Retinal Spectral Sensitivity, Fur Coloration, and Urine Reflectance in the Genus Octodon (Rodentia): Implications for Visual Ecology

Purpose: To determine the eye’s spectral sensitivity in three species of the genus Octodon (order Rodentia; infraorder Caviomorpha), O. degus, O. bridgesi, and O. lunatus, as well as the spectral properties of the animals’ fur and urine and of objects in their habitat. The genus is endemic in Chile and contains species with different habitats […]

Evaluation of liquid nitrogen and dry ice–alcohol refrigerants for freeze marking three mammal species

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430100309.abs Degus (Octodon degus), Patagonian cavies (Dolichotis patagonum), and mouflon (Ovis musimon) were freeze marked with instruments refrigerated in liquid nitrogen or a mixture of dry ice and alcohol. The instruments were pressed against the skin of the animal for various trial durations. Recommended exposure durations with dry ice-alcohol refrigerant were: degus—28 sec; cavies—≈ […]

Infant-mother recognition in a social rodent (octodon degus)

Octodon degus (degu), a biparental species with precocious offspring is a potential model for the study of social attachment and related affective disorders such as depression. This study investigates the nature of the social bond between young degus and their mothers with a special emphasis on infant-mother recognition. We tested young degus in a potentiation […]

Reproductive correlates of social network variation in plurally breeding degus (Octodon degus)

Studying the causes and reproductive consequences of social variation can provide insight into the evolutionary basis of sociality. Individuals are expected to behave adaptively to maximize reproductive success, but reproductive outcomes can also depend on group structure. Degus (Octodon degus) are plurally breeding rodents, in which females allonurse indiscriminately. However, communal rearing does not appear […]

Maternal stress and plural breeding with communal care affect development of the endocrine stress response in a wild rodent

Maternal stress can significantly affect offspring fitness. In laboratory rodents, chronically stressed mothers provide poor maternal care, resulting in pups with hyperactive stress responses. These hyperactive stress responses are characterized by high glucocorticoid levels in response to stressors plus poor negative feedback, which can ultimately lead to decreased fitness. In degus (Octodon degus) and other […]