Is There Evidence of Learned Helplessness in Horses?

Learned helplessness is a psychological condition whereby individuals learn that they have no control over unpleasant or harmful conditions, that their actions are futile, and that they are helpless. In a series of experiments in which dogs were exposed to inescapable shocks, this lack of control subsequently interfered with the ability to learn an avoidance […]

Modification of fear in domestic chicks, Gallus gallus domesticus, via regular handling and early environmental enrichment

Although its adaptive properties are recognized, fear can harm the welfare and performance of intensively housed poultry. Its alleviation in individually caged domestic chicks via the independent or integrated application of regular handling and environmental enrichment regimes was investigated. The test situations incorporated varying degrees of exposure to novel, inanimate stimuli and of human involvement. […]

Gender differences, responsiveness and memory of a potentially painful event in hermit crabs

Nonreflexive responses to a noxious event and prolonged memory are key criteria of a pain experience. In a previous study, hermit crabs, Pagurus bernhardus, that received a small electric shock within their shell often temporarily evacuated the shell and some groomed their abdomen and/or moved away from their vital resource. Most, however, returned to the […]

Male-female interactions affect foraging behaviour within groups of small-spotted catshark, Scyliorhinus canicula

To examine potential effects of male-female interactions on the sexes’ foraging behaviour, we studied equal-sized, single- and mixed-sex groups of a benthic elasmobranch, the small-spotted catshark, in response to electric stimuli. A total of 88 size-matched, adult individuals were repeatedly presented with a range of artificial, prey type electric fields (E fields) under laboratory conditions […]

Behavioural fear and heart rate responses of horses after exposure to novel objects: Effects of habituation

The emotion fear promotes the fitness of wild animals. In a farm environment, exaggerated fear, e.g., in horses, can cause several problems. Therefore, knowledge about fear in horses helps to prevent or to handle potential fear-inducing situations. The present study investigated which behavioural fear responses can be observed during exposure of horses to a novel […]

Common toads (Bufo arenarum) learn to anticipate and avoid hypertonic saline solutions

Toads (Bufo arenarum) were exposed to pairings between immersion in a neutral saline solution (i.e., one that caused no significant variation in fluid balance), followed by immersion in a highly hypertonic saline solution (i.e., one that caused water loss). In Experiment 1, solutions were presented in a Pavlovian conditioning arrangement. A group receiving a single […]

Discrimination generalization by macaque monkeys to unidimensional and multidimensional stimul

The purpose of this investigation was to study the factors influencing the generalization of stimuli in macaque monkeys. Twelve animals were used. The stimuli to be discriminated differed in size, form, and color. Generalization was demonstrated for most of the test. The monkeys generalized in terms of avoidance to the negative stimulus to as great […]

Learning to Avoid Dangerous Habitat Types by Aquatic Salamanders, Eurycea tynerensis

There should be intense selection for predation avoidance mechanisms when prey live in close proximity to their predators. Prey individuals that can learn to associate habitat features with high levels of predation risk should experience increased survival if they subsequently avoid those habitats. We tested whether or not habitat learning occurred in a benthic stream […]

Effects of origin, experiences early in life, and genetics on bitterweed consumption by sheep

Bitterweed is one of the most detrimental poisonous plants to sheep production in west central Texas. Sheep typically avoid the plant unless alternative forage is limited. When consumption does occur, some flocks and individuals are able to consume bitterweed and avoid toxicosis. Our objective was to determine the importance of site of origination (long-term exposure), […]

Foraging Eurasian badgers Meles meles and the presence of cattle in pastures. Do badgers avoid cattle?

The proximity of badgers (Meles meles) to cattle, and their propensity to utilise pastures containing cattle, is of fundamental importance in understanding transmission possibilities for Mycobacterium bovis between a wildlife reservoir and cattle on farms. A study of free-ranging badgers carrying Global Positioning System (GPS) collars which allowed their movements to be tracked provided data […]