Sensory Ecology of Feeding in the Hummingbird Hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae)

The European hummingbird hawkmoth, Macroglossum stellatarum (Linnaeus 1758), drinks nectar while hovering in front of flowers of all colours, odours, sizes and shapes. Naive moths orient predominantly towards visual stimuli and prefer blue flowers with a radial pattern and a central contrasting spot. Hummingbird hawkmoths have trichromatic colour vision and can learn any colour and […]

Translation of sensory input into behavioral output via an olfactory system

We investigate the logic by which sensory input is translated into behavioral output. First we provide a functional analysis of the entire odor receptor repertoire of an olfactory system. We construct tuning curves for the 21 functional odor receptors of the Drosophila larva and show that they sharpen at lower odor doses. We construct a […]

Behavioral indices of estrus in a group of captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20053.abs This study investigated behavioral signals of estrus by systematically monitoring the interactions of one male with four female African elephants housed in a naturalistic outdoor enclosure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom over a period of 11 months. We measured changes in five spatial behaviors and 22 tactile-contact behaviors, as well as changes in serum […]

Scent marking in wild banded mongooses: 1. Sex-specific scents and overmarking

Overmarking occurs when one individual places its scent mark directly on top of the scent mark of another individual. Although it is almost ubiquitous among terrestrial mammals, we know little about the function of overmarking and detailed field observations are rare. We investigated the chemical composition of scents and patterns of overmarking by wild banded […]

Scent marking in wild banded mongooses: 2. Intrasexual overmarking and competition between males

Sexual selection has resulted in the elaboration of secondary sexual characteristics in many animals. Although mammalian scent glands, secretions and marking behaviour are commonly sexually dimorphic, these traits have received little attention compared to avian plumage and mammalian weaponry. Overmarking, when one individual places a scent mark directly over that of another individual, is of […]

What is it like to be a rat? Rat sensory perception and its implications for experimental design and rat welfare

This review of rat sensory perception spans eight decades of work conducted across diverse research fields. It covers rat vision, audition, olfaction, gustation, and somatosensation, and describes how rat perception differs from and coincides with ours. As Nagel’s seminal work (1974) implies, we cannot truly know what it is like to be a rat, but […]

Rats seem indifferent between their own scent-marked homecages and clean cages

Previous large-scale, long-term studies suggest that rat welfare is little affected by cage-cleaning frequency. Here, we investigate this further using a preference test: arguably a more sensitive welfare indicator than those used previously. Nine pairs of rats were each housed in two interconnected cages of differing cleanliness. One cage was cleaned every 3–4 days, while […]

Discrimination between conspecific odour samples in the horse (Equus caballus)

Behavioural observations suggest that smell is important in social discriminations between horses but balanced studies of this capacity are lacking. We used a habituation–discrimination procedure to investigate the ability of horses to distinguish between pairs of odour samples from different individuals. In Study 1, separate tests were conducted for urine, faeces or fleece fabric previously […]

Understanding the perceptual world of horses

From the viewpoint of experimental psychology, there are two problems with our current knowledge of equine perception. The first is that the behavioral and neurophysiological research in this area has enormous gaps, reflecting that this animal is not a convenient laboratory subject. The second is that the horse, having been a close companion to humans […]

Social novelty increases tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the extended olfactory amygdala of female prairie voles

The monogamous social behaviors of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) require olfactory inputs, which are processed by the posterodorsal medial amygdala (MeApd) and principal bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (pBST). The male prairie vole MeApd and pBST contain hundreds of cells densely immunoreactive for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH-ir). Female prairie voles have relatively few of these […]