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AuthorS. Wong
TitleVisual recognition of predators by hatchlings of the Australian brush-turkey Alectura lathami J.E. Gray
JournalZoologische Verhandelingen
Volume327
Year1999
Pages61-74
KeywordsMegapodiidae; megapode; Australian brush-turkey; Alectura lathami; predator recognition; anti-predator behaviour
AbstractThe megapode hatchling receives no care or guidance from its parents and so must be able to survive by itself. This raises some basic questions about the innate abilities of megapode hatchlings, including the possibility of predator recognition. Experiments were conducted to investigate the visual predator recognition abilities of the hatchlings of the Australian brush-turkey Alectura lathami J.E. Gray, 1831. Two separate methods involving video images and actual stimuli were used. There were no significant differences between the behaviours observed before compared to after the presentation of each stimulus, whether it was predator or non-predator, moving or non-moving. The hatchlings did not respond with any escape or avoidance behaviours when presented with predator stimuli. Although there are a number of potential explanations for these results, it is most likely that the responses observed were genuine, indicating that brush-turkey hatchlings do not instinctively flee in response to the visual presence or movement of a predator. In the wild, they may adopt the strategy of freezing, as do hatchlings of the malleefowl Leipoa ocellata Gould, 1840. However, high mortality rates indicate this strategy is not very successful and their survival to sub-adult stage may be largely dependent on chance.
Classification42.83
Document typearticle
Download paperpdf document http://www.repository.naturalis.nl/document/46263