Twenty-four hour activity budget and scent-marking behaviours of captive margays (Leopardus wiedii) in naturalistic enclosures, Belize

I present the first study of the twenty-four hour activity budget and scent-marking repertoire of margay. My results indicate that the sexes had remarkably similar activity budgets with the following exceptions: males (i) spent considerably more time roaming and (ii) sprayed more frequently than females, which fits the observation that males have larger territories than […]

Scent marking and social relationships in pine martens (Martes martes)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430120603.abs Scent marking was studied in pine martens (Martes martes) in female-female and male-female pairs. Results show that agonistically dominant individuals generally had higher scent marking frequencies. However, environmental familiarity can modify the social relationship, whatever the previous social experiences, and, consequently, marking activity. Despite important intra-and interindividual variations, the subjects appeared to react […]

Scent-marking in captive red pandas (Ailurus fulgens)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430080210.abs Three male and three female captive red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) were observed during and outside of the breeding season to examine changes in scent-marking behavior. Variation in scent-marking was analyzed with respect to site preferences, sex differences, onset of breeding, behavioral correlates, and environmental factors. Both males and females exhibited significant preferences for […]

Effects of isolation-rearing on the development of social behaviors in male Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus)

Social isolation has been shown to modify behavioral patterns and neuroendocrine function in many species. In this study, we examined the influence of post-weaning social isolation on the behavioral development and fecal testosterone and corticosterone levels of male Mongolian gerbils. In Experiment 1, isolation-reared (IR) males spent more time engaged in social-sniffing. IR males also […]

Why Aye-Ayes See Blue

The capacity for cone-mediated color vision varies among nocturnal primates. Some species are colorblind, having lost the functionality of their short-wavelength-sensitive-1 (SWS1) opsin pigment gene. In other species, such as the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), the SWS1 gene remains intact. Recent studies focused on aye-ayes indicate that this gene has been maintained by natural selection and […]

Giant Panda Scent-Marking Strategies in the Wild: Role of Season, Sex and Marking Surface

Scent marking entails significant energetic and opportunity costs that demand efficiency. Signal detection theory offers a theoretical framework that generates testable hypotheses regarding where animals should place scent signals in the environment in a way that maximizes their probability of detection by target receivers while minimizing costs of production and distribution. Solitary and reliant on […]

Relative contributions of urine and anal-sac secretions in scent marks of large felids

A hypothesis generated from field observations of lions and tigers was tested in a zoo setting. The presence of a whitish material in urine marks, detected by visual inspection, led to the sumrise that anal-sac secretions were expelled along with urine. This hypothesis was evaluated by labelling anal-sace secretions of various felids with an inert […]

A comparative analysis of scent-marking, social and reproductive behavior in 20 species of small cats (Felis)

Except for lions and cheetahs, members of family Felidae exhibit spatially and temporally dispersed social systems. However, this solitary existence does not preclude possession of a rich repertoire of communication signals. While patterns of communication have been examined in a number of the larger cats (e.g., lions, cheetahs, tigers), those of the smaller cats (

The social integration of European badger (Meles meles) cubs into their natal group

Three main reasons have been suggested to explain the evolution of stable social groups in mammals: cooperation, resource dispersion, and natal philopatry. Here, we investigate the driving forces behind the social integration of badger Meles meles cubs into their natal group as a model for those species, where group-living has been attributed to ecological constraints. […]

New communal roosting tradition established through experimental translocation in a Neotropical harvestman

‘Tradition’ has been invoked to explain instances in which animals aggregate repeatedly in the same locations for no apparent reason, but alternative explanations, such as cryptic habitat selection, are difficult to rule out. Distinguishing among these hypotheses requires field experiments. We studied a species of harvestman (Prionostemma sp.) that forages solitarily at night and forms […]