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Stereotypies and attentiveness to novel stimuli: a test in polar bears

By B. Wechsler

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Marks of unfamiliar odours were placed on the stereotyped paths of two captive polar bears in order to test their attentiveness to novel stimuli during stereotyped walking. Both individuals significantly increased their rate of sniffing compared with stereotyped walking bouts without odour marks on the stereotyped paths. In addition, the polar bears regularly interrupted their stereotyped walking bouts to look up. The results show that elements of appetitive behaviour (sniffing, looking up) are compatible with the motivational state of a stereotyping animal. They support the hypothesis that stereotypies develop from appetitive behaviour that becomes more and more formalised.

Date 1992
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 33
Issue 4
Pages 381-388
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Nutztierethologie, Zoologisches Institut, Universitat Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal diseases
  4. Animal rights
  5. Animal roles
  6. Animal welfare
  7. Bears
  8. Deviant behavior
  9. Feeding behavior
  10. Mammals
  11. stereotypes
  12. Stress
  13. Wild animals
  14. Zoo and captive wild animals