CZAAWE Resource Article

The behavioral satiety sequence in pigeons (Columba livia). Description and development of a method for quantitative analysis
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Physiology & Behavior
The postprandial event known as the specific dynamic action is an evolutionarily conserved physiological set of metabolic responses to feeding. Its behavioral counterpart, a sequence of drinking, maintenance (e.g., grooming) and sleep-like behaviors known as the behavioral satiety sequence (BSS), has been thoroughly described in rodents and has enabled the refined evaluation of potential appetite modifiers. However, the presence and attributes of a BSS have not been systematically studied in non-mammalian species. Here, we describe the BSS induced in pigeons (Columba livia) by 1) the presentation of a palatable seed mixture (SM) food to free-feeding animals (SM + FF condition) and 2) re-feeding after a 24-h fasting period (FD24h + SM), which was examined by continuous behavioral recording for 2 h. We then compare these patterns to those observed in free-feeding (FF) animals. A set of graphic representations and indexes, drawn from these behaviors (latency, time-to-peak, inter-peak intervals and the first intersection between feeding curves and those of other BSS-typical behaviors) were used to describe the temporal structure and sequential relationships between the pigeon's BSS components. Cramér–von Mises-based statistical procedures and bootstrapping-based methods to compare pairs of complex behavioral curves were described and used for comparisons among the behavioral profiles during the free-feeding recordings and after fasting- and SM-induced BSS. FD24h + SM- and SM + FF-induced feeding were consistently followed by a similar sequence of increased bouts of drinking, followed by preening and then sleep, which were significantly different from that of FF birds. The sequential and temporal patterns of the pigeon's BSS were not affected by differences in food intake or by dissimilarity in motivational content of feeding stimuli. The present data indicated that a BSS pattern can be reliably evoked in the pigeon, in a chronological succession and sequence that strongly resembled that observed in rodents and primates. This pattern can be quantitatively described and compared using different suitable and coordinated behavioral measures, enabling further studies on the comparative and evolutionary aspects of the mechanisms that shape the post-consummatory behavioral flux in amniotes.