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Handbook of Ethological Methods

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... Data collection was preceded by a 3-week training phase, during which we conducted preliminary observations with the ad libitum sampling method [47] to design an ethogram specific to the study integrating the existing literature [46]. The ethogram included 48 behaviors grouped into 12 behavioral categories (Table 2). ...
... Data was collected during real-time observation by the same observer over a 3-month period (11 weeks) from June to September 2013 using a within-subject experimental design [47] consisting of 5 conditions: Baseline (BL); Food-based enrichment (E1); Physical enrichment (E2); Auditory enrichment (E3); and No enrichment provided (NE). Each condition consisted of seven sampling days with six 30-min observation sessions conducted from 08:30 am to 05:30 pm for a total of 107 h of observation. ...
... In case of significant factorial predictors, we used the Tukey test (R-package; multcomp) to perform all pairwise comparisons [55]. The level of probability of tests for pairwise comparisons was adjusted based on the Bonferroni correction [47]. When we found a significance of the interactions (condition × age, condition × NDS) we considered only the effect of the interaction and not the effect of the single fixed factors. ...
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Environmental enrichment is a management tool used to promote positive animal welfare by stimulating species-specific behaviors and providing animals with opportunities to exert choice and control over the environment. Our study aimed to evaluate the combined effect of three enrichment types and environmental/individual factors (i.e., individual age and rank position) on the behavior of six adult Lemur catta hosted at Pistoia Zoo (Italy). We collected data from June to September 2013 using a within-subject experimental design consisting of five conditions: Baseline, Food-based enrichment, Physical enrichment, Auditory enrichment and No enrichment provided. We conducted six 30-minute observation sessions per sampling day (total = 107 h). We recorded the animals’ behavior via 2-minute focal animal sampling per individual per observation period and analyzed data with Generalized Linear Models. The study group only performed normal species-specific behaviors. Enrichments decreased stress-related behavioral patterns, whereas environmental and individual factors influenced the other recorded behaviors. Our study confirmed the usefulness of employing an integrated methodological approach to enrichment assessment for enhancing captive lemur care.
... Capillaria worm eggs and dead and live worm larvae were counted (Table 1p. 4,5). Five to 12 days after the rst administration of Flubenol, a second faeces examination occurred. ...
... eggs before and after Flubenol treatment were tallied, as well as the number of live and dead worm larvae (Table 1p. 4,5). A statistical analysis has been performed. ...
... To check the effect of Flubenol powder on the presence of Capillaria spp. worm eggs and the worm larvae, the Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test was applied to determine a signi cant difference at a 5 per cent con dence level (Lehner, 2000; Social Science Statistics, 2022). ...
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The European hedgehog is host to many parasites. Common endoparasites are Capillaria spp. (Lung threadworm, Intestinal threadworm spp.). Eggs and worm larvae are present in the faeces of infected hedgehogs. Common applied anthelmintic drugs are Fenbendazole and Levamisole. The latter might cause abortions in female hedgehogs. For this reason, some hedgehog centres in the Netherlands prefer Flubenol ( Flubendazole 5% ) in female hedgehogs. The present study aimed to determine the effect of Flubenol in Capillaria spp. infections in female hedgehogs. The faeces of 10 infected female hedgehogs before and after treatment with Flubenol has been examined. In the faeces samples of 7 out of 8 hedgehogs after treatment, no Capillaria eggs were found. One worm egg was found in the faeces sample of one hedgehog. No worm larvae were found in the faeces samples of 6 out of 7 hedgehogs after Flubenol treatment. Eight worm larvae were found in the faeces sample of one hedgehog after treatment. The Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test indicated for both the Capillaria spp. eggs and the larvae a significant difference at p < 0.05 before and after the Flubenol treatment.
... Dada la cantidad de aproximaciones y la complejidad tema, iniciar la observación de la conducta de un individuo puede parecer una empresa confusa, abrumadora e incuantificable. Sin embargo, la observación continua, la adquisición de conocimiento y la familiarización con nuestra especie de estudio permite desentrañar patrones conductuales que podemos categorizar y cuantificar (Martin y Bateson, 1991;Lehner, 1996). ...
... En sí, esto define la elección de nuestro sujeto de estudio y los enfoques de trabajo que conllevan trayectorias distintas. Mientras la investigación orientada a una especie permite profundizar en el conocimiento de su ecología, historia natural e historia de vida, la investigación orientada a un problema teórico suele enfocarse en un tipo particular de comportamiento, e intenta estudiar a las especies que lo representen mejor (Lehner, 1996). No obstante, es posible que, al elegir una especie, ésta nos permita responder preguntas de ambos enfoques, tanto orientadas a la especie como a un comportamiento particular (Lehner, 1996;Martin y Bateson, 2001). ...
... Mientras la investigación orientada a una especie permite profundizar en el conocimiento de su ecología, historia natural e historia de vida, la investigación orientada a un problema teórico suele enfocarse en un tipo particular de comportamiento, e intenta estudiar a las especies que lo representen mejor (Lehner, 1996). No obstante, es posible que, al elegir una especie, ésta nos permita responder preguntas de ambos enfoques, tanto orientadas a la especie como a un comportamiento particular (Lehner, 1996;Martin y Bateson, 2001). En este último caso la elección de la especie de estudio ha de considerar la facilidad de llevar a cabo observaciones sobre ella: su tolerancia a la presencia humana, el acervo de conocimiento sobre ella o las características de su ciclo vital (Martin y Bateson, 2001). ...
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Resumen En este trabajo se presenta una síntesis sobre la importancia del estudio de la conducta animal; sus inicios, conceptos y enfoques, detallando algunas de las técnicas de muestreo utilizadas en el ámbito científico de la etología y la ecología del comportamiento. Adicionalmente se incluye una propuesta para utilizar datos de comportamiento como indicadores de cambio ambiental a nivel de comunidad biótica. Esta aproximación puede permitir el desarrollo de estrategias de conservación que tomen en cuenta los requerimientos de hábitat de las especies en ambientes modificados por actividades humanas, como las ciudades.
... Behaviors (or action patterns) are discrete, repeatable, and identifiable acts (Lescak, 2018). Once the behaviors of interest are defined, measurements are obtained in carefully selected and defined behavior units (Lehner, 1996). ...
... An alternative method is to record action patterns in the order in which they occur, creating a sequence of events to produce a kinematic diagram. A kinematic diagram (or flow diagram or kinematic graph) provides an excellent overview of behavioral sequences (i.e., the flow of the behavior) (Brockmann, 1994) and is useful for illustrating transitions between behaviors (Lehner, 1996). ...
... As noted by Lehner, "Animals are always behaving. They perform a continuous stream of behavior from the moment when movement can first be detected in the embryo until their death" (Lehner, 1996). In this study, instead of focusing on the behavioral sequence and/or the transitions between behaviors, our method tracked the flow of each specific behavior of interest and considered the temporal structure of behavioral data. ...
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Background Apathy is a common behavioral syndrome that occurs across neurological and psychiatric disorders. An influential theoretical framework defined apathy as the quantitative reduction of self-generated voluntary and purposeful behaviors. There is evidence in the literature of the multidimensional nature of apathy with cognitive, behavioral, and emotional dimensions. To date, apathy has been assessed using various scales and questionnaires. Alternative objective and ecological measurements of apathy are needed. New method We used the ECOCAPTURE protocol and an ethological approach to investigate behavior in bvFTD patients under ecological conditions (a waiting room) while they freely explored a novel environment. Data were collected by behavioral coding from 7-minute video using an ethogram and transformed into behavior time series data. We present an approach considering behavioral kinetics to assess behavior. We aimed to construct a new behavior analysis method, called ECOCAPTURE kinetics, using temporal classification for behavior time series data analysis. To develop our classifier, we retained a nonelastic Euclidian metric, combined with a convolutional approach. Results We applied the ECOCAPTURE kinetics method to a cohort of 20 bvFTD patients and 18 healthy controls. We showed that bvFTD patients can be classified according to their behavioral kinetics into three groups. Each subgroup was characterized by specific behavior disorders and neuropsychological profile. Comparison with Existing Method(s) The ECOCAPTURE kinetics method is different from those of the classical approach of measuring behavior, producing time budgets, frequency of behavior occurrences, or kinematic diagrams. Conclusions This approach can be extended to any behavioral study encoding time.
... The basic observational skills taught in the program are the same ones taught to all researchers and students in animal behavior and learning. The workers are taught to observe rather than just watch the environment and the behavior of the dog (in the sense of Lehner, 1996). They are taught when observing dogs to describe the behavior empirically in terms of body postures and movements (Lehner, 1996, Martin & Bateson, 1993) rather than presumed functions or conse-quences. ...
... The workers are taught to observe rather than just watch the environment and the behavior of the dog (in the sense of Lehner, 1996). They are taught when observing dogs to describe the behavior empirically in terms of body postures and movements (Lehner, 1996, Martin & Bateson, 1993) rather than presumed functions or conse-quences. Many people jump to interpretations of the functions of an animal's behavior before they have adequately observed the details of the behavior (e.g. ...
