Adaptive significance of antipredator behaviour in artiodactyls

We used comparative data to test functional hypotheses for 17 antipredator behaviour patterns in artiodactyls. We examined the literature for hypotheses about auditory and visual signals, defensive behaviour and group-related antipredator behaviour in this taxon and derived a series of predictions for each hypothesis. Next, we documented occurrences of these behaviour patterns and morphological, ecological […]

Winter predation on two species of hibernating butterflies: monitoring rodent attacks with infrared cameras

Documentation of predator attacks in nature is important for understanding how specific antipredator defences have evolved, but previous accounts have been mostly anecdotal. Therefore, we monitored predation on two closely related butterfly species, Aglais urticae and Inachis io, during winter hibernation. Butterflies were placed singly close to the floor on walls in dark, seminatural hibernation […]

Response across a gradient: behavioural reactions of newly settled fish to predation cues

How individuals respond to predation threats will have a large influence on which individuals survive within a population. The magnitude and timing of these responses will be particularly important during periods of high predation susceptibility, such as that experienced by coral reef fishes immediately following settlement to the reef environment. Although reef fish are known […]

Personality and foraging decisions in fallow deer, Dama dama

Recent studies have examined the ecological and evolutionary bases for variation in animal personality. However, only a few such studies have examined how foraging parameters are influenced by different personality domains. In wild ungulates, the trade-off between the time spent on food intake and antipredator behaviour differs between individuals, but the underlying reason for this […]

Social learning of escape routes in zebrafish and the stability of behavioural traditions

Multiple factors potentially influence the formation and longevity of behavioural traditions. In zebrafish, Danio rerio, we investigated whether subjects follow knowledgeable fish escaping from a novel artificial predator, learn this escape response, and maintain the demonstrated escape route and response when knowledgeable fish were removed. A moving [`]trawl’ net forced fish to escape via one […]

Predator diet and prey behaviour: freshwater snails discriminate among closely related prey in a predator’s diet

Chemical cues are commonly used by prey to assess predation risk. Prey typically respond to predator cues by altering behaviour, but their response may depend on predator diet. There are few data on how predators feeding on prey types spanning a continuous gradient of relatedness affect prey behaviour. Here I present the results of a […]

A dynamic method to study the transmission of social foraging information in flocks using robots

To understand the mechanisms underlying the flow of social information in foraging groups, it is important to manipulate the behaviour of individuals and study the responses of flock members under different ecological and social conditions. Some studies have attempted this using three-dimensional models, like robots. Our goal was to assess the foraging and scanning behaviour […]

Cannibalism of nonviable offspring by postparturient Mexican lance-headed rattlesnakes, Crotalus polystictus

Female vertebrates frequently ingest undeveloped ova and stillborn offspring. Two hypotheses have been proposed to interpret this behaviour: (1) it is a form of parental care, and (2) it recycles otherwise wasted energy, facilitating maternal recovery. Our study of Mexican lance-headed rattlesnakes provides the first quantitative description of cannibalism by postparturient rattlesnakes. We collected gravid […]

Persistent effect of incubation temperature on stress-induced behavior in the Yucatan banded gecko (Coleonyx elegans)

Although variability in behavioral traits within animal populations is well documented, the mechanisms maintaining that variability are still insufficiently known. In this study, we examined whether differences in thermal environment during egg incubation can permanently organize nonsocial behavior across different contexts and situations in a lizard species. We incubated eggs of the Yucatan banded gecko, […]

Digit ratio, polychromatism and associations with endurance and antipredator behaviour in male painted dragon lizards

Variation in sex hormone exposure during early embryonic development contributes to individual differences in behaviour and cognitive abilities later in life. Digit ratio has gained considerable interest as a putative marker for early androgen/oestrogen exposure in behavioural ecology research. Studying digit ratio in nonhuman laboratory as well as wild vertebrate species may be useful to […]