Infrared imaging in vipers: differential responses of crotaline and viperine snakes to paired thermal targets

Pit vipers use infrared-sensitive pit organs to accurately target homeothermic prey even in the absence of visual cues. It has been suggested that other vipers, including large ambush predators of the genus Bitis, also may use radiant infrared information for predatory targeting.We compared behavioral responses of pit vipers and snakes of the viperine genus Bitis […]

Influence of prey odor concentration on the poststrike trailing behavior of the Northern Pacific rattlesnake

Rattlesnake predatory behavior is defined by a strike and then release of rodent prey. Poststrike, the released envenomated prey dashes off and dies. Therefore, the snake must relocate the prey relying largely upon chemosensory cues emitted by the struck prey. Assessing these poststrike chemosensory cues is important to the snake as these cues may contain […]

Stimulus control of predatory behavior by the Iberian wall lizard (Podarcis hispanica, Sauria, Lacertidae): Effects of familiarity with prey

The authors examine the relative roles of vision and chemoreception and the influence of previous experience with prey on the predatory behavior of Iberian wall lizards (Podarcis hispanica). Experiment 1 compared the responses to visual, chemical, and a combination of visual and chemical cues of a familiar prey by 2 groups of lizards that had […]

Flexible search behavior in domestic cats (Felis catus): A case study of predator-prey interaction

Domestic cats (Felis catus) were administered an object permanence task in a novel and a familiar situation to investigate flexibility (i.e., pause behavior and searching by following a path opposite of that taken by the object when it disappeared) in search behavior. Pause and opposite search were assumed to be independent, equipmbable, and randomly exhibited […]

Zoo and laboratory experiments on the behavior of snakes- assessments of competence in captive-raised animals

Specific experiments on rattlesnake predatory behavior are described. Specimens of taxa bred in zoos are shown to behave qualitatively like wild-caught congeners, suggesting that the captive-bred animals have the skill necessary to hunt in natural habitats. Frequently, wildcaught conspecifics are unavailable for comparison with captive-raised individuals. Although this comparison is desirable, we must develop research […]