... This coincided with the courtship, laying and immediate post-laying periods. We used all-occurrences sampling [35] to record the time and identities of participants in all instances of copulating and fighting throughout the Study Colony. Additionally, we used instantaneous scan sampling [35] to record the behaviors every 15 minutes of individuals present within a subsample of 19 nests. ...
... We used all-occurrences sampling [35] to record the time and identities of participants in all instances of copulating and fighting throughout the Study Colony. Additionally, we used instantaneous scan sampling [35] to record the behaviors every 15 minutes of individuals present within a subsample of 19 nests. The 113 nests making up the Study Colony were mapped and we noted the identities of birds attending each nest, the presence of nesting material, the dates on which the A-and B-eggs were laid, as well as the dates and causes of any egg losses. ...
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Erect-crested penguins are the least studied of all penguins. They breed on two isolated subantarctic island groups, the Antipodes and Bounty Islands. Sporadic nest counts indicate a dramatic decline in numbers of erect-crested penguins over the last 50 years. Here we present data from a study undertaken in 1998 on the breeding biology, behavior and hormones of erect-crested penguins. It represents, even today, by far the most detailed data available on this species. The penguins exhibited extreme reversed egg-size dimorphism, whereby the first-laid A-egg was much smaller than the second-laid B-egg. A-eggs were lost before (42.3%) or on (37.8%) the day the B-egg was laid, and none survived more than 7 days after that. The penguins were in a low state of reproductive readiness, as evidenced by low levels of copulation, fighting, and testosterone in males during the courtship/laying period when, curiously, plasma levels of testosterone were at least as high in females. The laying interval (5.4 days) is the longest recorded for any penguin species, and incubation was highly variable until clutch completion. Most nests (91.2%) contained no nesting material and eggs were laid directly onto the ground. A-eggs were lost mainly by rolling out of the nest. However, even when prevented from doing so by an experimental manipulation, A-eggs survived no longer than those in control nests. Testosterone levels in males increased after clutch completion, when they remained in attendance at the nest for up to 13 days, despite females assuming most of the incubation duties. The bills of males were significantly larger than those of females and probably help with guarding the nest. We discuss explanations for obligate brood reduction in crested penguins and the options for conservation in light of our census results, which indicate that this enigmatic penguin species could be in trouble
... Despite being widely used in the study of behaviour across many mammalian orders, ethograms have only been published for a small number of bat species (e.g., Courts, 1996;Markus and Blackshaw, 2002;Muñoz-Romo, 2006;Knörnschild et al., 2010Knörnschild et al., , 2011Strauss et al., 2010;Kohles et al., 2018;Petersen et al., 2018;Lattenkamp et al., 2019;Garcia-Rawlins et al., 2020;Fernandez et al., 2021). Yet, construction of an ethogram represents an important first step to investigating the behaviour of many target species, as it provides a systematic catalogue of defined behavioural units that are amenable to quantitative analysis (Lehner, 1998). The lack of systematic behavioural observation studies in bats is likely due to the difficulties in observing bats in the wild, particularly echolocating bats, and in keeping bats in captivity. ...
... Ethogram construction followed Lehner (1998) and Jensen et al. (1986). We analysed 1,078 one-minute videos (nearly 18 hours of video footage) to collate the ethogram. ...
Article
The ghost bat (Macroderma gigas) is a carnivorous species of bat endemic to northern Australia that roosts in colonies of up to 1,500 individuals. The ghost bat produces a number of social vocalisations, but little is known about the species’ behaviour and what role social vocalisations play in interactions between conspecifics. The aim of this study was to construct an ethogram of ghost bat behaviours and to determine the associations between behaviours and social vocalisations. To achieve our aims, we filmed the behaviour of a captive ghost bat colony (one male, five females) using four trail cameras installed within the enclosure over a six week period, coinciding with the estimated mating season. Video recordings were examined by eye, and solitary and social behaviours were catalogued into distinct behavioural units (e.g. hang-alert, chew, wing-groom, etc.) along with social context and associated social vocalisations, if applicable. To assess the associations between behavioural interactions and social vocalisation types, we combined each of the catalogued social behavioural units into six behavioural classes (eating, grooming, mating, huddling, flying, and fighting) and used generalised linear models to determine which social behavioural classes significantly predicted the production of each vocalisation. There was a strong association between flight behaviour by a member of the colony and the production of the ‘Chirp-trill’ vocalisation by the male member of the colony, suggesting a territorial or mate attraction function. There was also a strong association between fighting behaviour and the production of the ‘Squabble’, ‘Rasp’ and ‘Grumble’ vocalisations, with the Squabble and Rasp likely representing levels of agonistic vocalisations produced by aggressive bats during altercations. The Grumble, on the other hand, was produced by the target of the aggressor and so may function as an appeasement call. The ethogram with its associated social vocalisations provides a formal basis for future behavioural studies in this species and can serve as a template for such studies in other echolocating bats. Our study revealed an unexpected degree of complexity in the behaviour and associated vocalisations in this species and highlights the need for studies of this kind in other bats.
... Behaviour of an animal is studied to understand the animal and the species. Behavioural study not only describes the behaviours displayed by the animals, but also asks questions regarding what, who, why, where and when the patterns in question occur (Lehner, 1996). Such study may include a description Depending on the research question, observers may record environmental parameters (e.g., temperature, humidity, intensity of light, rainfall), space utilization and seasonal variation in behaviour. ...
... There are two types of behavioural descriptions: empirical and functional descriptions (Lehner, 1996;Martin & Bateson, 1993). The empirical description deals with the structure, posture and body movement e.g. ...
... Focal observations (Altmann, 1974;Lehner, 1998) detailed above were conducted from variable locations on the study area, commencing only after all pikas had grown accustomed to the observer's presence. Several focal animals were observed from each location, with haphazard selection of individuals for observation. ...
... All-occurrences sampling of social behaviours of focal animals within each observation session gave a detailed portrayal of the interactions among individuals (Altmann, 1974;Dobson et al., 1998Dobson et al., , 2000Lehner, 1998;Smith et al., 1986;Smith & Wang, 1991). We categorized social behaviours as being either affiliative (sitting in contact, whole-body contact, mouthenose rubbing, allogrooming, approaching, following, boxing, wrestling), aggressive (fighting, chasing) or reproductive (copulating, attempted mating, nursing). ...
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We investigated factors leading to variation in social complexity or ‘social systems’ among plateau pika family groups within a contiguous local population across 2 years. Plateau pikas are small, diurnal, nonhibernating, sexually monomorphic lagomorphs that occupy family home ranges on open alpine meadows on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Expression of the social organization, social structure, mating system and parental care system in plateau pikas did not follow expectations from traditional ecological or evolutionary explanations. Variability in plateau pika family group size and the transitions of group size between years allowed us to investigate potential advantages and disadvantages of group living. Evidence that group living served to protect pikas against predation was weak. Although social huddling could have minimized thermoregulatory costs during the extremely cold Tibetan winters, there was no correlation of overwinter survivorship among pika families of different sizes. There was no apparent group-living benefit with regard to foraging, and the occurrence of cohesive social families on the flat, continuous meadow contradicts the hypothesis that sociality is related to patchiness of critical resources. Cost of maintaining burrows appeared unrelated to group size. Most interactions between pikas occurred within family groups and were affiliative (99% of adult interactions; 97% of adult–juvenile interactions), and most interactions between adult males of different family groups were aggressive (96% of interactions). Matings were primarily within families (88% of copulations). Pikas also possess a complex vocal repertoire that enhanced interactions within social families. Demographic constraints associated with variable overwinter survivorship appeared to be the dominant precondition that produced a given family size and mating system type, coupled with selective dispersal by some pikas before the start of the breeding season. Paternal care enhanced juvenile survival, and thus led to an equalization of reproductive success among adults in families with different mating combinations.
... This would include not just the undesired responses that decrease, but also the presumed increases in behaviors that replace the undesired responses. The use of behavioral inventories, better known as "ethograms" in the animal behavior literature (Altmann, 1974;Brereton et al., 2022;Lehner, 1998) could allow such measurement. The extent to which these behaviors are or are not idiosyncratic could improve our understanding of their potential function. ...
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In 1948, Skinner described the behavior of pigeons under response‐independent schedules as “superstitious,” and proposed that the responses were reinforced by contiguous, adventitious food deliveries. Subsequently, response‐independent schedules have been of interest to both basic and applied researchers, first to understand the mechanisms involved, and later, as “noncontingent reinforcement” (NCR) to reduce undesirable behavior. However, the potential superstitious effects produced by these schedules have been challenged, with some researchers arguing that antecedent variables play a significant role. This paper examines the evidence for adventitious reinforcement from both laboratory and applied research, the results of which suggest that antecedent, nonoperant functions may be important in fully understanding the effects of NCR. We propose an applied‐basic research synthesis, in which attention to potential nonoperant functions could provide a more complete understanding of response‐independent schedules. We conclude with a summary of the applied implications of the nonoperant functions of NCR schedules.
