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Differential responses of captive southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons) to the presence of faeces from different species and male and female conspecifics

By Kristin A. Descovich, Allan T. Lisle, Stephen Johnston, Vere Nicolson, Clive J. C. Phillips

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Abstract

The southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) appears to use scent marking, including defaecation, for social communication in the wild. This premise assumes that the receiver wombat is able to distinguish between faeces from different sources. To examine this theory, four types of faeces (male wombat, female wombat, dingo and a plastic control) were placed into the enclosures of 12 captive wombats. Behaviour, inter-individual distance and enclosure use were recorded during the period of placement, as well as the period before and the period after. When faeces were present, the wombats used concealed locations more often than other periods (mean%: pre-treatment: 71.3, treatment: 75.6, post-treatment: 72.7; P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 138
Issue 1
Pages 110-117
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2012.01.017
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Tags
  1. Captivity
  2. Communication
  3. Feces
  4. odors
  5. olfaction