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Courtship Food-Calling in Burmese Red Junglefowl: Ii. Sexual Conditioning and the Role of the Female

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Male Burmese red junglefowl (Gallus gallus spadiceus) generally perform food-calling during courtship, both with edible and inedible objects. It is proposed that males perform food-calling when they want to attract, or want contact with, a female. This predicts that males are likely to perform food-calling in the absence of a female at places where they have previously experienced the presence of a female, thereby enhancing the possibility of a new encounter. Indeed, in experiment 1 food-calling in the absence of a female increased after training in the presence of one, and decreased again after training in her absence. In experiment 2, males that had already received extensive training with a female performed more food-calling in the absence of a female than in her presence. Food-calling in the former situation decreased after training in the absence of a female. These findings are consistent with the prediction and show that food-calling is sensitive to contextual conditioning with sexual reinforcement.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A1 Canada, Zoological Laboratory, University of Groningen, P.O. Box 14, 9750 AA Haren, The Netherlands


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