... This would include not just the undesired responses that decrease, but also the presumed increases in behaviors that replace the undesired responses. The use of behavioral inventories, better known as "ethograms" in the animal behavior literature (Altmann, 1974;Brereton et al., 2022;Lehner, 1998) could allow such measurement. The extent to which these behaviors are or are not idiosyncratic could improve our understanding of their potential function. ...
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In 1948, Skinner described the behavior of pigeons under response-independent schedules as "superstitious," and proposed that the responses were reinforced by contiguous, adventitious food deliveries. Subsequently, response-independent schedules have been of interest to both basic and applied researchers, first to understand the mechanisms involved, and later, as "noncontingent reinforcement" (NCR) to reduce undesirable behavior. However, the potential superstitious effects produced by these schedules have been challenged, with some researchers arguing that antecedent variables play a significant role. This paper examines the evidence for adventitious reinforcement from both laboratory and applied research, the results of which suggest that antecedent, non-operant functions may be important in fully understanding the effects of NCR. We propose an applied-basic research synthesis, in which attention to potential non-operant functions could provide a more complete understanding of response-independent schedules. We conclude with a summary of the applied implications of the non-operant functions of NCR schedules.
... Durante ese período, por ejemplo, Watson se dedicó a la investigación del comportamiento de las aves marinas que anidaban en los inaccesibles roqueríos de los acantilados (Boakes, 1989). Para ello, empleó una metodología que presenta muchas semejanzas con las técnicas de observación naturalista que habitualmente son las herramientas de investigación empleadas en la etología (Lehner, 1996). Mayor Martínez & Tortosa Gil (2008) destacaron esta vinculación con el comportamiento animal y la orientación etológica en referencia al trabajo científico del "primer Watson", al tiempo de subrayar que esta fase particular de su producción es con frecuencia desconocida o ignorada y se contrapone a cierta imagen ceremonial, que coloca el énfasis mayor en la etapa que coincide con el manifiesto conductista de 1913 (ver también Todd & Morris, 1986). ...
... The transition probabilities were calculated from their corresponding frequencies. Assuming that any behavior may in principle follow any other behavior, transition frequency was displayed in the form of a contingency table (Lehner, 1996). The transition between identical acts was taken as zero (Slater & Olasson, 1972). ...
... The GPS was set for saving positions every 2 min thereafter up to the ending (Fig 2). The behavioral state of individuals in the focal group was sampled by using an instantaneous sampling protocol [49,50], recording the behavioral state at the beginning of the tracking sequence and every 2 min thereafter. Behavioral state was defined as the activity in which most members of the group were engaged: traveling (dolphins moving continuously in a single direction with few or no interruptions), feeding (dolphins moving fast, diving, and emerging in all directions, dolphins pursuing and chasing fish, fish jumping out of water, and marine birds feeding simultaneously), socializing (dolphins in almost constant physical contact with each other, belly to belly swimming, aerial displays frequently noisy such as leaps, tail-over-head leaps, backslaps, headslaps, and tailslaps), milling (dolphins moving slowly, changing direction continuously, and shifting location), and resting (dolphins tightly grouped, swimming slowly with numerous direction changes, and not shifting location) [22,24,48]. ...
Article
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Movement is a key factor in the survival and reproduction of most organisms with important links to bioenergetics and population dynamics. Animals use movement strategies that minimize the costs of locating resources, maximizing energy gains. Effectiveness of these strategies depends on the spatial distribution, variability and predictability of resources. The study of fine-scale movement of small cetaceans in the pelagic domain is limited, in part because of the logistical difficulties associated with tagging and tracking them. Here we describe and model the fine-scale movement patterns of two pelagic dolphin species using georeferenced movement and behavioral data obtained by tracking dolphin groups on board small vessels. Movement patterns differed by species, group sizes and seasons. Dusky dolphin groups moved shorter distances when feeding and longer distances when traveling whereas the common dolphin did the same only when they moved in large groups. In summer, both dolphins cover longer distances in a more linear path, while in winter the movement is more erratic and moving shorter distances. Both species of dolphins prey on small pelagic fishes, which are patchily distributed and show seasonal variability in school sizes and distribution. However, dusky dolphins rely on anchovy to a larger extent than common dolphins. In Nuevo Gulf, anchovy shoals are smaller and separated by shorter distances in winter and dusky dolphins´ movement pattern is consistent with this. Dusky and common dolphins are impacted by tourism and fisheries. Further modelling of movement could be inform spatial based management tools.
... For most specimens found vocalizing and/or amplexing, we filmed the behaviors (using a Canon 5D Mark II, coupled to a 100 mm macro lens) and recorded the vocalizations using a Zoom H4n recorder. The behavioral observations were recorded according to the 'animal-focal' method (Lehner 1996). Scars, mutilations, or any other marks that were eventually found were used to facilitate their posterior identification. ...
Article
Reproductive strategies are one of the more fascinating aspects of Anuran biology and are likely affected by species habitat use and availability of reproductive sites. The Cerrado endemic Pithecopus oreades is a habitat specialist that reproduces in seasonal high-altitude rocky streams in Central Brazil. Herein, we describe its reproductive behavior based on observations made during two consecutive reproductive seasons in a high-altitude stream located in an open field area in Central Brazil. The reproductive activity of P. oreades occurs during the rainy season, from the very first rains, and lasts about 3 months. The species is nocturnal, showing a vocalization peak between 20:00 h and 21:00 h. Its vocalization activity was related to total precipitation. The nests, composed by only one folded leaf, are placed on shrubs along streams. The nests, which hang over the stream pools, contain approximately 30 eggs that last about 13 days of incubation, producing about 25 tadpoles per spawning. Males are territorial, remaining in the same places for more than 60 days, defending them through vocalizations and eventual physical combats. Males with a higher body condition usually stay longer in the same territory. We also recorded males displaying satellite behavior. ARTICLE HISTORY
... To conduct behavioral observations of common dolphins a group focal follow technique was used (Lehner 1998). It was not possible to record data blind because our study involved focal animals in the field. ...
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Animals with fission–fusion dynamics live in fluid societies with varying party sizes. The joining (fusion) and separation (fission) of these parties is considered a response to costs and benefits associated with grouping. This study investigates which factors influence grouping and fission–fusion dynamics in common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in Portugal. Between June and October of 2016 and 2017, 94 boat-based group focal follows were conducted, resulting in 2410, 2-min behavioral samples. Using generalized linear models, we examined how mother-calf pair presence, behavioral state, and temporal variability influence party size. We used generalized estimating equations to model behavior and fission–fusion dynamics, testing the responses to mother-calf presence and time. Parties were smaller when mother-calf pairs were absent or when animals were resting. Socializing parties without mother-calf pairs were more likely to be observed than traveling parties with mother-calf pairs. Compared to traveling, foraging was less likely in September and October than in June, and resting was more likely in September. Compared to stable state, parties without mother-calf pairs were more likely to fission than parties with mother-calf pairs and fusion events became less likely by advancing hour. We revealed that common dolphins in Southern Portugal exhibit a high degree of fission–fusion dynamics that are predominantly influenced by mother-calf presence, confirming the importance of this region as a nursery ground. By assessing fine-scale social dynamics in common dolphins, this study advances understanding of the evolutionary drivers shaping grouping patterns in wild cetaceans while also providing an important comparative counterpoint to terrestrial fission–fusion dynamics. Significance statement Dolphin species are known for their fission-fusion societies with extensive intra- and interspecific variation in their social organization. This work provided an opportunity for new insights into the social lives of common dolphins in the South of Portugal and how social factors such as mother-calf pair presence, behavioral state, and temporal variability shape the social organization of this species. We found that common dolphins present a highly fluid organization and that the presence of mother-calf pairs plays a major role, affecting party size, behavior, and fission-fusion rate. Our work also confirms the relevance of Southern Portugal as an important calving and nursery area for this species, and therefore, it is essential that wise management practices are implemented in order to maintain a healthy population.
... Cases where all 16 sectors were utilized for the comparison are noted separately. To counteract the multiple comparisons problem, we used the Bonferroni correction (Lehner, 1996). In accordance with that, for night experiments and experiments conducted before the start of migration, α=0.025; in other cases, α=0.0125. ...
Article
The orientation of naive animals during their first migration is extensively studied in birds and sea turtles, whereas the data for other groups such as amphibians are still scarce. To date, it is unknown whether young-of-the-year anurans perform a random or directional search for the hibernation sites, and what cues (global or local) do they use. We conducted a series of field experiments to study the orientation behavior of juvenile common frogs during their first wintering migration. We captured 1614 froglets from two subpopulations with different directions of migration and assessed their orientation in large circular outdoor arenas (20 m in diameter) on the opposite sides of the river. Before the migration, froglets used local cues and moved back towards the forest (summer habitat). At the start of migration, the froglets do not move randomly: they navigate towards the river using local cues; later, however, before approaching the hibernation site, they memorize the compass direction of migration and follow it using global cues. Orientation along a memorized compass heading begins to dominate in the hierarchy of orientation mechanisms, and this predominance is maintained even after reaching the hibernation site. Unlike in birds, no innate direction of migration was found.
