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The Development of a Behavior System: Dustbathing in the Burmese Red Junglefowl I. the Influence of the Rearing Environment On the Organization of Dustbathing

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The purpose of this study was to determine the role played by functional experience in the development of the dustbathing behavior system in junglefowl. Small groups of birds were raised either in a rich environment with sand and earth, or in a poor environment with a wire mesh floor. Dustbathing and other behaviors were recorded at intervals between 2 and 9 months of age. The results showed that the form of the individual behavior patterns as well as the organization of extended bouts of dustbathing developed normally in chicks raised in a dustless environment. Further, the frequency of occurrence of dustbathing and the diurnal rhythm did not differ between groups raised in the two environments. Functional experience was necessary for the development of dust recognition, but some stimuli came to be recognized as "dust" more easily than others.

Affiliations: 1: Zoological Laboratory, University of Groningen, The Netherlands


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