Smart behaviour in a variable world


Value of captive populations for quantitative genetics research

Evolutionary biologists have usefully applied quantitative genetics methods to the pedigrees of wild animals to understand how natural selection shapes phenotypic diversity in nature. Despite recent reviews on the importance of rapid evolutionary changes for conservation biology and the increasing concerns about potentially adverse effects of adaptation to captivity for wild species, the integration of […]

Variability in sensory ecology: expanding the bridge between physiology and evolutionary biology

Sensory organs represent the interface between the central nervous system of organisms and the environment in which they live. To date, we still lack a true integration of ecological and evolutionary perspectives in our understanding of many sensory systems. We argue that scientists working in sensory ecology should expand the bridge between sensory and evolutionary […]

The link between metabolic rate and body temperature in galliform birds in thermoneutral and heat exposure conditions: The classical and phylogenetically corrected approach

Three galliform species (grey partridges, ring-necked pheasants, and king quail) were involved in body temperature and resting metabolic rate measurements over a broad range of ambient temperatures (20-45 degrees C). At thermoneutrality, inter-species differences in colonic temperature, as well as in metabolic rate, were observed. During heat exposure, all species reacted by elevating their body […]

Predatory behavior of the snake Bothrops jararaca and its adaptation to captivity

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1038.abs Habituation to captivity is difficult for some species. Understanding the motivational elements involved in predation may ease this habituation. Seventy-one Brazilian jararaca snakes (Bothrops jararaca [Wied, 1824], Viperidae, Crotalinae) recently captured and never fed in captivity were tested for predatory behavior on rodents. Lighting was adapted to allow predatory sessions to occur during […]

Behavioural syndromes and trappability in free-living collared flycatchers, Ficedula albicollis

The concept of behavioural syndromes hypothesizes that consistent behaviours across various situations mediate important life history trade-offs, and predicts correlations among behavioural traits. We studied the consistency of behavioural responses across three ecological situations (exploration of an environment altered with a novel object, aggression towards conspecifics, risk taking) in male collared flycatchers. We developed behavioural […]

Annual rhythm of body weight in Prezwalski horses

The live-weight of female Przewalski horses in a semi-natural reserve has been recorded continuously over 6 years by means of an automatic weighing machine and automatic identification. Data were tested for cyclic as well as for linear trend effects and a mathematical model was developed. A clear annual rhythm of live-weight with the maximum in […]

Influence of rearing conditions of pullets on space use and performance of hens placed in aviaries at the beginning of the laying period

little work has been done on the adaptation of hens to this system according to their previous rearing conditions, despite the specific adaptation skills it requires of them. The adaptation to laying aviaries of hens previously reared in different conditions was assessed here through their use of vertical levels, numbers and distances of flights and […]

Adaptation of blind brown bears to a new environment and its residents: stereotypy and play as indicators

Fourteen European brown bears (Ursus arctos) were confiscated in Turkey in October 1993. Three bears-1 female and 2 males-were blind and showed mainly stereotypies and behavior toward others that was passive, aggressive, or both. These blind bears were transported to the Zoo in the Netherlands and placed in an enclosure with 8 resident wolves and […]

Stress revisited: A critical evaluation of the stress concept

With the steadily increasing number of publications in the field of stress research it has become evident that the conventional usage of the stress concept bears considerable problems. The use of the term ‘stress’ to conditions ranging from even the mildest challenging stimulation to severely aversive conditions, is in our view inappropriate. Review of the […]