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Animal Behaviour

Jack Thorley, Rute Mendonça, Philippe Vullioud, Miquel Torrents-Ticó, Markus Zöttl, David Gaynor, Tim Clutton-Brock
The specialization of individuals in specific behavioural tasks is often attributed either to irreversible differences in development, which generate functionally divergent cooperative phenotypes, or to age-related changes in the relative frequency with which individuals perform different cooperative activities; both of which are common in many insect caste systems. However, contrasts in cooperative behaviour can take other forms and, to date, few studies of cooperative behaviour in vertebrates have explored the effects of age, adult phenotype and early development on individual differences in cooperative behaviour in sufficient detail to discriminate between these alternatives...
September 2018: Animal Behaviour
Ellis J G Langley, Jayden O van Horik, Mark A Whiteside, Joah R Madden
To understand how natural selection may act on cognitive processes, it is necessary to reliably determine interindividual variation in cognitive abilities. However, an individual's performance in a cognitive test may be influenced by the social environment. The social environment explains variation between species in cognitive performances, with species that live in larger groups purportedly demonstrating more advanced cognitive abilities. It also explains variation in cognitive performances within species, with larger groups more likely to solve novel problems than smaller groups...
August 2018: Animal Behaviour
Simona Cafazzo, Sarah Marshall-Pescini, Jennifer L Essler, Zsófia Virányi, Kurt Kotrschal, Friederike Range
Puppy packs (consisting of only puppies) and mixed-age packs (composed of puppies and adults) were observed to test whether social play can be used for assessing and establishing social relations in wolves, Canis lupus . Differently from previous studies, we looked at play behaviours in detail, allowing us to categorize play interactions as either competitive or relaxed, and predicted that different types of play would be associated with different relationships between individuals. We found that the more time dyads spent in relaxed play, the more affiliative interactions they exchanged outside of play...
July 2018: Animal Behaviour
Angelina V Ruiz-Lambides, Brigitte M Weiß, Lars Kulik, Anja Widdig
Extragroup paternity (EGP) is found across a wide range of species and may entail reproductive benefits, but may also entail costs to both sexes. While population and group parameters affecting the degree of EGPs are relatively well established, less is known about the individual characteristics that make males and females engage in alternative reproductive tactics such as EGP. Applying a combination of long-term demographic and genetic data from the rhesus macaque population of Cayo Santiago (Puerto Rico, U...
June 2018: Animal Behaviour
Nicholas DiRienzo, Hitoshi Aonuma
Many animals actively defend their offspring using a range of behaviours from calling and mobbing in birds, to physical grappling in crustaceans, and the expression of these behaviours positively scale with offspring value. While this role of behaviour in defence is well studied, very little is known about how other traits, specifically the structure of architectural constructions such as webs and nests, contribute to offspring defence. Additionally, although some tax a show consistent individual differences in offspring defence behaviour, it is completely unknown whether individuals also differ in defensive structures...
April 2018: Animal Behaviour
Szabolcs Számadó, Dustin J Penn
•We reinvestigate a new model based on the handicap hypothesis.•We show the handicap hypothesis does not explain male dimorphisms.•The results are due to the 'playing-the-field' assumption of the model.•The generality of the 'playing-the-field' assumption is suspect.•The evolutionary stability of the proposed new equilibrium is questionable.
April 2018: Animal Behaviour
Miles K Bensky, Alison M Bell
Animals must identify reliable cues amidst environmental noise during learning, and the cues that are most reliable often depend on the local ecology. Comparing the performance of populations of the same species across multiple versions of a cognitive task can reveal whether some populations learn to use certain cues faster than others. Here, using a criterion-based protocol, we assessed whether two natural populations of sticklebacks differed in how quickly they learned to associate two different discrimination cues with the location of food...
March 2018: Animal Behaviour
Scott K Sakaluk, Charles F Thompson, E Keith Bowers
Fitness costs of incubation ensue whenever the trade-off between incubation and foraging leads to suboptimal incubation or decreased parental body condition. We examined the costs of incubation in a wild population of house wrens, Troglodytes aedon , by experimentally extending or decreasing the incubation period by cross-fostering eggs between nests at different stages of incubation (eggs from control nests were cross-fostered at the same stage of incubation). We determined whether parents or offspring bear the costs of incubation by measuring effects on females and offspring within the same breeding season during which the manipulation occurred, but also by evaluating potential trade-offs between current and future reproduction by monitoring return rates of experimental females and recruitment rates of offspring in subsequent breeding seasons...
March 2018: Animal Behaviour
Sam M Larson, Angelina Ruiz-Lambides, Michael L Platt, Lauren J N Brent
Network dynamics can reveal information about the adaptive function of social behaviour and the extent to which social relationships can flexibly respond to extrinsic pressures. Changes in social networks occur following changes to the social and physical environment. By contrast, we have limited understanding of whether changes in social networks precede major group events. Permanent evictions can be important determinants of gene flow and population structure and are a clear example of an event that might be preceded by social network dynamics...
February 2018: Animal Behaviour
R I M Dunbar
In mammals, and especially primates, group size and social complexity are typically correlated. However, we have no general explanation why this is so. I suggest that the answer may lie in one of the costs of group living: mammalian reproductive endocrinology is extremely sensitive to stress, and forms one of the hidden costs of living in groups. Fertility declines with group size widely across the social mammals, including primates, and will ultimately place a constraint on group size. However, some species seem to have been able to mitigate this cost by forming bonded relationships that reduce the impact of experienced aggression, even if rates of aggression remain high...
