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You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Out of sight or in too deep: effect of visual barriers and water depth on agonistic behaviour and growth in hatchling saltwater crocodiles ( Crocodylus porosus) / About

Out of sight or in too deep: effect of visual barriers and water depth on agonistic behaviour and growth in hatchling saltwater crocodiles ( Crocodylus porosus)

By M. L. Brien, C. M. Gienger, G. J. Webb, K. McGuinness, K. A. Christian

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Abstract

This study tests the role of visual barriers and water depth on levels of agonistic behaviour and growth in hatchling Crocodylus porosus within the first 3 weeks of life. Ninety-six individuals from four separate clutches hatched over 2 days were divided across three treatments containing two groups with 16 individuals each: shallow water with no visual barrier (SW), shallow water with visual barriers (VB), and deep water with no visual barrier (DW). Body mass (BM, g) was measured at introduction and after 21 days, and was used as an index of growth. Behaviour was described and quantified in the night (17:00-08:00 h), when there is an innate peak in behavioural interactions, for three consecutive nights on two occasions (days 9-11 and 18-20 post-hatch). Visual barriers in open shallow water (VB: mean 0.7 interactions/night) nearly eliminated agonistic behaviour relative to SW (mean 10.8 interactions/night; P

Date 2014
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 158
Pages 102-110
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Publisher Elsevier
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.07.001
Author Address Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT 0909, Australia.matthew_brien@hotmail.com
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Agonistic behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal genetics
  4. Animals
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Body weight
  7. Comparisons
  8. crocodiles
  9. Distribution
  10. growing strains
  11. Growth rates
  12. Interactions
  13. performance traits
  14. Reptiles
  15. survival
  16. swimming
  17. therapy
  18. vertebrates