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Stimulus control of predatory attack in the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis)

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Three experiments studied predation upon neonatal rodents by brown tree snakes (Boiga irregularis). Experiment 1 showed that chemical cues arising from prey were used in foraging tests that could not be completed on the basis of vision alone. Experiment 2 provided only airborne chemical cues, and snakes performed at chance levels in selecting among odoriferous (baited) and non-odoriferous (unbaited) nests. Snakes performed above chance, however, when a chemical trail led to the baited nest (Experiment 3), suggesting that non-volatile chemicals are most important in guiding choice behaviour.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA; 2: Department of Biology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, FRG; 3: Department of E.P.O. Biology University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, U.S.A.

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853888x00224
1988-01-01
2016-12-04

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