Charles Darwin University

CDU eSpace
Institutional Repository

CDU Staff and Student only

Do individual differences in behavior influence wild rodents more than predation risk?

Cremona, Teigan, Mella, Valentina S. A., Webb, Jonathan K. and Crowther, Matthew S. (2015). Do individual differences in behavior influence wild rodents more than predation risk?. Journal of Mammalogy,96(6):1337-1343.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Altmetric Score Altmetric Score is 3
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar

IRMA ID 81144320xPUB161
Title Do individual differences in behavior influence wild rodents more than predation risk?
Author Cremona, Teigan
Mella, Valentina S. A.
Webb, Jonathan K.
Crowther, Matthew S.
Journal Name Journal of Mammalogy
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 96
Issue Number 6
ISSN 0022-2372   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84949952592
Start Page 1337
End Page 1343
Total Pages 7
Place of Publication United States
Publisher Oxford University Press
Field of Research 060801 - Animal Behaviour
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Prey can enhance their survival by eliciting an appropriate response to predators. Theoretically, prey should distinguish odors of predators and nonpredators. The manifestation of defensive antipredator behaviors has been extensively researched in domestic species (i.e., the relationship between laboratory-bred rats and domestic cats). However, little is known about the expression of these behaviors in wild rodents. Studies have so far focused on quantitative assessments of cost–benefit trade-offs or giving-up densities. We examined the expression of fine-scale defensive behaviors in Arnhem rock rats (Zyzomys maini) in response to fecal cues from 2 predators (the northern quoll [Dasyurus hallucatus] and the dingo [Canis dingo]), a nonpredator (the short-eared rock-wallaby [Petrogale brachyotis]), and a control (water). We adapted a predator-odor avoidance apparatus that has been widely used for domestic rodent studies to film the behavior of wild rock rats in a captive environment. Rock rats did not alter their behavior in the presence of odors of nonpredators, predators, or controls. In the current study, individual rock rats behaved in a consistent manner across time, and we identified 3 individually consistent behaviors which may suggest the existence of personality traits in this species. We suggest that these individual differences may influence wild rock rat behavior more than predation risk. These differences should therefore be taken into consideration when investigating behavioral responses to predators in wild populations.
Keywords Arnhem rock rat
Canis dingo
Dasyurus hallucatus
Petrogale brachyotis
Zyzomys maini
DOI   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 169 Abstract Views  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Tue, 26 Jul 2016, 12:42:07 CST