The Influence of Age, Sex, and Social Affiliation on the Responses of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to a Novel Stimulus Over Time

Responses to novelty may differ among individuals as a function of age, sex, and/or the presence of offspring, and understanding how marine mammals respond to novel stimuli is critical to management. In this study, 20 captive Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were exposed to a novel object, consisting of PVC pipes and either a non-reflective […]

Differences in novel food response between Pongo and Pan

The diversity of great ape diets requires behavioral flexibility. Consequently, the exploration of potentially novel food sources is supposedly beneficial, but simultaneously, apes show high neophobia to prevent harmful and poisonous food intake. Social information, such as presence of group members or observations of non-naïve, experienced individuals have been demonstrated to affect the acceptance of […]

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 […]

Gorilla Adaptations to Naturalistic Environments

In the past few decades there have been increased investigations into the effects of captive environments on behavior. Simultaneously, zoological gardens have undergone a revolution in philosophy and design, resulting in a proliferation of “naturalistic” habitats. Complex environments such as these have been found to affect the behavior of captive animals favorably, including increasing reproductive […]

Individual variation in spontaneous problem-solving performance among wild great tits

Behavioural traits generally and cognitive traits in particular are relatively understudied in an evolutionary ecological context. One reason for this is that such traits are often difficult to characterize among large numbers of individuals, without the influence of diverse environmental effects swamping intrinsic individual differences. We conducted standardized assays on a natural population of great […]

Olfaction in the Domestic Fowl: A Critical Review

It has been known for some time that many species of birds, including domestic fowl Gallus domesticus, have an olfactory sense. However, the functional significance of avian olfaction is less clear. We review neurobiological, embryological and behavioral evidence relevant to the question of how domestic fowl use the sense of smell. Evidence suggests a potential […]

Innovative Foraging Behaviour in Birds: What Characterizes an Innovator?

Innovative foraging behaviour has been observed in many species, but little is known about how novel behaviour emerges or why individuals differ in their propensity to innovate. Here, we investigate these questions by presenting 36 wild-caught adult male Carib grackles (Quiscalus lugubris) with a novel problem-solving task. Twenty birds solved the task (“innovators”) while 16 […]

Response to novel food in infant chimpanzees: Do infants refer to mothers before ingesting food on their own?

We investigated infant response toward novel food in captive chimpanzees under the condition in which they can explore such items freely together with their mother. Infants first approached novel foods rather than familiar ones when presented simultaneously. However, they did not ingest novel food immediately, but always sniff-licked it first. Infants tended to pay attention […]

A comparison of innovative problem-solving abilities between wild and captive spotted hyaenas, Crocuta crocuta

Innovative problem solving enables individuals to deal with novel social and ecological challenges. However, our understanding of the importance of innovation for animals in their natural habitat is limited because experimental investigations of innovation have historically focused on captive animals. To determine how captivity affects innovation, and whether captive studies of animal innovation suffer from […]

Personality and production: Nervous cows produce less milk

The objective of this study was to investigate relationships between animal personality (i.e., consistency in behavioral responses, also called temperament) and milk production in dairy cows. There has recently been a growing research interest in animal personality, which in production animals can have an important impact on welfare and production potential. Despite this, the relationship […]