... For consistency, the observer was constant throughout all observations and data were collected with no disturbance to the breeding does. Instantaneous scan sampling method at every five-minute interval was practiced to observe the behaviour of does in pre-weaning and post-weaning stages (Lehner, 1996). Pre-weaning and postweaning behaviours were compared to assess weaning stress in animals in previous studies (cows -Keyserlingk and Weary, 2007;ewes -Cockram et al., 1993;mares -Houpt, 2002). ...
... Because dominance has been demonstrated to influence the male reproductive success (Waterman, 1998), we recorded all male-male approach-displacement interactions in both populations from 2002 to 2006 to calculate dominance relationships using Landau's index of linearity (Lehner, 1998;Waterman, 1998). We also recorded any evidence of copulatory competition including copulatory calls or mate guarding (Sherman, 1989), and compared sites using a chi-square test. ...
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Male mating strategies respond to female availability such that variation in resources that affect spatial distribution can also alter cost-benefit tradeoffs within a population. In arid-adapted species, rainfall alters reproduction, behavior, morphology, and population density such that populations differing in resource availability may also differ in successful reproductive strategies. Here, we compare two populations of Cape ground squirrels (Xerus inauris), a sub-Saharan species with year-round breeding and intense mating competition. Unlike most mammals where males resort to aggressive interactions over females, male X. inauris are tolerant of one another, relying instead on other nonaggressive pre- and postcopulatory strategies to determine reproductive success. Our findings suggest that differences in resource availability affect female distribution, which ultimately leads to intraspecific variation in male reproductive tactics and sexual morphology. Sperm competition, assessed by reproductive morphometrics, was more pronounced in our high resource site where females were distributed evenly across the landscape, whereas dominance seemed to be an important determinant of success in our low resource site where females were more aggregated. Both sites had similar mating intensities, and most males did not sire any offspring. However, our low resource site had a higher variance in fertilization success with fewer males siring multiple offspring compared with our high resource site where more individuals were successful. Our results lend support to resource models where variations in female spatial distribution attributed to environmental resources ultimately impact male reproductive behaviors and morphology.
... Landau [29] has devised an index that measure the degree of linearity in a set of dominance relationships between the animals in the same group. The Landau index (h) use the concept of 'number of dominated animals', where a value of h > 0.9 generally indicates a strongly linear hierarchy [30]. To apply the landau_index () function, the user must specify a dyadic matrix obtained with the dmatrix() function, i.e., [landau_index (dmatrix)]. ...
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Cattle have a complex social organization, with negative (agonistic) and positive (affiliative) interactions that affect access to environmental resources. Thus, the social behaviour has a major impact on animal production, and it is an important factor to improve the farm animal welfare. The use of data from electronic bins to determine social competition has already been validated; however, the studies used non-free software or did not make the code available. With data from electronic bins is possible to identify when one animal takes the place of another animal, i.e. a replacement occurs, at the feeders or drinkers. However, there is no package for the R environment to detect competitive replacements from electronic bins data. Our general approach consisted in creating a user-friendly R package for social behaviour analysis. The workflow of the socialh package comprises several steps that can be used sequentially or separately, allowing data input from electronic systems, or obtained from the animals’ observation. We provide an overview of all functions of the socialh package and demonstrate how this package can be applied using data from electronic feed bins of beef cattle. The socialh package provides support for researchers to determine the social hierarchy of gregarious animals through the synthesis of agonistic interactions (or replacement) in a friendly, versatile, and open-access system, thus contributing to scientific research.
... The dominant pair (alpha male and female) was distinguished from the rest of the pack members by the color of their coats (white chest, legs, and lips) that becomes prominent in the breeding season and other pair-bonding behaviors (Ghaskadbi et al. 2016). Focal sampling was done to record the responses of pack members (Lehner 1998). We did not blind record data as our study involved focal animals in the field. ...
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The function of holding territories is primarily to have access to resources like food and mates. However, it is costly in terms of energy and time investment. Solitary-living, territorial species are known to reduce these costs by being more aggressive towards unfamiliar strangers and less aggressive towards neighbors. However, in social, territorial species, neighbors can impose a greater threat than strangers. We tested whether the highly social Asiatic wild dogs/dholes (Cuon alpinus) exhibit the “nasty neighbor” or the “dear enemy” phenomena in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), Maharashtra, India. We conducted scat translocation experiments where we presented fresh scats collected from unique donor groups to a resident dhole group and tested the type and the intensity of behavioral response (duration) to the stimulus. Dholes responded differentially to the two treatments suggesting they exhibit neighbor-stranger discrimination. Overall, strangers elicited a stronger response with longer duration and larger packs were less likely to respond to the stimulus than smaller packs. Differences found between categories of dhole scent marks establish the importance of olfactory communication, especially “counter-marking” in the species. Within recipient packs, individual status affected the response to trials wherein the alpha pair reacted more intensively to strangers than others. Our study provides experimental evidence to demonstrate that dholes exhibit the “dear enemy” phenomenon. Significance statement Animals defend territories from other members of their own species, but intrusions are commonplace in the wild. Different intruders may pose different levels of threats, and hence, intruders are treated differentially to minimize the energetic costs of territorial defense. In some animals, neighbors with well-established territories may become less aggressive towards each other. This is known as the dear enemy effect. By contrast, at times neighbors may represent a greater threat than strangers which is known as the “nasty neighbor” effect. We experimentally show that dholes exhibit the dear enemy phenomenon by responding more intensively to strangers than familiar neighbors. We show how response varied based on hierarchy in a pack as well as the pack sizes. Furthermore, we found that, both in core as well as buffer areas of their own territory, this relationship was consistent.
... There were six possible pairings of surfaces (metal + plastic, metal + stone, etc.) and the same for manipulanda, giving rise to six trials of surfaces and six trials of manipulanda. These pairings were randomized without replacement (Lehner, 1998). Table 2). ...
Article
To robustly study zoo animal cognition and provide effective enrichment, we must provide animals with carefully designed apparatus made from appropriate (safe, attractive, practical) materials. However, all too often, this design phase is overlooked or omitted from the literature. We evaluated how a troop of 12 ring‐tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) explored a range of novel materials and whole foods during outdoor social testing. These items were not intended to test cognition or be enriching; rather we viewed them as the potential “building blocks” from which to build our future apparatus. Lemurs preferred to explore wooden surfaces, but had no preference for manipulanda made from different materials. Large amounts of metal and untreated wood should be avoided in the future; metal produced too much heat and glare, and wood was damaged by biting/chewing. Lemurs used one or two hands to explore manipulanda, and simple touching was more common than twisting or pulling. However, lemurs were most likely to explore by smell than touch or by mouth. Social testing preserved “normal” conditions for the lemurs, including natural food stealing and scrounging in high‐ and low‐ranking individuals, respectively. Our findings culminated in the development of a static, low‐level cognitive task apparatus, constructed from modular plastic units. We encourage other researchers to report how they develop cognitive and enrichment apparatuses and consider a similar preference‐testing approach. Knowing how animals respond to materials and foods helps design effective cognition and enrichment apparatus.
... We measured bite, step, and vigilance rates in guanaco in nonshared and shared areas with sheep over 3-6 consecutive days per site/season, from April 2018 to February 2020. All observations were recorded during daylight and focal animal observations (Altmann, 1974) were taken for a minimum of 10 foraging individuals per site/season, in 15 min long bouts (Lehner, 1996). A total of 309 individuals were observed across field sampling campaigns, averaging 9.65 AE 2.15 focal individuals observed per site, accounting for a total of 74.06 hours of focal observations. ...
Article
Previous attempts to address the presence of interspecific competition between domestic livestock and wild ungulates have focused largely on habitat or dietary overlaps. Although overlaps in habitat or diet create opportunities for competition to occur between species, competition only results from such overlap if it affects one or both species negatively. Less attention has been afforded to possible behavioural modifications induced in wildlife by competition with domestic livestock. Here, we investigated the effects of the presence of livestock on feeding behaviour of guanaco (Lama guanicoe) in southern Patagonia, using focal sampling of individuals during foraging bouts, with instantaneous scan samples to estimate group behavioural budgets. We recorded guanaco bite and step rates, used as proxies of foraging intake and selectivity, from four different study sites over eight consecutive seasons. We also estimated sheep and guanaco densities per site, along with vegetation biomass availability. As in other ungulates, bite rates of guanaco appear to be highly flexible and generally increased with vegetation biomass availability. However, as sheep densities and thus additional grazing pressure increased, guanaco foraging strategy compensated by increasing bite rates when foraging vegetation was scarce, indicating further likelihood of competition. Additionally, scan samples indicated that the probability of guanaco feeding occurring at any one time was higher in areas shared with domestic sheep compared to national parks, suggesting guanaco have to focus more on feeding than other behaviours when sheep are present. Guanaco in southern Patagonia, Chile are increasingly dependent on sheep ranches for food resources. Here we investigated, through measures of foraging behaviour, potential competition between sheep and guanaco, and found the latter changing foraging behaviours when sheep densities are high.
