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Difference of social motivation in quail selected for divergent circadian activity

By Laureline Formanek, Marie-Annick Richard-Yris, Christophe Petton, Cécilia Houdelier, Sophie Lumineau

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Endogenous rhythms are adaptive responses to predictable changes of the environment, like the day/night cycle. Some researches demonstrated that social cycles can influence the circadian rhythm, while no study investigated the effect of endogenous rhythmicity on the sociability in Vertebrates. This study investigated whether differences in the functioning of the circadian system was associated with social motivation in Japanese quail (Coturnix c. japonica).We compared quail from a line expressing a robust circadian rhythm of feeding activity (R) to quail from a line expressing circadian arrhythmicity of feeding activity (A) under constant darkness. Classic behavioral tests evaluated social motivation of these birds.When socially isolated, the motivation of R quail to re-establish contact with conspecifics appeared stronger than that of A quail. When in the presence of conspecifics, R quail faced a stressful situation (change of environment) more calmly than did A quail. Thus, variation of circadian behavioral rhythmicity is associated with variation in social motivation in Japanese quail. Rhythmic animals appeared to respond more appropriately to environmental challenges than arrhythmic animals.

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 135
Issue 4
Pages 309-317
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.10.012
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Birds
  2. Circadian rhythm
  3. Feeding
  4. motivation