogs have descended from pack-living gray wolf-like ancestors. Unlike their group living ancestors, free-ranging dogs are facultatively social, preferring to forage solitarily. They are scavengers by nature, mostly dependent on human garbage an...
Preprint
Full-text available
The domestic dog is known to have evolved from gray wolves, about 15,000 years ago. They majorly exist as free-ranging populations across the world. They are typically scavengers and well adapted to living among humans. Most canids living in and around urban habitats tend to avoid humans and show crepuscular activity peaks. In this study, we carrie...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs are one of the most common species to be found as pets and have been subjects of human curiosity, leading to extensive research on their socialization with humans. One of the dominant themes in dog cognition pertains to their capacity of understanding and responding to human referential gestures. The remarkable socio-cognitive skills of pet do...
Article
Full-text available
The ability of animals to communicate using gaze is a rich area of research. How domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) use and respond to the gaze of humans is an area of particular interest. This study examined how three groups of domestic dogs from different populations (free-ranging dogs, pet dogs, and shelter dogs) responded to a human during...
Article
Full-text available
Animals in their natural environment often face situa-tions where it may be advantageous for them to be able to make decisions based on numerical or quantity discrimination. Canids like pet dogs, wolves and coy-otes have been known to have a preliminary sense of number. We tested 303 unique free-ranging dogs for seven food-choice tasks, skewed in t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dogs are the most common species to be found as pets and have been subjects of human curiosity leading to extensive research on their socialization with humans. One of the dominant themes in dog cognition pertains to their capacity of understanding and responding to human referential gestures. The remarkable socio-cognitive skills of pet dogs, whil...
Preprint
Full-text available
The benefits of group living mostly surpass the disadvantages like sharing of resources and competition over food, space and mates, driving the evolution of social organization. Group living can be facilitated by social tolerance and cooperation among the group members. Social canids (e.g. wolves) display cooperative breeding, hunting, and prosocia...
Poster
Full-text available
The sociability of urban Indian free-ranging dogs varies at microhabitat levels. This study shows the influence of human flux (~movement) on behavioural outcomes of dogs.
Poster
Full-text available
METHODS Cafeteria Choice test Dustbin test Cafeteria Choice test Dustbin test QUESTIONS • Do free-ranging dogs follow the Rule of Thumb? • Do they use any strategy while scavenging? • Do dogs share? Scavenging Strategy Dogs followed sniff-and-snatch, in case of proteins (χ 2 =9.32, df=1, p=0.0022). Latency between the two experimental setups Sniffi...
Article
Full-text available
South Asian countries are often at odds with each other for political, economic, and emotional reasons. The conflicts are a frustrating contrast to the promise of the region. Covering only 3.5% of Earth's landmass, but inhabited by 23.7% of humanity, the region has the highest rate of economic growth, is rich in knowledge-based institutions, and is...
Article
Full-text available
Mutualism is a very special and rare kind of natural cooperative behavior. A tradition practiced in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa is an interesting case of mutualism between two very unlikely partners — birds and humans. Some species of honeyguides have developed a mutualistic relationship with the African honey-hunters. Both species use a set o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Species inhabiting urban environments experience enormous anthropogenic stress. Behavioural plasticity and flexibility of temperament are crucial to successful urban-adaptation. Urban free-ranging dogs experience variable human impact, from positive to negative and represent an ideal system to evaluate the effects of human-induced stress on behavio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Apparently random events in nature often reveal hidden patterns when analysed using diverse and robust statistical tools. Power-law distributions, for example, project diverse natural phenomenon, ranging from earthquakes1 to heartbeat dynamics2 onto a common platform of statistical self-similarity. A large range of human languages are known to foll...
Article
Full-text available
Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are remarkably sensitive and responsive while interacting with humans. Pet dogs are known to have social skills and abilities to display situation-specific responses, but there is lack of information regarding free-ranging dogs which constitute majority of the world's dog population. Free-ranging dogs found in...
Preprint
Domestic dogs have descended from gray wolves through a process of domestication, evolving from a predominantly hunting to a scavenging lifestyle. Though the exact process of domestication is not yet clearly understood, various behavioral adaptations in dogs are considered to have been crucial to the development of the unique bond shared by dogs an...
Preprint
Dogs have co-evolved with humans for at least 15,000 years, through the process of domestication, which has led to the development of several cognitive abilities in these social canids. Canids like dogs, wolves and coyotes have a preliminary number sense. We tested 286 unique free-ranging dogs for 7 food-choice tasks, skewed in terms of stimulus: o...
Poster
Full-text available
Dog human relationship Inter-specific interactions between human and free-ranging dogs in the streets of India.
Preprint
Full-text available
Domestic dogs are remarkably sensitive and responsive while interacting with humans. Pet dogs are known to have social skills and abilities to display situation-specific responses, but there is lack of information regarding free-ranging dogs which constitute majority of the world's dog population. Free-ranging dogs found in most of the developing c...
Article
Full-text available
Cooperative breeding is an excellent example of cooperation in social groups. Domestic dogs have evolved from cooperatively hunting and breeding ancestors but have adapted to a facultatively social scavenging lifestyle on streets, and solitary living in human homes. Pets typically breed and reproduce under human supervision, but free-ranging dogs c...
Data
Venn diagram. Venn diagram showing the number of mother-litter units that received maternal care, male care and female allocare. Light red, blue and dark red represents the litters which received maternal care, male care and female allocare respectively. (TIF)
Data
Table showing the AIC values for different data sets. Since we have used the “proportion of time spent in active care” and “proportion of time spent in passive care” as the response variables, we need to find a best fit distribution for the data. We have used “fitdistrplus” package to check the best fit distribution of the data set that are continu...
