Animal agency, animal awareness and animal welfare

In nature, animals need to actively engage with the environment in order to prosper in survival and reproduction. Hence, agency is a central adaptive characteristic of animal life. In this paper, I propose that from the adaptive/functional point of view, four levels of agency can be distinguished, namely passive/reactive agency (animal being behaviourally passive or […]

Effects of rearing and housing environment on behaviour and performance of pigs with different coping characteristics

The availability of a rooting substrate may profoundly affect behaviour and welfare of pigs. Apart from their actual housing environment, also the conditions present in early life and individual characteristics may influence the behaviour of pigs. The present study investigated the relative importance of the housing environment during rearing and the actual housing environment on […]

Variability in sensory ecology: expanding the bridge between physiology and evolutionary biology

Sensory organs represent the interface between the central nervous system of organisms and the environment in which they live. To date, we still lack a true integration of ecological and evolutionary perspectives in our understanding of many sensory systems. We argue that scientists working in sensory ecology should expand the bridge between sensory and evolutionary […]

Response of hatchling Komodo Dragons (Varanus komodoensis) at Denver Zoo to visual and chemical cues arising from prey

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20219.abs Five hatchling Komodo Dragons (Varanus komodoensis) at Denver Zoo were observed in two experiments that studied the effects of visual and chemical cues arising from prey. Rate of tongue flicking was recorded in Experiment 1, and amount of time the lizards spent interacting with stimuli was recorded in Experiment 2. Our hypothesis was […]

Early social influence on nestling development in Waldrapp ibis (Geronticus eremita)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10050.abs The Waldrapp ibis is critically endangered; hence specific knowledge is needed to support the management of the last birds in the wild, and to prepare for reintroduction projects. In this study we attempted to test the effects of raising an ibis as a single chick from hatching to the age of 3 weeks, […]

Why in earth? Dustbathing behaviour in jungle and domestic fowl reviewed from a Tinbergian and animal welfare perspective

Dustbathing has been the subject of much research in captive birds. In the present review we bring together the studies of domestic fowl (Gallus gallus domesticus) and jungle fowl (G. gallus) to provide a more complete picture of the behaviour. Dustbathing is discussed from the four aspects suggested by Tinbergen [Tinbergen, N., 1963. On aims […]

Growth of morelet’s crocodile (crocodylus moreletii) during the first three years of life

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430140210.abs Growth of Crocodylus moreletii, an endangered species, was observed under protected conditions in the native range, from hatching through the third year of life. The goal of this project was to provide baseline growth data for eventual comparison with data from specimens reared in thermally controlled zoo facilities. Length increase averaged 1.6 cm/mo […]

Social experience in early ontogeny has lasting effects on social skills in cooperatively breeding cichlids

The early social environment can affect the social behaviour of animals throughout life. We tested whether the presence of adults during early development influences the social behaviour of juveniles later on in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher. In a split-brood design we raised half of the broods together with parents and with or without […]

Effect of feed and environmental enrichment on development of stereotypic wire-gnawing in lab mice

At 21 days of age, 16 pairs of male laboratory mice of the ICR strain were weaned and allocated to four treatment groups in a 2×2 factorial design matched for genetic background (litter) and body weight. Factor one was the hardness of the food pellets with a significant 2.5-fold difference between soft and hard feed. […]

Development of skilled detection and extraction of embedded prey by wild brown capuchin monkeys (cebus apella apella)

Brown capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella apella) in Suriname forage on larvae enclosed within healthy bamboo stalks. We applied the searching versus handling dichotomy of optimal foraging models to highlight developmental processes contributing to foraging on embedded prey. Larvae acquisition begins with search; selecting an appropriate stalk and locating the embedded larvae; followed by handling, ripping […]