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Courtship Food-Calling in Burmese Red Junglefowl: I. the Causation of Female Approach

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The present study was performed to examine why female Burmese red junglefowl (Gallus gallus spadiceus) approach a food-calling male. Females from three small groups were tested individually with a male under different conditions. Deprivation of food for 24 h did not affect the reaction of females to food-calling, showing that the feeding system is not crucially involved. This result makes it unlikely that courtship food-calling with inedible objects is a case of deception, as was suggested previously. Further it was shown that females willing to perform the sexual crouch and females low in the peck-order were more likely to approach food-calling. These factors were found to be interrelated and fear was suggested to play a crucial role both in inhibiting and modulating approach and in willingness to crouch. The data gathered on the involvement of the sexual system did not allow for any definite conclusions, but as an alternative it was suggested that females might approach courtship food-calling because it arouses curiosity, or, exploration.


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Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A1 Canada


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