Detour behaviour is the ability of an animal to reach a goal stimulus by moving round any interposed obstacle. It has been widely studied and has been proposed as a test of insight learning in several species of mammals, but few data are available in birds. A comparative study in three species of birds, belonging to different eco-ethological niches, allows a better understanding of the cognitive mechanism of such detour behaviour. Young quails (Coturnix sp.), herring gulls (Larus cachinnans) and canaries (Serinus canaria), 1 month old, 10-25 days old and 4-6 months old, respectively, were tested in a detour situation requiring them to abandon a clear view of a biologically interesting object (their own reflection in a mirror) in order to approach that object. Birds were placed in a closed corridor, at one end of which was a barrier through which the object was visible. Four different types of barrier were used: vertical bar, horizontal bar, grid and transparent. Two symmetrical apertures placed midline in the corridor allowed the birds to adopt routes passing around the barrier. After entering the apertures, birds could turn either right or left to re-establish social contact with the object in the absence of any local sensory cues emanating from it. Quails appeared able to solve the task, though their performance depended on the type of barrier used, which appeared to modulate their relative interest in approaching the object or in exploring the surroundings. Young herring gulls also showed excellent abilities to locate spatially the out-of-view object, except when the transparent barrier was used. Canaries, on the other hand, appeared completely unable to solve the detour task, whatever barrier was in use. It is suggested that these species differences can be accounted for in terms of adaptation to a terrestrial or aerial environment.[...]

A comparative analysis of detour behaviour in three species of birds, Herring gulls (Larus cachinnans), Canaries (Serinus canaria) and Quails (Coturnix sp.)

ZUCCA, PAOLO;
2004

Abstract

Detour behaviour is the ability of an animal to reach a goal stimulus by moving round any interposed obstacle. It has been widely studied and has been proposed as a test of insight learning in several species of mammals, but few data are available in birds. A comparative study in three species of birds, belonging to different eco-ethological niches, allows a better understanding of the cognitive mechanism of such detour behaviour. Young quails (Coturnix sp.), herring gulls (Larus cachinnans) and canaries (Serinus canaria), 1 month old, 10-25 days old and 4-6 months old, respectively, were tested in a detour situation requiring them to abandon a clear view of a biologically interesting object (their own reflection in a mirror) in order to approach that object. Birds were placed in a closed corridor, at one end of which was a barrier through which the object was visible. Four different types of barrier were used: vertical bar, horizontal bar, grid and transparent. Two symmetrical apertures placed midline in the corridor allowed the birds to adopt routes passing around the barrier. After entering the apertures, birds could turn either right or left to re-establish social contact with the object in the absence of any local sensory cues emanating from it. Quails appeared able to solve the task, though their performance depended on the type of barrier used, which appeared to modulate their relative interest in approaching the object or in exploring the surroundings. Young herring gulls also showed excellent abilities to locate spatially the out-of-view object, except when the transparent barrier was used. Canaries, on the other hand, appeared completely unable to solve the detour task, whatever barrier was in use. It is suggested that these species differences can be accounted for in terms of adaptation to a terrestrial or aerial environment.[...]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11575/6464
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