February 2018: Animal Behaviour
Robert Lurz, Carla Krachun, Lindsay Mahovetz, McLennon J G Wilson, William Hopkins
There is much experimental evidence suggesting that chimpanzees understand that others see. However, previous research has never experimentally ruled out the alternative explanation that chimpanzees are just responding to the geometric cue of 'direct line of gaze', the observable correlate of seeing in others. Here, we sought to resolve this ambiguity by dissociating seeing from direct line of gaze using a mirror. We investigated the frequency of chimpanzees' visual gestures towards a human experimenter who could see them (as a result of looking into a mirror) but who lacked a direct line of gaze to them (as a result of having his/her head turned away)...
January 2018: Animal Behaviour
Inga C Christiansen, Peter Schausberger
Animals are commonly exposed to multiple environmental stimuli, but whether, and under which circumstances, they can attend to multiple stimuli in multitask learning challenges is elusive. Here, we assessed whether simultaneously occurring chemosensory stimuli interfere with each other in a dual-task learning challenge. We exposed predatory mites Neoseiulus californicus early in life to either only conspecifics (kin) or simultaneously conspecifics (kin) and food (thrips or pollen), to determine whether presence of food interferes with social familiarization and, vice versa, whether presence of conspecifics interferes with learning the cues of thrips...
November 2017: Animal Behaviour
James L L Lichtenstein, Colin M Wright, Brendan McEwen, Noa Pinter-Wollman, Jonathan N Pruitt
Individual animals differ consistently in their behaviour, thus impacting a wide variety of ecological outcomes. Recent advances in animal personality research have established the ecological importance of the multidimensional behavioural volume occupied by individuals and by multispecies communities. Here, we examine the degree to which the multidimensional behavioural volume of a group predicts the outcome of both intra- and interspecific interactions. In particular, we test the hypothesis that a population of conspecifics will experience low intraspecific competition when the population occupies a large volume in behavioural space...
October 2017: Animal Behaviour
Charles R Brown, Erin A Roche, Mary Bomberger Brown
Fidelity to a past breeding site is widespread among animals and may confer both costs and benefits. Colonial species occur at specific sites that can accommodate multiple breeders, and the choice of whether to return to last year's site or disperse elsewhere can affect colony site use, the colony size distribution and individual fitness. For the colonial cliff swallow, Petrochelidon pyrrhonota , which occupies colonies of widely different sizes, we used a 30-year field study in western Nebraska to investigate how the extent of infestation by ectoparasites and colony size affected breeders' colony site fidelity between years...
October 2017: Animal Behaviour
Maxcy P Nolan, Keith S Delaplane
Parasite dispersal theory draws heavily upon epidemiological SIR models in which host status (susceptible (S), infected (I), or recovered (R)) is used to study parasite dispersal evolution. In contrast to these extrinsically host-centric drivers, in this study we focus on an intrinsic driver, the parasite's reproductive value (predicted future offspring) as a regulator of the extent to which the individual will engage in risky dispersal behaviour. As a model system we use the honeybee Apis mellifera and its ectoparasite, the mite Varroa destructor ...
October 2017: Animal Behaviour
Oliver M Beckers, Teiya Kijimoto, Armin P Moczek
Despite sharing nearly the same genome, individuals within the same species can vary drastically in both morphology and behaviour as a function of developmental stage, sex or developmental plasticity. Thus, regulatory processes must exist that enable the stage-, sex- or environment-specific expression of traits and their integration during ontogeny, yet exactly how trait complexes are co-regulated and integrated is poorly understood. In this study, we explore the developmental genetic basis of the regulation and integration of environment-dependent sexual dimorphism in behaviour and morphology in the horn-polyphenic dung beetle Onthophagus taurus through the experimental manipulation of the transcription factor doublesex (dsx)...
October 2017: Animal Behaviour
Alexandra G Rosati, Laurie R Santos
Complex social life is thought to be a major driver of complex cognition in primates, but few studies have directly tested the relationship between a given primate species' social system and their social cognitive skills. We experimentally compared life span patterns of a foundational social cognitive skill (following another's gaze) in tolerant Barbary macaques, Macaca sylvanus , and despotic rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta . Semi-free-ranging monkeys ( N = 80 individuals from each species) followed gaze more in test trials where an actor looked up compared to control trials...
August 2017: Animal Behaviour
Peter Schausberger, Marian Gratzer, Markus A Strodl
The social environment early in life is a key determinant of developmental, physiological and behavioural trajectories across vertebrate and invertebrate animals. One crucial variable is the presence/absence of conspecifics. For animals usually reared in groups, social isolation after birth or hatching can be a highly stressful circumstance, with potentially long-lasting consequences. Here, we assessed the effects of social deprivation (isolation) early in life, that is, absence of conspecifics, versus social enrichment, that is, presence of conspecifics, on developmental time, body size at maturity, mating behaviour and group-living in the plant-inhabiting predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis...
May 2017: Animal Behaviour
Robert J Dooling, Nora H Prior
Peter Marler's fascination with richness of birdsong included the notion that birds attended to some acoustic features of birdsong, likely in the time domain, which were inaccessible to human listeners. While a considerable amount is known about hearing and vocal communication in birds, how exactly birds perceive their auditory world still remains somewhat of a mystery. For sure, field and laboratory studies suggest that birds hear the spectral, gross temporal features (i.e. envelope) and perhaps syntax of birdsong much like we do...
February 2017: Animal Behaviour
Brittany Coppinger, Ryan A Cannistraci, Ferhat Karaman, Steven C Kyle, Elizabeth A Hobson, Todd M Freeberg, Jessica F Hay
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 2017: Animal Behaviour
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