Change in stingray behaviour and social networks in response to the scheduling of husbandry events

Husbandry tasks are often carried out at the same time and in the same manner every day, resulting in the potential for them to become predictable to animals. An unpublished study conducted on a mixed species enclosure of blue-spotted ribbontail rays (Taeniura lymma) and blue-spotted maskrays (Neotrygon kuhlii), reported increased intra and interspecies aggression preceding […]

Determinants of Home Range Size for Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)

The mean home range size of female polar bears (Ursus maritimus; 125 100 km2 ± 11 800; n = 93) is substantially larger than the predicted value (514 km2) for a terrestrial carnivore of similar weight. To understand this difference, we correlated home range size and sea ice characteristics. Home range size was related to […]

The effects of predictable and unpredictable feeding schedules on the behavior and physiology of captive brown capuchins (Cebus apella)

Responses to different feeding schedules in group living capuchins (Cebus apella) were evaluated. Animals were fed on a predictable schedule for 6 weeks followed by 6 weeks on an unpredictable schedule (varied by early, on-time, or late feedings). Behavior was sampled via scan sampling at 1 min intervals 1 h pre-feed and 1 h post-feed. […]

Effect of feeding boxes on the behavior of stereotyping amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) in the Zurich Zoo, Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10061.abs The stereotyped pacing shown by the two Amur tigers in the Zurich Zoo was hypothesized as being caused by permanently frustrated appetitive foraging behavior. Several electrically controlled feeding boxes were installed and access to each box was possible only twice a day for 15 min at semi-random times. The boxes had to be […]

A note on reward-related behaviour and emotional expressions in farmed silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes)–Basis for a novel tool to study animal welfare

The present study aimed to investigate the profile and quantitative aspects of reward-related behaviour and emotional expressions during anticipation of positive (predictable or various unpredictable) or negative (predictable) rewards in a Pavlovian trace conditioning paradigm in farmed silver foxes. When anticipating a positive reward, silver foxes were more active, performed more stereotypical behaviour, had more […]

Increasing farm animal welfare by positively motivated instrumental behaviour

Rewarded instrumental learning leads to the association of an environmental cue with the positive result of the own activity. Instrumental behaviour includes motivation for a specific reward, anticipation of its successful acquisition and positive appraisal. In this paper, we present theoretical and empirical evidence for the potential of an advanced type of cognitive enrichment, which […]

The role of predictability in the stress response of a cichlid fish

In recent years there has been an increasing interest in the cognitive abilities of fish with implications for animal welfare and management of rearing operations. Although it is known that psychological factors can modulate the stress response in mammals, this aspect has seldom been investigated within stress in fish. In this study we investigate whether […]

Stress revisited: A critical evaluation of the stress concept

With the steadily increasing number of publications in the field of stress research it has become evident that the conventional usage of the stress concept bears considerable problems. The use of the term ‘stress’ to conditions ranging from even the mildest challenging stimulation to severely aversive conditions, is in our view inappropriate. Review of the […]

Effects of varying feed provision on behavioral patterns of farmed collared peccary (Mammalia, Tayassuidae)

Feeding enrichment regime has been widely employed as an important tool to mimic foraging behavior and improve farm animals’ welfare. Some authors have argued that creating some level of uncertainty in the animals’ environment is beneficial. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of challenge feeders plus spatial and temporal unpredictability as feeding enrichment on 18 captive […]

Emotional experience in sheep: Predictability of a sudden event lowers subsequent emotional responses

The study of emotions in animals can be approached thanks to a framework derived from appraisal theories developed in cognitive psychology, according to which emotions are triggered when the individual evaluates challenging events. This evaluation is based on a limited number of criteria such as the familiarity and the predictability of an event. If animals […]