Article

Cross-modal individual recognition in domestic horses (Equus caballus).

Centre for Mammal Vocal Communication Research, Department of Psychology, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QH, United Kingdom.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 01/2009; 106(3):947-51. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0809127105
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Individual recognition is considered a complex process and, although it is believed to be widespread across animal taxa, the cognitive mechanisms underlying this ability are poorly understood. An essential feature of individual recognition in humans is that it is cross-modal, allowing the matching of current sensory cues to identity with stored information about that specific individual from other modalities. Here, we use a cross-modal expectancy violation paradigm to provide a clear and systematic demonstration of cross-modal individual recognition in a nonhuman animal: the domestic horse. Subjects watched a herd member being led past them before the individual went of view, and a call from that or a different associate was played from a loudspeaker positioned close to the point of disappearance. When horses were shown one associate and then the call of a different associate was played, they responded more quickly and looked significantly longer in the direction of the call than when the call matched the herd member just seen, an indication that the incongruent combination violated their expectations. Thus, horses appear to possess a cross-modal representation of known individuals containing unique auditory and visual/olfactory information. Our paradigm could provide a powerful way to study individual recognition across a wide range of species.

Full-text

Available from: David Reby, Jun 15, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
137 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Social insects have evolved sophisticated recognition systems enabling them to accept nest-mates but reject alien conspecifics. In the social wasp, Liostenogaster flavolineata (Stenogastrinae), individuals differ in their cuticular hydrocarbon profiles according to colony membership; each female also possesses a unique (visual) facial pattern. This species represents a unique model to understand how vision and olfaction are integrated and the extent to which wasps prioritize one channel over the other to discriminate aliens and nest-mates. Liostenogaster flavolineata females are able to discriminate between alien and nest-mate females using facial patterns or chemical cues in isolation. However, the two sensory modalities are not equally efficient in the discrimination of 'friend' from 'foe'. Visual cues induce an increased number of erroneous attacks on nest-mates (false alarms), but such attacks are quickly aborted and never result in serious injury. Odour cues, presented in isolation, result in an increased number of misses: erroneous acceptances of outsiders. Interestingly, wasps take the relative efficiencies of the two sensory modalities into account when making rapid decisions about colony membership of an individual: chemical profiles are entirely ignored when the visual and chemical stimuli are presented together. Thus, wasps adopt a strategy to 'err on the safe side' by memorizing individual faces to recognize colony members, and disregarding odour cues to minimize the risk of intrusion from colony outsiders. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 03/2015; 282(1802). DOI:10.1098/rspb.2014.2750 · 5.29 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Tenasserim Range along the Thailand – Myanmar border is one of largest forested landscapes(>110,000km2) in the global range of the Malayan Tapir Tapirus indicus but little is known about their status, distribution and current threats there. On the Myanmar side of the border, only one protected area, the 1700 km2 Taninthayi Nature Reserve, conserves tropical rainforests and affords biodiversity protection. During March to June 2011 surveys were conducted using camera-traps, tracks and sign, and interview methods. Over 60 km of trails were walked and tapir tracks and/or sign were detected at three of twelve survey routes. Over 630 trap nights recorded 2774 pictures of 19 species of mammals, including tapirs. At least three individual tapirs were recorded by camera-traps in two mineral licks in the core zone of the Reserve. A third of 119 interviewees reported having eaten tapir meat in the last 14 years. At least 26 tapirs were killed by local hunters and elephant capturers within the last two decades. Tapirs were also accidentally killed in pit fall traps and during commercial logging operations prior to the Reserve being gazetted. The short-term conservation priority for tapirs is to reduce poaching and accidental killings of tapirs. In response to the threat, continuation of a ranger- training program is needed to raise capacity for law enforcement. Occupancy surveys and studies of the impact of infrastructure development on tapir habitats along with developing a tapir conservation awareness program for local people is needed in the medium-term future. In the long-term a regional conservation plan is recommended to guide effective conservation of Myanmar’s Malayan tapir population and other important rainforest fauna.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: - A study on Tapir displaced from their habitats was conducted by the Department between 2006 to 2010. A total of 142 cases of Tapir displaced from its natural habitat was recorded during the study period. Habitat disturbance and fragmentation are the main factors forcing the tapir out of its habitat to seek for food near forest fringes and agricultural area. Occasionally Tapir can also be seen wandering in human settlement area. The displaced animals also damaged crops which led to human-Tapir conflicts in some areas. State of Pahang recorded the highest number of Tapir displaced (46), followed by Johor (31), Negeri Sembilan (21), Selangor (18) and Terengganu (15) respectively. Other states such as Kelantan, Kedah, Perak, Kuala Lumpur and Melaka recorded less than 10 cases. This paper outlines several recommendations to address Tapir displacement.