... The observations were carried out by two researchers. One observer, who had no knowledge of the degree of infection of the animal, always accompanied the same group of 9 animals, which was randomly assigned (Altmann, 1974;Lehner, 1996). A total of 3 individual observations (snapshots) of each animal were made every 5 minutes. ...
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This study aimed to evaluate foraging distance (FD) from the dung, parasitological and physiological factors in 18 Crioula Lanada lambs naturally infected by nematodes with three infection levels (IL) in a Voisin Grazing System. In the pre-experimental phase animal feces collection, deworming, observer training, animal adaptation and dung demarcation were carried out; in the experimental phase, grazing distance, feces, pasture and blood sampling. An initial exploratory analysis was carried out (Kruskal-Wallis test). Fixed predictors were selected with a cumulative logit regression model; an ordinal logistic regression mixed model identified influencing factors of ordinal responses for (i) FD, (ii) infective larvae quantity (L3). Animals approached the dung when the radiation or temperature were more intense (P < 0.05). Paddock entry/exit, IgG and L3 influenced FD over time (P < 0.05). L3, in turn, was influenced by IL, FEC and corpuscular volume (CV). In the High IL group, FD varied between 60-100 cm. Greater L3 and FEC were found in the High and Low IL from the 4th week (P < 0.05). Naturally infected Crioula Lanada lambs increased the distance from the dung, which was not related to IL but to the dynamics of solar radiation and parasitological and immunological factors.
... They were fed weekly with cockroaches, young crickets and tenebria. The all-occurrence method, in which all instances of a given behaviour performed during a given time period are recorded, was applied to observe the oviposition behaviour and to construct an ethogram (Lehner, 1996). Egg-laying behaviour was observed between April/2001 and June/2003, only during the day (n = 26 pairs), from 8:00 h to 14:00 h, in an artificial temporary pond (60 m length x 31 m width x 2 m deep) located in a matrix of pasture and corn crops in the municipality of Vitó ria Brasil, Sã o Paulo State, Brazil (20 12 0 S, 50 29 0 W). ...
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Despite the common poison and mucous glands, some amphibian groups have differentiated glands associated with reproduction and usually present on the male ventral surface. Known as breeding glands or sexually dimorphic skin glands (SDSGs), they are related to intraspecific chemical communication during mating. Until recently, reproduction associated with skin glands was recognized only in salamanders and caecilians and remained unexplored among anurans. The Brazilian microhylid Dermatonotus muelleri (Muller's termite frog) is known for its very toxic skin secretion. Despite the slippery body, the male adheres to the female back during reproduction, as they have differentiated ventral glands. In this paper, we have gathered data proposing an integrative approach correlated with the species' biology and biochemical properties of their skin secretions. Furthermore, we suggest that the adhesion phenomenon is related to arm shortening and rounded body that make amplexus inefficient, although constituting important adaptive factors to life underground.
... We confirmed tadpoles as progeny of the studied species via genetic comparisons. For the descriptions of adult, juvenile, and tadpole behavioural expressions, we used focal animal and all-occurrence sampling methods (Altmann, 1974;Lehner, 1979). We based on the literature and data obtained in the present study for compilation of the distribution for each species. ...
Article
The Neotropical family Hylodidae comprises 46 currently recognized rheophilic Torrent frog species, today classified in the genera Crossodactylus, Hylodes, Megaelosia, and Phantasmarana, all endemic to the Atlantic Forest. Megaelosia and Phantasmarana are distributed along the Serra do Mar and Serra da Mantiqueira mountain ranges, southeastern Brazil, and are the least speciose genera of the family, including all the mute giant hylodids. Megaelosia is a monotypic genus, whereas Phantasmarana comprises six currently recognized species: P. apuana, P. bocainensis, P. boticariana, P. jordanensis, P. lutzae, and P. massarti. Herein, we provide a taxonomic revision of these Giant Neotropical Torrent frogs, offering a comprehensively sampled species-level molecular phylogeny. By combining molecular and morphological data, we confirm that Megaelosia and Phantasmarana are valid genera. We provide diagnostic traits for both genera, redescribe the poorly known species P. jordanensis, and describe two new species from distinct localities at Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar, P. curucutuensis sp. nov. and P. tamuia sp. nov., presenting details of adult and larval morphology, and notes on their natural history and behaviour. We further discuss systematic and taxonomic concerns, and evolutionary processes related to distribution, body sizes, and communication in the family Hylodidae. http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:61EA0116-6FB9-44B8-A2CE-E99D7B887E8B http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:079339E6-C802-4B47-A3A3-9FA0D0FCA3D1 http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:0EA22628-89E9-483B-AB90-F3F0D18E28F1
... Estos conjuntos discretos de comportamientos podrían emerger a partir de diferentes mecanismos, por ejemplo, la existencia de restricciones biomecánicas para el control de la locomoción animal, la aparición y conformación de hábitos, o la presión selectiva para ejecutar acciones robustas u óptimas en un determinado entorno natural. Estos mecanismos limitan el repertorio de movimientos de los animales, a pesar de su potencial capacidad de moverse de infinitas maneras en un espacio continuo, restringidos en principio únicamente por los límites biomecánicos de su morfología [12,15]. ...
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Animals exhibit complex behavioral repertoires that can be described, with varying degrees of detail, as combinations from a finite set of stereotyped movements or biophysical states. These biophysical responses are flexible, since different behavior sequences can be used to solve similar tasks, and are adaptable to changing environments through learning mechanisms. Given this flexibility and adaptability, translating complex animal behaviors into quantifiable features or well-defined behavior categories can be challenging. On the one hand, manual classification of behaviors can be time-consuming, require the definition of a priori categories and may not be reproducible between assessments. On the other hand, heuristically created categories (e.g., walking, running or jumping) tend to ignore inherent information regarding intra- and inter-animal variability, frequently found in unrestrained naturalistic settings. Therefore, in this work we analyze different approaches to quantify and evaluate mouse behavior during the execution of a motor skill learning task (accelerating rotarod). In particular, we apply unsupervised machine learning techniques to classify behaviors (UMAP embeddings with watershed segmentation). First, we proposed performance metrics, alternative to latency to fall, to showcase varying levels of physical aptitude and task learning amongst mice. We then used UMAP embeddings to find two possible representations of mouse behavior, in a low dimensional latent space. One embedding was constructed using mouse bodyparts' wavelet frequency spectra and the other using features extracted from their steps and poses. Finally, we clustered behaviors into separate categories (labels), by performing watershed segmentation, and characterized them. In this way, we shed light on the underlying structure and dynamics of behavior, improving our understanding of the execution and learning process of this task. The behaviors found can distinguish between the different mouse performance groups, and the way these behaviors are used is consolidated during training.
... Although, depending on the life history of the studied species (e.g.: long-lived species), 62 it may be difficult to obtain in a short period (Lehner 1998). This is the case of most ...
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Abundance estimation by means of aerial surveys is prone to errors related to the observer’s performance. We developed a monitoring method based on aerial surveys off the coastline for the Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) in the breeding grounds of the Southwestern Atlantic. These surveys have been taking place since 1999, and whales have been counted by many different observers meanwhile. This paper examines the influence of observer’s experience over whale counts within the GAM framework, and also determines how many flights are needed for a new observer to be trained. We modeled the number of whales counted using the number of flights performed as a proxy for the experience of the observers. Our results indicate that when inexperienced observers reach the fifth training flight, they are able to provide counts similar to observers with high experience in this type of sampling. Finally, we evaluate the logistic and economic implications for the training.
... All animals were individually identified through natural marks. The behaviour of each individual was recorded by instantaneous focal sampling every one minute (Altmann 1974, Colbachini et al. 2020, Lehner 1998. The animals were observed in daily sessions of one hour, with 20 h of observation in each stage, totalling 40 h. ...
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Meerkats Suricata suricatta are animals that live in groups and have a reproductive cooperation system. Their high reproductive rate in ex-situ conditions can often be a problem for the supporting institution and, therefore, the use of an effective contraceptive method is necessary. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a contraceptive implant placed only on the dominant female of a group of meerkats and its effect on stability of the behaviour and social hierarchy of the group. The alpha female received a 4.7 mg deslorelin acetate implant (Suprelorin, Virbac) in week 8, and the group’s behaviour was observed in two distinct stages: Stage 1, before implantation (first 8 weeks); and Stage 2, after implantation (between 13 and 21 weeks). There were no births in this interval, and the social hierarchy and intra-group relations remained stable. Agonistic behaviour, present in Stage 1, showed a significant reduction in Stage 2. The results show that use of a deslorelin contraceptive implant only in the dominant female was efficient for reproductive control in a meerkat group with few subordinate females. After 12 months of implantation, an ultrasound examination showed the presence of follicles in the ovaries, signalling a possible return of reproductive activity. Further studies should be performed to better understand the long-term effect of the contraceptive implant in meerkats and other species with matriarchal societies and cooperative behaviours.
