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Behavioral Evidence for Individual Recognition in Japanese Quail

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Two studies were performed to explore the ability of male Japanese quail to discriminate between individual females, and between individual males within a context related to reproduction. Male quail were found to spend more time in front of and looking through a window providing visual access to a female with which they were repeatedly allowed to copulate, compared to a female with which they had never been allowed to copulate. In contrast, when males were allowed to freely interact with both females, no differences were observed in consummatory measures of sexual behavior. With respect to a male's ability to discriminate between individual males, during repeated pairings between the same males, dominant males displayed an elevation in cloacal contact movements (CCM) compared to their subordinate partners. The difference in CCM between members of each pair developed over several days suggesting that the males were learning to recognize and respond to one another according to a dominance relationship. During subsequent separate pairings with both familiar (i.e. the birds previously used during the repeated pairings) and novel individuals, both subordinates and dominants were found to crouch more often in the presence of novel birds. Subordinate males were also found to peck more often at a glass partition separating them from a novel dominant compared to a familiar dominant. Male quail thus appear capable of discriminating between individual females and individual males as indicated by behavioral measures relevant to reproduction.

Affiliations: 1: University of Liège, Laboratory of Biochemistry, Research Unit in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, 17 place Delcour, B-4020 Liège, Belgium, Department of Psychology, 225 Ames Hall, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA; 2: University of Liège, Laboratory of Biochemistry, Research Unit in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, 17 place Delcour, B-4020 Liège, Belgium;, Email: jbalthazart@ulg.ac.be

10.1163/156853998792897941
/content/journals/10.1163/156853998792897941
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/content/journals/10.1163/156853998792897941
1998-07-01
2016-12-09

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