Papers paper papers

18 05 2016

Jamie‘s Developmental Psychobiology paper is out online today! Main finding: ‘play’ is a heterogeneous category in which social, object and locomotory types are influenced quite differently by time of day, animal age etc.

Jamie also recently submitted another paper on his play work (this on how early social play predicts later sexual behaviour), this time to Animal Behaviour, and boldly to their US office without any of the casting about for a European submitting author that I usually do (their UK office historically being the kinder of the two to applied ethology/animal welfare MSs).

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And a couple of days ago Maria also submitted a MS, this time to AABS, having been invited to contribute to a special edition based on the 2015 ISAE. This combined her two excellent ceiling height experiments. In one, she altered the heights mink could feed from, finding found that all of them chose to eat from the lowest height, which means they can do this with all four feet on the ground, and even sit (sometimes even lie!) as they dine. In the other in she raised and lowered the ceiling of their enrichment compartment to see how this affected use, with more complicated results. Females did not prefer the ceiling to be high, and a subset even preferred it to be low so that they could rest underneath a shaded part of it. However, some males — those who stand up on their hind legs a lot —  used the compartment more when its ceiling was high enough to let them use this posture.

Catering for individual differences is hard, but we suspect the mink industry is best served by designing cages that do so (since they probably need higher standards than other types of farming).

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