... To determine microhabitat preferences, we adapted the focal animal method (Lehner 1996), in which the diver followed a straight line on the reef haphazardly registering adult individuals of Parablennius. When a fish individual was sighted, we recorded the species and the substratum immediately below the individual. ...
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Species’ niche depends on several ecological and evolutionary factors. Phylogenetically close species may present niche conservatism, retaining their ancestral ecological characteristics. Alternatively, in a situation of limited resources, species can differentiate themselves through changes in their ecological and morphological characteristics to reduce niche overlap, thus facilitating coexistence. In this study, we investigated the ecological niche of two phylogenetically closely related cryptobenthic reef fish species that co-occur in the southern Brazilian coast, Parablennius pilicornis and P. marmoreus. We examined possible overlap in three niche dimensions (thermal, spatial and trophic) to verify if species hold phylogenetic niche conservatism or are partitioning some niche dimension. For this, we studied their densities, microhabitat affinities and diets among four rocky reefs of southern Brazil. The two species presented differences in thermal distribution, and their abundance differed according to depth strata, but no differences were found for microhabitat preferences. They also presented a similar omnivorous diet, with crustaceans and algae as main prey types. The Pianka’s niche overlap values did not differ from the values expected in the null model for thermal and depth, and it was higher than expected by chance for microhabitat and diet. Considering all the niche dimensions analysed together, the total niche overlap was greater than expected at random. These results suggest that the two species are successfully coexisting despite considerable niche overlap. Thus, their coexistence may not depend on the evolution of divergent patterns of resource use, but on the evolutionary history of the species.
... Sampling adequacy was determined using Lehner`s formula (Lehner 1996). The diversity of the diet (niche breadth) was calculated for each species, using the reciprocal value of the Simpson's diversity index (Magurran 1988). ...
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We present unpublished data on the diet of three lizards (Lacerta trilineata, Lacerta agilis and Podarcis tauricus) from the Lacertidae family, collected in 1974 in few localities in Southern Bulgaria. The analyzed data showed that the insects (Insecta) are the most numerous and the most frequently met food component and among the non-insect components the spiders and isopods are slightly predominating. The largest niche breadth was recorded in Podarcis tauricus (6.135), followed by Lacerta trilineata (5.263) and Lacerta agilis (4.132). All three studied lacertid species are classified as opportunistic general feeders (polyphages), which may show slight preference towards beetles, ants or spiders, depending on the occupied habitat or the season.
... Individual behaviors were sampled through focal animal and all-occurrence sampling methods (Altmann 1974, Lehner 1996. To avoid interfering with the emitted behavioral signals, the observer remained silent and at least 3 m from the individuals during the entire reproductive event. ...
... Individual behaviors were sampled using focal animal and all-occurrence sampling methods (Altmann 1974, Lehner 1996. The observer remained silent and at least ca. 3 m from the individuals to avoid interfering in the behavioral signals. ...
... A SI < 1 indicates that the herbivore ate a smaller proportion of that species, than was presented, and thus that plant was less preferred by the herbivore. Sampling adequacy was determined using Lehner`s formula (Lehner 1996): Q = 1 -N1/I, ranging from 0 to 1, where N1 is the number of the food components occurring only once, and I is the total number of the food components. ...
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The insecticidal potential of the Saharan plant Cotula cinerea, was evaluated on two insect species namely Aphis fabae and Tribolium castaneum by topical application (contact toxicity) and repellency test. A crude ethanolic extract of aerial part of the plant was prepared and tested in the laboratory on adults of both species. For contact toxicity, five doses were tested on each of the two species 1.56, 3.12, 6.25, 12.5 and 25 mg/ml for A. fabae and 25, 50, 250, 350 and 500 µg/insect for T. castaneum. The repellency of the extract was studied at the dose 500 μg/insect for T. castaneum and 25 µg/ml for A. fabae. Results showed that the repellency of the extract increased with exposure time and the highest rates were observed after 4 h of exposure (72.33 ± 22% for T. castaneum and 87 ± 3.6% for A. fabae). For insecticidal activity, at the highest doses (25 mg/ml and 500 µg/ml), 100% mortality is obtained 72h after treatment for A. fabae and after 48 h for T. castaneum. The extract of this plant was found to be more toxic against T. castaneum adults. LD50 alculated 24 h after treatment for the two species is estimated at 1.7 mg/ml for A. fabae and at 30.3 µg/insect for T. castaneum. The extract of this plant inhibited the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in both insect species. This result suggests that this plant has a neurotoxic effect on A. fabae and T. castaneum. The results of phytochemical study showed that the plant is mainly rich in flavonoids, gallic tannins, alkaloids, saponosides and glucosides. The insecticidal effect obtained in this study could be due to the synergetic action of all constituents of the extract. Results suggest the possibility of using the extracts of this plant in integrated pest management to replace the chemical insecticides
... Emel, 1995), class (Howell, 2015), or capital (Barua, 2014b). Ethologists' study of behaviour patterns primarily emphasise their functions, causation, ontogeny and evolutionary history (Lehner, 1998). Mapping these back onto notions of the social, cultural or political is not their primary concern. ...
Article
Urban animals and their political ecologies constitute an arena of geographical scholarship that has intensified in recent years. Yet, little headway has been made in terms of understanding how sentient creatures inhabit and negotiate dynamic, metabolic environments. Focusing on urban macaques in Indian cities, the paper develops a conversation between geography and ethology. Firstly, the conversation provides insights into what urbanisation might entail for animals. Secondly, it assays ways in which non-human knowledges enable rethinking what expertise counts in urban governance. Thirdly, the conversation foregrounds other spatial topologies of the urban that become evident when animals’ lifeworlds are taken into account. The paper advances efforts to animate urban political ecology in registers yet inattentive to non-human lifeworlds. It concludes by reflecting upon the purchase of such etho-geographical conversations generate for political ecologies of urbanisation.
... We followed free-ranging Javan slow lorises from June to October 2017. To maximize encounters with individual lorises, we narrowed our reconnaissance search (Lehner 1979) to a known site and screened the nearby area within a radius of approximately 1 km. We recorded all loris activity using focal animal sampling at 5-min intervals (Altmann 1974). ...
Article
Plant exudates are an important food source for many primates. The Critically Endangered Javan slow loris (Nycticebus javanicus) was previously found to prefer Acacia decurrens exudate in an anthropogenically disturbed site, while its feeding habits in secondary natural forest remain unknown. Knowledge of the chemical characteristics of the plant exudates that Javan slow lorises consume is limited, especially with respect to those that they feed on in natural forests. As plant exudates may contain plant secondary metabolites (PSM), which are considered unpalatable in high concentrations, differences in PSM composition may drive feeding preferences. This research aims firstly to confirm exudate consumption by the Javan slow loris in a lowland tropical forest in Central Java, and secondly to identify the chemical characteristics of the exudates consumed. We followed wild slow lorises in Kemuning Forest, Central Java and observed their behaviour. We investigated the gum-producing trees that were utilized by the slow lorises by tapping the exudates and examining their nutritional and PSM contents. We found that exudates are the predominant food source for the Javan slow loris in this lowland forest, and that their nutritional contents are similar to those of exudates consumed by lorises in anthropogenically disturbed areas. Significant differences in polysaccharide and flavonoid contents were found between consumed and unconsumed exudates. Knowledge of the diet of the Javan slow loris is crucial to its conservation, and our findings confirm the importance of exudates in its diet. We also highlight the need to preserve natural slow loris habitat, and to manage the diets of these species in captivity. The results of this study indicate that plant exudates should constitute a significant portion of the diet of captive slow lorises, and that the presence of exudate-producing trees is vital in areas into which slow lorises are to be translocated.
... Se realizaron observaciones directas de modo no perturbable de los individuos a lo largo del día, para establecer inicialmente los horarios de mayor actividad y datos como las tasas de visita totales. Una vez identificados estos horarios, se desarrollaron observaciones sistemáticas basadas en el muestreo de animales focales (Lehner 1979). También se registraron fotografías y videos. ...
