Utilizing Scents as Environmental Enrichment: Preference Assessment and Application with Rothschild Giraffe

Zoological institutions use environmental enrichment to increase opportunities for animals to engage in species-appropriate behavior. In these facilities, enrichment for giraffe typically consists of different types of feeders to increase the percentage of time spent foraging. The current study explored the use of scent enrichment as a way to increase exploration, activity levels and space […]

Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar human visual and olfactory cues

Social animals use individual identity cues to form and maintain social relationships with conspecifics. This ability to discriminate between individuals extends to heterospecifics in some social mammals. The aim of this study was to determine if Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) could differentiate between familiar and unfamiliar people using visual, auditory, and olfactory cues independently. Two […]

Scent marking in wild banded mongooses: 3. Intrasexual overmarking in females

In contrast to numerous studies of scent marking in male mammals, studies of female scent marking are relatively rare. We have previously shown that communally breeding female banded mongooses, Mungos mungo, are more likely to overmark the scent of other females. Here we describe female overmarking patterns in more detail, and discuss these results in […]

Noninvasive high field MRI brain imaging of the Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

This report documents the application of high field magnetic resonance imaging to viewing the central nervous system of garter snakes (12-43 g) with emphasis on the vomeronasal and olfactory systems. Slices in all three planes were taken in lightly sedated snakes showing many major neural structures with resolution down to less than 60 μm. The […]

Behavioural analysis of solitary versus socially housed snow leopards (Panthera uncia), with the provision of simulated social contact

Activity budgets of 18 captive snow leopards were analyzed in order to assess the behaviour of cats housed singly versus those housed socially. Six solitary snow leopards and 12 socially housed snow leopards were compared. Pacing and activity level were used as indicators of the potential welfare states of cats under these two conditions. Solitary […]

Social defeat differentially affects immune responses in Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus)

Social defeat is a complex, multi-faceted behavioral interaction capable of eliciting a wide range of physiological and behavioral responses. The behavioral components responsible for eliciting these changes, however, remain unspecified. The goal of the present study was to examine the effects of chronic social defeat on serum cortisol concentration as well as innate and acquired […]

Odorant discrimination by tiger salamanders after combined olfactory and vomeronasal nerve cuts

Tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) were trained to respond to n-butyl acetate, 8.9×10-5 M; 2.7×10-6 M. Then they were given combined bilateral olfactory and vomeronasal nerve cuts (NC) or sham surgery (S). After surgery, animals were tested at two concentration levels for responding to butyl acetate and discriminative responding between butyl acetate and butyl alcohol. NC […]

Social Effects via Olfactory Sensory Stimuli on Reproductive Function and Dysfunction in Cooperative Breeding Marmosets and Tamarins

Most primates are social species whose reproduction is influenced by their social relationships. The cotton-top tamarin, Saguinus oedipus, and the common marmoset, Callithrix jacchus, are cooperative breeding species where the family structure alters reproductive function in many ways. While primates receive social effects on reproduction via all sensory stimuli, the marmosets and tamarins are particularly […]

Effects of experimentally necessary changes in husbandry on olfactory memory: Chronic food restriction and social isolation

Changes to typical procedures in animal husbandry are often necessary to accommodate the needs of behavioral experiments. Two common changes in husbandry for rodents are light chronic food restriction (to motivate animals in reward-association tasks) and social isolation (to accommodate individual feeding schedules or need to reduce interactions because of implants for example). Each of […]

The effects of intrinsic enrichment on captive felids

Environmental enrichment is a well-known technique, which has been used to enhance the welfare of captive animals. The aim of this study is to investigate how three different forms of intrinsic enrichment, namely, a hay ball without scent, a hay ball with catnip, and a hay ball with cinnamon, influenced the behavior of six cheetah […]