Developing models for mother–infant behaviour in Black rhinoceros and Reticulated giraffe Diceros bicornis michaeli and Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata at Brookfield Zoo, Illinois

For over a decade the behaviours of mothers and newborn calves of Black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis michaeli and Reticulated giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata have been observed at Brookfield Zoo during the critical first few weeks post-partum. Consistent patterns were seen for individuals within species, allowing models of time budgets, including ranges of variability surrounding each […]

Variation in the parental care systems of mammals and the impact on zoo breeding programs

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430130504.abs The identity of mammalian caregivers, the types of care each may provide to young, and the developmental, ecological, and social factors that influence the amount and distribution of care are discussed. Care is distinguished from use and abuse in terms of the impact on the survival of young. Some effects of the failure […]

Behavioral budgets of captive sea otter mother–pup pairs during pup development

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430120508.abs Instantaneous sampling of eight behavior categories for a captive mother sea otter (Enhydra lutris) and her four pups was conducted continuously during the first three months following each pup’s birth. Initially, pup-grooming and rest occupied the largest proportion of the mother’s time. Despite a steady decline in the amount of time the mother […]

Procedures for improving maternal behavior in captive chimpanzees

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430090306.abs Captive female chimpanzees who have had no opportunity to observe mothers with infants or to interact with infants often show inappropriate maternal behavior, particularly with their first-born infant, and this usually results in the removal of the infant to be human-reared. The present study used two techniques to encourage appropriate maternal behavior in […]

Leaving home: A study of laboratory mouse pup independence

Juvenile wild house mice leave their mothers at 8 weeks (+). In contrast, laboratory strains of mice (lab mice) are typically ‘weaned’ at postnatal day (PND) 21. Lab mice might mature faster than their wild forebears; but if they do not, standard laboratory weaning likely involves maternal deprivation. We therefore investigated when lab mice voluntarily […]

Variations in the postnatal maternal environment in mice: Effects on maternal behaviour and behavioural and endocrine responses in the adult offspring

According to the maternal mediation hypothesis, brain and behavioural development in rodents is affected by environment-dependent variations in maternal care. Thus, it has been shown that early handling results in reduced behavioural and neuroendocrine responses to stressors and that these effects are associated with increased maternal care received during infancy. To investigate this further in […]

Living in a dangerous world decreases maternal care: A study in serotonin transporter knockout mice

Adverse early experiences can profoundly influence the adult behavioral profile. When pregnant and lactating mice are confronted with soiled bedding of unfamiliar males (UMB), these stimuli signal the danger of infanticide and thus simulate a “dangerous world”. In a previous study, offspring of UMB treated mothers were shown to display increased anxiety-like behavior and reduced […]

Developmental plasticity of HPA and fear responses in rats: A critical review of the maternal mediation hypothesis

Developmental plasticity of HPA and fear responses in rats has been proposed to be mediated by environment-dependent variation in active maternal care. Here, we review this maternal mediation hypothesis based on the postnatal manipulation literature and on our own recent research in rats. We show that developmental plasticity of HPA and fear responses in rats […]

A Case of Adoption and Allonursing in Captive Plains Zebra (Equus burchellii)

Although allonursing (allowing non-filial offspring to suckle) can be a costly behaviour, it has been reported for many mammals including ungulate species. However, such behaviour is very rare in equids. This is the first report on adoption and allonursing in captive plains zebra (Equus burchellii), recorded in the Dvu˚ r Králové Zoo, Czech Republic.We observed […]

Effects of maternal experience on fearfulness and maternal behaviour in a precocial bird

Brood care can improve with experience, and experience under natural conditions increases with age. We aimed to evaluate the relative effect of experience by comparing experienced and inexperienced females of the same age under controlled conditions. Using 18 experienced (XP) and 22 inexperienced (NXP) female Japanese quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica. of the same age, we […]