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Hasta hoy día, el Proyecto Loro Orejiamarillo ha llevado a cabo una serie de diferentes estudios relacionados con la biología y la ecología de este (Ogno-rhynchus icterotis) en las diferentes zonas de estudio en Antioquia y Tolima, las cuales se han vuelto la base para definir las acciones de conservación tendientes a proteger esta especie tan amenazada. Así es como entre los principales resultados en esta línea del Proyecto tenemos que: 1. En los últimos seis años se ha obtenido una bue-na base de conocimientos sobre la distribución y el uso del hábitat del Loro Orejiamarillo. 2. Hemos producido un análisis detallado de la dis-tribución de la especie en cuanto se refiere a su área de ocurrencia y su área de ocupación, de acuerdo con variables climáticas y elevacionales a lo largo de los Andes colombianos. 3. La estimación de la distribución potencial de la especie en Antioquia y Caldas aumentó de 15,000 ha a 118,000 ha, debido a las nuevas áreas de forrajeo que revelaron los estudios llevados a cabo. 4. El monitoreo constante de las poblaciones mos-tró que el Loro tiene dos dormideros permanentes en Antioquia y cuatro en el Tolima. No obstante, la especie también utiliza dormideros secundarios periódicamente. 5. Para el 2006 la población del Loro en las zonas de estudio fue estimada en 656+ individuos. 6. Los datos de los censos revelaron un crecimien-to anual de la población relativamente alto (5.5-8.5%), aunque quizás pueda ser incluso mayor, debido a que algunos individuos inmaduros (flotantes) parece que establecieron nuevas colonias en la región del Tolima y Antioquia. Esto incrementa los informes que señalan que las bandadas se dispersan extensamente. 7. Dada la alta tasa de reproducción, los muchos sitios potenciales de anidación y la abundancia de re-cursos alimenticios, junto con los esfuerzos sostenidos en conservación en el área de estudio en el Tolima, esta población se ha vuelto la «población fuente» clave para la supervivencia de la especie. A pesar de los es-tudios y las búsquedas intensivas, tristemente nuestros resultados señalan que no existen condiciones simila-res en otras áreas. 8. Cada temporada reproductiva muestra un au-mento del 57% en sitios de anidación y un 42% en reutilización de sitios. 9. El Loro Orejiamarillo tiene una dieta variada en la cual incluye frutas de 10 especies en Antioquia y 13 en Tolima. 10. Durante el Proyecto se han documentado 22 rutas estacionales de forrajeo en Tolima y 10 en Antioquia. Las rutas cubren una amplia gama de diferentes hábitat, y la estacionalidad en su uso es dictada por la fenología de fructificación de las especies de importancia para el Loro. Palabras clave: Loro Orejiamarillo, biología, ecología, línea base para conservación.
... Within Ethology, the elaboration of ethograms (Lehner, 1979;Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1993) is used to quantify behaviours in different species and situations (Ekman & Friesen, 1971;Troisi, 1999;Russel Bernard, 2012). Establishing an ethogram of the prosocial and agonistic behavioural patterns of subjects in specific contexts is a necessary step before trying to elucidate their causes or functions (see, for example, Blurton-Jones, 1972). ...
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We investigated behavioural patterns of school subjects from Colombia and Tenerife (Spain) of 10–12, 13–14 and 15–17 years old (150 per age group), during a crossed puzzle game. We video-recorded all sessions, elaborated an ethogram and classified behavioural patterns within functional categories (Empathy, Help Organizing, Agonistic, Cooperation, Selfishness and Tension-Distension); their frequencies were analyzed by Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMM). Results showed significant differences between countries in Help Organizing, Cooperation, Agonistic and Tension-Distension; the same categories except Cooperation differed between age ranges, but no category significantly differed between sexes. GLMM of factor scores from a principal component analysis applied to behavioural categories showed subjects from Colombian schools had significantly lower PC1 factor scores (Empathy, Selfishness and Tension-Distension) than those from Tenerife; the contrary occurred for PC2 (Help Organizing and Cooperation) and no significant difference was found for PC3 (Agonistic and Selfishness). We discuss several potential causes of the differences found.
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The evolution of language has been investigated by several research communities, including biologists and linguists, striving to highlight similar linguistic capacities across species. To date, however, no consensus exists on the linguistic capacities of non‐human species. Major controversies remain on the use of linguistic terminology, analysis methods and behavioural data collection. The field of ‘animal linguistics’ has emerged to overcome these difficulties and attempt to reach uniform methods and terminology. This primer is a tutorial review of ‘animal linguistics’. It describes the linguistic concepts of semantics, pragmatics and syntax, and proposes minimal criteria to be fulfilled to claim that a given species displays a particular linguistic capacity. Second, it reviews relevant methods successfully applied to the study of communication in animals and proposes a list of useful references to detect and overcome major pitfalls commonly observed in the collection of animal behaviour data. This primer represents a step towards mutual understanding and fruitful collaborations between linguists and biologists.
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Callitrichids are small Neotropical primates and, due to their cooperative breeding system, infants are of particular interest in research on social dynamics. Although a few studies have investigated the role of helpers in this type of system, there is still a lack of research in field studies seeking to determine whether there is a relationship between the number of helpers (adults) in a social group and the motor development of infants. With that in mind, four groups of wild marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) were observed and the motor behaviors of 1 to 4 month-old infants were recorded. To investigate the influence of the adult:infant ratio on motor diversity, used as an indicator of motor development, we ran a GLMM with a Gaussian distribution and found that: (i) in groups with fewer adults, 2-month-old infants show earlier motor diversity; (ii) motor diversity increases with age regardless of the ratio of adult males per infant; (iii) in groups with more adult females per infant, the motor diversity of 2-month-old infants is significantly lower compared to 3-month-old infants. Although adult callitrichid males play an important role in the care of their offspring, the presence of females appears to be a key factor in motor development at this early stage in the study groups. In a cooperative breeding system, the lack of helpers seems to drive the development of independence in infants, resulting in earlier development.
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The city of Manaus has been growing in an accelerated and disorderly way, which causes the fragmentation of the forest and condemns the urban streams to disappearance. Along with these streams, an important part of the local aquatic biodiversity is lost, even before it is properly known. In this context, fish assemblages from streams of 52 urban forest fragments were studied, in addition to laboratory experiments, aiming to evaluate the effects of forest fragmentation and of alteration in structural and limnological characteristics of streams (pollution) on the composition and diversity of fish assemblages. Sixty-eight fish species from seven orders and 14 families were collected. Richness ranged from one to 14 species per 50-m stream stretch. Streams subjected to anthropic impacts showed changes both in structural and limnological parameters, as well as in the composition and structure of fish assemblages. Streams in a good state of conservation showed higher species richness, associated with high values of dissolved oxygen and low values of electrical conductivity and pH, and the opposite situation was recorded in polluted streams. The species richness per stream (1-14 species) was small in relation to the total richness found (68 species), indicating a high regional diversity. The similarity in fish species composition varied with the degree of environmental integrity of the streams. Well-preserved streams presented richer and more diverse assemblages, while heavily degraded streams presented assemblages with few species and more similar to each other. Differences in the original environmental characteristics of the streams, as well as the subsequent isolation of fish populations by chemical barriers (highly polluted stream tretches among forest fragments) may be responsible for the current differences in species composition in nearby streams. Laboratory experiments showed that water quality affects agonistic interactions between three cichlid species (Aequidens pallidus; native; Cichlasoma amazonarum, non-native and allochthonous; and Oreochromis niloticus, non-native and exotic). In general, agonistic interactions decreased between species in polluted water when compared to interactions in clean water, and this reduction was especially intense in the native species A. pallidus. In polluted waters there were weak interspecific interactions between species when analyzed in mixed groups of two species at a time, but there were strong intraspecific interactions in the three species, both in monospecific and mixed groups. These results indicate that water quality modulates the agonistic interactions of the studies cichlid species and may play an important role in the process of replacing native species with non-native ones in the urban streams of Manaus. The set of results obtained in this thesis indicate that the conservation of forest remnants in the urban area of Manaus is essential for the maintenance of the local diversity of stream fishes, and that the loss of any fragment can result in the local extirpation of several fish species, with loss of regional fish diversity. The continuous population growth brings environmental degradation, as well as social and economic disorder for the city of Manaus, because the process of recovery of these areas is much more onerous and takes more time than their conservation. Thus, it is necessary to implement projects for the recovery of urban streams, as well as the implementation of an efficient system for the collection and treatment of the domestic sewage, so avoinding its direct discharge into the streams. Projects to recompose native riparian vegetation would have highly beneficial effects on the environmental recovery of urban streams, on the conservation of local and regional aquatic biodiversity, and on the formation of ecological corridors for fauna and flora, which could feed back the ecological processes of environmental recovery in a regional spatial scale.
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Although white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) are common in captivity, few behavioral studies have been conducted and there is seemingly no research for immersive exhibits where potential for visitor effects is high. Moreover, little information exists on possible effects of weather and temperature on rhino outside their native range. Here we analyze 14,501 observations of rhino in a drive-through enclosure. Data were collected by researchers (n = 12,160 datapoints) and keepers (n = 2341 datapoints) over a 4-month period. We aimed to: (1) quantify behavior using detailed researcher-collected data and contemporaneous but ad hoc keeper-collected data; (2) compare datasets statistically; (3) establish effects of visitors, temperature, and weather on behavior; and (4) assess the influence of visitors on similarity of researcher/keeper datasets. Activity budgets were similar to the wild and the single previous study from a traditional (nondrive-through) enclosure. There was some discrepancy in activity budgets between researcher and keeper data due to significant differences in recorded frequency of two rare behaviors (horn rub; social interaction) and two behaviors that could be easily confused (grazing vs. standing with head-down): recording of other behaviors matched well. Weather and temperature affected behavior, with rhino becoming more sedentary (-locomotion, grazing; +resting, standing, and sedentary eating of hay) on hot/sunny days compared to cool/wet days. The number of visitor vehicles had a fairly negligible effect but resting was lower on busy days, possibly as vigilance increased. The match between researcher/keeper datasets was lowest when visitor numbers were high, suggesting visitors might affect keeper ability to accurately record behavior.