Data
Ethogram representing active and passive care behaviours. A table showing the ethogram for care (modified from Paul et al. 2017). A unique two letter code was used for recording each behaviour during observations. The table shows the code, the name of the behaviour and its description. Maternal/ Allo care was divided into active and passive care. A...
Data
Detailed summary of the GLMMs for active care. Text represents the detail summary of the GLMMs for active care shown by the putative fathers (PF) and allomothers (AM) towards focal pups during the observations. (TXT)
Data
Detailed summary of the GLMMs for passive care. Text represents the detail summary of the GLMMs for passive care shown by the putative fathers (PF) and allomothers (AM) towards focal pups during the observations. (TXT)
Data
Tabulated details of quadratic regression. Table showing the details of quadratic regression. Formula used: lm(formula = femaleallocare ~ week + week2). Proportion of time spent in active care by the allomothers (femaleallocare) was considered as the response variable for the quadratic regression. The two variables used are the pup age in weeks (we...
Article
Most insect societies can be classified as either primitively or highly eusocial. Primitively eusocial insect societies are usually led by queens who are morphologically indistinguishable from the workers and use aggression to control the workers, thereby typically holding top positions in the colony’s dominance hierarchy. Highly eusocial species h...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are the first species to have been domesticated, and unlike other domesticated species, they have developed a special bonding with their owners. The ability to respond to human gestures and language, and the hypersocial behaviours of dogs are considered key factors that have led them to become man's best friend. Free-r...
Poster
Full-text available
This study summarizes an ontogenic effect on free-ranging dogs’ point following behaviour.
Article
Full-text available
Differences in pet dogs' and captive wolves' ability to follow human communicative intents have led to the proposition of several hypotheses regarding the possession and development of social cognitive skills in dogs. It is possible that the social cognitive abilities of pet dogs are induced by indirect conditioning through living with humans, and...
Data
Experimenter 2 standing in a neutral posture in control condition. (PDF)
Data
Sample sizes used for the three age categories in the experiment for test and control conditions. (PDF)
Data
Age wise sample size of pups used for test and control experiments. (PDF)
Data
Pointing gesture using an adult individual. (MP4)
Data
Effect of frequency of gaze alternation on pup’s point-following behaviour. (PDF)
Data
Practice of calling out free-ranging dogs in India. (MP4)
Data
Why kneel down posture was not used? (PDF)
Data
Experimenter 2 pointing randomly at a bowl with one of the adult individuals. (PDF)
Data
Bar graph showing proportion of pups that followed and did not follow pointing cues over the range of 4th week– 8th weeks. No significant variation was found for point-following behaviour of pups during the age range (Goodness of fit, p = 0.405). Black bars indicate pups that followed point and grey bars indicate pups that did not follow the pointi...
Preprint
Dogs ( Canis lupus familiaris ) are the first species to have been domesticated, and unlike other domesticated species, they have developed a special bonding with their owners. The ability to respond to human gestures and language is a key factor in the socio-cognitive abilities of dogs that have made them our best friend. Free-ranging dogs provide...
Article
Full-text available
Past research has suggested that a variety of factors, phylogenetic and ontogenetic, play a role in how canines behave during problem-solving tasks and the degree to which the presence of a human influences their problem-solving behaviour. While comparisons between socialized wolves and domestic dogs have commonly been used to tease apart these pre...
Article
Full-text available
Domestic dogs' (Canis lupus familiaris) socio-cognitive faculties have made them highly sensitive to human social cues. While dogs often excel at understanding human communicative gestures, they perform comparatively poorly in problem-solving and physical reasoning tasks. This difference in their behaviour could be due to the lifestyle and intense...
Chapter
Full-text available
Is the entrenched division between the natural and human sciences unbridgeable? Is this divide crippling innovation in science, or is it necessary to keep science pure? Between 2006–14, an experiment was conducted in Integrated Science Education (ISE) in several science institutions, including the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and the Indi...
Article
Full-text available
Parent-offspring conflict theory predicts the emergence of weaning conflict between a mother and her offspring arising from skewed relatedness benefits. Empirical observations of weaning conflict have not been carried out in canids. In a field-based study on free-ranging dogs we observed that nursing/suckling bout durations decrease, proportion of...
Data
Nursing and allonursing in free-ranging dogs in India. The video is comprised of video clippings that present the details of nursing and suckling behaviours in free-ranging dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) in India. It also represents the detail of suckling refusals and few examples of allonursing. (MP4)
Data
Details of the observed dog groups. The table represents the group identity of each observed mother-litter units along with their litter size at birth, year of data collection, location and habitat type of the observed units, etc. Presence or absence of allonursing has also been tabulated here. (DOCX)
Data
Detailed description of the generalized linear mixed effect models (GLMM). Four models have been described in details along with the fixed and random effects that have been incorporated in the models. (doi:10.5061/dryad.d15b0). (DOCX)
Data
ESM1: Ethogram of mother-pup interactions ESM2: Details of the linear mixed effect model that shows the effect of pup age and their current littersize on the proportion of time spent in total care by the mother. ESM 3: Details of the linear mixed effect model that shows the effect of pup age and their current littersize on the proportion of time sp...
Article
Full-text available
Animals that scavenge in and around human settlements need to utilise a broad range of resources, and thus generalist scavengers are likely to be better adapted to human-dominated habitats. In India, free-ranging dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) live in close proximity with humans in diverse habitats, from forest fringes to metropolises, and are heavi...
Article
Full-text available
Dens are crucial in the early development of many mammals, making den site selection an important component of parental care in such species. Resource availability and shelter from predators primarily govern den selection. Species inhabiting human-dominated landscapes typically den away from human disturbance, often shifting dens to avoid humans du...