Odor landscapes and animal behavior: tracking odor plumes in different physical worlds

The acquisition of information from sensory systems is critical in mediating many ecological interactions. Chemosensory signals are predominantly used as sources of information about habitats and other organisms in aquatic environments. The movement and distribution of chemical signals within an environment is heavily dependent upon the physics that dominate at different size scales. In this […]

Spatial learning in a T-maze by the crayfish Orconectes rusticus

The T-maze has commonly been used to investigate the mechanisms underlying spatial learning in vertebrates and has yielded much information about how animals use response and place cues to orient toward a goal. We designed a T-maze to study the spatial learning abilities of crayfish (Orconectes rusticus), using tactile stimuli as a place cue and […]

Spatial memory for food hidden by rats (Rattus norvegicus) on the radial maze: Studies of memory for where, what, and when

Rats (Rattus norvegicus) were allowed to hide food items on an 8-arm radial maze by carrying the items from the center to boxes at the end of each arm. Retrieval tests given after rats had hidden 4 items showed that they selectively returned to the maze arms where food had been hidden (Experiments 1 and […]

Dynamic averaging and foraging decisions in horses (Equus callabus)

The variability of most environments taxes foraging decisions by increasing the uncertainty of the information available. One solution to the problem is to use dynamic averaging, as do some granivores and carnivores. Arguably, the same strategy could be useful for grazing herbivores, even though their food renews and is more homogeneously distributed. Horses (Equus callabus) […]

A comparison of four corvid species in a working and reference memory task using a radial maze

Birds were tested in an open-room radial maze with learned spatial locations that varied from trial to trial (working memory) and locations that remained spatially stable (reference memory). Three of the species, the Clark’s nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana), pinyon jay (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus), and Western scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) store food to varying degrees. The other species, […]

Thermoregulatory behavior in infant Norway rats ( Rattus norvegicus) and Syrian golden hamsters ( Mesocricetus auratus): Arousal, orientation, and locomotion

The responses of 2- and 8-day-old rats (Rattus norvegicus) and hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) to thermal stimulation were assessed in 4 experiments. In Experiment 1, the surface underlying the pup was cooled, and the latency to escape to a region of warmth was measured. Experiment 2 required pups to locomote farther to gain access to warmth. […]