The effect of early environment on neophobia in orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica)

Early experience is often a significant factor in shaping animals’ later behavior. Early maternal separation is associated with negative behavioral outcomes, such as increased fearfulness in rats, while higher levels of maternal grooming during the neonatal period are associated with decreased fearfulness and increased exploratory behavior. This finding may have implications for the welfare of […]

The development of feeding behaviour in wild western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

Before being weaned, young primates must learn which plant species are suitable to eat, and how to process and combine them to meet their nutritional needs. This study provides a detailed investigation of the development of feeding behaviour in a wild population of western lowland gorillas observed in a bai habitat. The behaviour of 56 […]

Unpredictable mild stressors on laying females influence the composition of Japanese quail eggs and offspring’s phenotype

Maternal stress effects on offspring development have been studied largely in rodents and primates, and to a lesser extent in farm animals. Potential lack of knowledge concerning prenatal stress on farm animals is regrettable because they are frequently subjected to a variety of husbandry stressors. Above all, effects of maternal stress on poultry offspring have […]

Behavioral development and parental investment in captive Bongos (Tragelaphus eurycerus)

The bongo is one of the least-studied of the Tragelaphini. In a study of five captive bongo calves, two males and three females, we measured several behaviors important to parental investment theory (Clutton-Brock et al., 1982), in order to describe their pattern in a rare species, and add to the database pertaining to sex allocation […]

The development of behaviour- trends since Tinbergen (1963)

Niko Tinbergen (1963) put behavioural development on the map as one of the four main problems in behavioural biology. Developmental research at the time was still in the grip of the nature/nurture debate. In his discussion, Tinbergen advocated an interactionist approach to development, which has been the main point of view in developmental research since […]

Differences in environmental enrichment generate contrasting behavioural syndromes in a basal spider lineage

Behavioural syndrome studies are commonly descriptive and often find a relationship between boldness, shyness and exploration. However, the mechanisms underlying behavioural syndromes are not well understood. In the present study, we examined the extent to which early experience acts as a modifier of behavioural tendencies in the basal tarantula, Brachypelma smithi. Juvenile individuals were housed […]

Behavioural patterns established during suckling reappear when piglets are forced to form a new dominance hierarchy

Early life experiences considerably influence the behavioural development of the animals in which the social environment plays a crucial role. Neonatal piglets experience intense social (including aggressive) interactions when compete with their littermates for the access to teats on the sow’s udder. Competition among piglets is not of equal intensity at all parts of the […]

Determining the effects of duration and recency of exposure to environmental enrichment

Experience can help animals adapt their behaviour to fit the environment or conditions that they find themselves in. Understanding how and when experience affects behaviour is important for the animals we rear in captivity. This is particularly true when we rear animals with the intent of releasing them into the wild as part of population […]

Growing into the self: the development of personality in rhesus macaques

Although personality has been widely studied among animal species, only a few studies have investigated the long-term development of personality during early ontogeny. In fact, no study of nonhuman primates has consistently mapped personality development from birth to adulthood. Our study aimed at closing this gap by examining the development of personality among free-ranging rhesus […]