Sensory ecology: Introduction


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 […]

The Sensory Ecology of Primate Food Perception

Much of the potential of sensory information for understanding primate feeding has been ignored because the subject is usually approached from a nutritional perspective rather than a sensory one. However, nutrients are abstract constructs of modern science, so how can we expect primates to know what they are? To argue that a foraging primate is […]

Sensory Ecology of Electromagnetic Radiation Perception in Subterranean Mole-Rats

Subterranean living animals must handle orientation in their habitat with limited cues, among which is light scarcity. Zambian mole-rats belong to the rodent genus Fukomys and spend the majority of their lifetime underground in extensive burrow systems. These mole-rats have generally been considered as functionally blind, but recent morphological findings have suggested that their visual […]

The sensory basis of prey detection in captive-born grey mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus

The sensory bases of food detection, food location and food choice in nocturnal primates are poorly understood. Grey mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus, are omnivorous nocturnal strepsirhines and generally regarded a good model for the most ancestral primate condition. We set up a series of choice experiments in a controlled laboratory environment to investigate the roles […]

The conservation-welfare nexus in reintroduction programmes: a role for sensory ecology

Since reintroduction programmes involve moving animals from captive or wild environments and releasing them into novel environments, there are sure to be a number of challenges to the welfare of the individuals involved. Behavioural theory can help us develop reintroductions that are better for both the welfare of the individual and the conservation of populations. […]

Ultraviolet visual sensitivity in three avian lineages: paleognaths, parrots, and passerines

Ultraviolet (UV) light-transmitted signals play a major role in avian foraging and communication, subserving functional roles in feeding, mate choice, egg recognition, and nestling discrimination. Sequencing functionally relevant regions of the short wavelength sensitive type 1 (SWS1) opsin gene that is responsible for modulating the extent of SWS1 UV sensitivity in birds allows predictions to […]

Visual acuity in the cathemeral strepsirrhine Eulemur macaco flavifrons

Studies of visual acuity in primates have shown that diurnal haplorhines have higher acuity (30–75 cycles per degree (c/deg)) than most other mammals. However, relatively little is known about visual acuity in non-haplorhine primates, and published estimates are only available for four strepsirrhine genera (Microcebus, Otolemur, Galago, and Lemur). We present here the first measurements […]