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Recent reports on tool use in nonforaging contexts have led researchers to reconsider the proximate drivers of instrumental object manipulation. In this study, we explore the physiological and behavioral correlates of two stone‐directed and seemingly playful actions, the repetitive tapping and rubbing of stones onto the genital and inguinal area, respectively, that may have been co‐opted into self‐directed tool‐assisted masturbation in long‐tailed macaques (i.e., “Sex Toy” hypothesis). We predicted that genital and inguinal stone‐tapping and rubbing would be more closely temporally associated with physiological responses (e.g., estrus in females, penile erection in males) and behavior patterns (e.g., sexual mounts and other mating interactions) that are sexually motivated than other stone‐directed play. We also predicted that the stones selected to perform genital and inguinal stone‐tapping and rubbing actions would be less variable in number, size, and texture than the stones typically used during other stone‐directed playful actions. Overall, our data partly supported the “Sex Toy” hypothesis indicating that stone‐directed tapping and rubbing onto the genital and inguinal area are sexually motivated behaviors. Our research suggests that instrumental behaviors of questionably adaptive value may be maintained over evolutionary time through pleasurable/self‐rewarding mechanisms, such as those underlying playful and sexual activities. Genital‐directed stone play actions are sexually motivated in male long‐tailed macaques. Adult females show a higher level of selectivity for the texture of the stones they use to perform genital‐directed stone play. Balinese long‐tailed macaques can use stones as tools to masturbate.
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Animal–Visitor Interactions (AVI) are activities offered by zoos and other tourism facilities, in which visitors come into close contact with animals. These activities can promote conservational and educational content, raise conservation mindedness and responsibility for the environment and animal welfare, but if not properly managed can jeopardize visitors’ and animals’ well-being and conservation efforts. The Animal-Visitor Interaction assessment Protocol (AVIP) has been designed to perform an integrated and multidisciplinary assessment of these activities, encompassing the “One Health, One Welfare” approach. AVIP throughout six different steps allows to assess the effects of AVIs both on animals, visitors, and the staff involved. Results can assist zoos to improve management decisions, ensure a transparent evaluation of their activities and promote conservation education goals. Lemurs walk-in enclosures have become increasingly popular among zoos, nevertheless studies focused on their assessment are still scarce. To validate AVIP to this particular AVI, we applied it to assess a walk-in enclosure hosting five Lemur catta in an Italian zoo. Results of behavioural and physiological analyses suggested no changes in animal welfare level and the Animal Welfare Risk Assessment showed low animal welfare risks. Two Visitor Experience Surveys were used to interview 291 visitors, showing that the assessed AVI could help promote the zoo’s conservation objectives and visitor education. Risk Assessment found low and medium risks to the health and safety of visitors. Results were then combined to perform a final ethical assessment. Some potential ethical concerns were detected, but the outcomes indicated that these conflicts were well managed. In the context of recent findings AVIP demonstrated its potential for application also in assessing AVIs involving primates. Our findings confirmed the usefulness of AVIP in assessing and monitoring AVIs, allowing to gain key information in a single process on multiple welfare-related parameters, educational impact, safety of the main stakeholders involved, and ethical concerns.
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Invertivorous fish species such as Halichoeres radiatus feed on benthic active prey and need to spend most of their time foraging. Even though the Labridae family is one of the most speciose in reef environments, the knowledge on feeding habits and behavior of this group continues being a major topic on trophic ecology. The present work aimed to evaluate the feeding behavior, diet, and the substrate selectivity of H. radiatus in the remote Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago (SPSPA), where this is the only species of this trophic group, and adds understanding about the role of this species in this singular system. Individuals of H. radiatus were captured and had their diet analyzed in the laboratory to identify and quantify their food items. Direct observations using scuba diving were also performed to describe the daily foraging frequency. Photoquadrats were taken to estimate the substrate relative cover, as a proxy of resource availability. The diet of H. radiatus in SPSPA was mainly composed of damselfish eggs and crustaceans in addition to gastropods, mollusks, and sponges, which reinforces its generalist feeding habits. Individuals of H. radiatus foraged mainly on substrates composed by epilithic algal matrix, which was the most abundant substrate in the study area, but preferred bare rocks and sediment. The foraging activity was constant throughout the daytime, decreasing at sunset. Our results suggest that H. radiatus has a generalist habit, supporting the idea that it is a versatile species, foraging all day long, and constituting an important link in the trophic chain of the archipelago.
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The study of the behavior of the Lontra longicaudis was conducted from January to April 2010. The main objective was to determine the individual and social patterns of three otters in captivity, correlating the data with average temperatures. The methodology was based on random observations, the ad libitum method, and the focal animal method, during which the animals are observed thanks to standardized spreadsheets. The sampling effort was four hours daily, resulting in a total of 196 hours. Twenty-nine listed activities were divided into two categories and ten sub-categories. The adult couple showed a similar pattern of activities. The young female, however, showed a different pattern in the activities, compared with adult animals. There was no difference in activity for day and night. However, on days with lower average temperatures, some activities decreased significantly, such as swimming, diving and rolling in the sand, while resting activities increased. Keywords: ethogram, activities patterns, environmental enrichment, patterns of posture. RESUMO O estudo do comportamento da Lontra longicaudis foi realizado de janeiro a abril de 2010. O objetivo principal foi determinar os padrões individuais e sociais de três lontras em cativeiro, correlacionando os dados com as temperaturas médias. A metodologia baseou-se em observações aleatórias, método ad libitum e método animal focal, durante as quais os animais são observados com auxílio de planilhas padronizadas. O esforço amostral foi de quatro horas diárias resultando em um total de 196 horas. Vinte e nove atividades listadas foram divididas em duas categorias e dez subcategorias. O casal adulto apresentou um padrão semelhante de atividades. A fêmea jovem, porém, apresentou um padrão diferente nas atividades se comparada aos animais adultos. Não houve diferença na atividade diurna e noturna. Porém, em dias com temperaturas médias mais baixas,
Thesis
This research is embedded within a larger Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)- funded project, led by the University of Cambridge and the ASER Centre in India, with support from the Pratham Education Foundation. As a PhD project, this thesis investigates the roles and responsibilities of a sample of head teachers, from schools located in the district of Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh, India. This thesis focuses on both the perceptions and attitudes of head teachers towards children’s foundational learning; as well as the barriers they face in supporting children’s achievement of foundational literacy and numeracy skills. Using the adjusted Reasoned Action Approach (Fishbein & Ajzen, 2010) as a conceptual framework, this thesis analyses the head teacher data quantitatively. Particularly, this thesis investigates the head teacher’s underlying patterns of perceptions, attitudes, and barriers toward children’s learning. Moreover, it also examines whether these patterns can predict the variations in the main intended actions identified by the head teachers to deal with poor academic performance in their schools. Analysis of the underlying dimensions of head teachers’ perceptions, attitudes, and barriers demonstrates that there are three emerging patterns: 1) head teacher who perceives no learning problems & focuses less on children’s learning; 2) who perceives no learning problems but focuses on children’s learning; and finally, 3) who perceives learning problems & focuses on children’s learning. Results show that 45% of head teachers could be classified in the first pattern, 38% in the second pattern and only 17% within the third pattern. Moreover, the result shows that the patterns of perceptions, attitudes and barriers do not predict variations in the actions taken by head teachers. In fact, where head teachers perceive there is an issue with children’s learning in their school, and where they are willing to do something about it, there is no difference in their actions.
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Social context is a key factor affecting sexual behaviour and cannot be neglected in gregarious species, such as triatomine blood-sucking bugs. Here we study the influence of the social context on the sexual reproductive behaviour of males and females of Rhodnius prolixus Stål. Specifically, we identify and compare the frequencies and sequence of sexual behaviours exhibited by a focal pair in presence or absence of a male audience. We expect that in presence of a male audience females increase their selectiveness level since the risk of losing infertile eggs decreases in presence of more candidates and females can benefit from copulating with a better quality male. Besides, in presence of potential rivals, we expect changes in the sexual behaviour of focal males, associated to a reduction in the risk of sperm competition. As expected, in presence of a male audience, females significantly increased the exhibition of rejection behaviour. Moreover, focal males exhibited shorter latencies to mount the female, longer duration of copula, and differences in their stereotyped behaviour exhibited during copula. We discuss the influence of the social context on the reproductive behaviour of females and males of R. prolixus.
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