Environmental Enrichment


Genetic, epigenetic and environmental impact on sex differences in social behavior

The field of behavioral neuroendocrinology has generated thousands of studies that indicate differences in brain structure and reactivity to gonadal steroids that produce sex-specific patterns of social behavior. However, rapidly emerging evidence shows that genetic polymorphisms and resulting differences in the expression of neuroactive peptides and receptors as well as early-life experience and epigenetic changes […]

Sexual behavior of male pigs

Two major characteristics of males that affect the likelihood of achieving copulation are the sexual motivation and mating competency of the male. The behavior of domestic animals, including their sexual behavior, is dependent upon a complex interaction between the organism’s internal and external environment. In male pigs, as in other mammalian species, it is clear […]

First Suckling: A Crucial Event for Mother–Young Attachment? An Experimental Study in Horses (Equus caballus)

This study investigates the consequences of interference during first suckling for subsequent mare-young attachment in horses (Equus caballus). Foals brought to their dams’ teats appeared, at later ages (1-3 months), to remain closer to their dams and to play less than control foals that had been allowed to suckle spontaneously. Higher levels of play and […]

How cross-fostered chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes ) initiate and maintain conversations

This study systematically sampled typical attention-getting sounds and sign language conversations between each of 4 originally cross-fostered chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), still living freely, but now in a laboratory setting, and a familiar human interlocutor. Videotape records showed that when they encountered a human interlocutor sitting alone at his desk with his back turned to them, […]

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) […]

Mother-infant relationships in baboons (Papio hamadryas): Predictors of differences and discontinuities in developmental pathways

This study uses hierarchical linear regression modeling to analyze sources of variation in the developmental pathways of mother-infant relationships and to search for behavioral discontinuities. The data come from 23 mother-infant dyads of baboons (Papio hamadryas), whose interactions were recorded longitudinally during the infants’ 1st year of life. The infant’s sex and the mother’s age […]

Species identity and the temporal characteristics of fish acoustic signals

Analyses of the acoustic signals of fish show that fine-scale temporal patterns of signals are what vary among species. A growing body of research addressing the topic of species differences in fish acoustic signals suggests that these differences are related to mate choice or species isolation. However, little behavioral work has been done to determine […]

Does prey matter? Geographic variation in antipredator responses of hatchlings of a Japanese natricine snake (Rhabdophis tigrinus)

Rhabdophis tigrinus, which typically forages on toads, has unusual nuchal glands on its dorsal neck region containing secretions chemically comparable to cardiac steroids found in toads. R. tigrinus also has several peculiar antipredator displays involving the neck region. If the nuchal gland secretions of R. tigrinus are derived from toads obtained as prey, populations of […]

Social and Environmental Factors Influence the Suppression of Pup-Directed Aggression and Development of Paternal Behavior in Captive Meadow Voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus)

During summer, female meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) maintain territories and males do not engage in paternal care. As day length shortens, territories dissolve and males nest with females and young. Because paternal behavior has never been studied in free-living meadow voles during colder months or in the laboratory under short photoperiods, the authors examined whether […]