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Selection of Norway Rats (Rattus Norvegicus) to Novel Food

Author YuanHang
Tutor WeiWanHong
School Yangzhou University
Course Genetics
Keywords Norway rat(Rattus norvegicus) Novel foods Eating behavior Predation risk Social learning
CLC Q346.2
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
Downloads 21
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Animals form a behavior that they select some certain types of foods and avoid other foods in food choice. The novelty of food, living environment and social learning behaviour have a significant impact on animals food choice. This research is to study the effect of the predation risk on the selection of novel food size for domestic Norway rat in the laboratory conditions and to determine the effect of the different genetic relationship demonstrators on the selection of novel food for observer. The results showed as follows:1) Under the non-predation risk condition, Norway rats preferred to select the smallest novel food when they first contacted with novel food. With the increase of food familiarity, Norway rats significantly selected large size food more than the small size food.2) Under the predation risk condition, Norway rats When there is natural enemies of smell, feeding behavior of rats are reduce, there is no significant differences on food intake, feeding time and feeding frequency when male and female rats first meet novel food, this phenomenon continued until the experiment in the late, but with the increase of food familiarity, rats still show a preference for feeding on the large volume of food than the other three types of food.3) Comparing the rats behavior under different predation risk condition, in hiding time and frequency from1d to8d, there is no significant different between the two groups of rats, in the12d, the enemy odor group was higher than the control group in hiding frequency, but lower in hiding time; there were no significant different in the heading out time and frequency between the two groups; in feeding frequency, control group was higher than enemy odor group; from1d to8d, no significant different between two groups, but in12d, the enemy odor groups was higher than control group in feeding time; no significant different between the two groups in other behavior.4) In the social learning experiment, the strange demonstrator rats and observers, there is no significant demonstration effect on observers’food choice behavior, the food intake, feeding time and feeding frequency are similar when there no demonstrator; rats feeding activity of individuals of their compatriots, the mother-child relationship has significant demonstration effect, especially in the mother-child relationship, the two different food intake, feeding frequency and feeding time and demonstration who consistent.These results suggest that, under the non-predation risk condition, rats first contact with novel food preference for feeding smallest volume of food, but with the rats familiarity with the novel food, biased in favor of feeding large volume; under predation risk condition, first time rats contact with novel food, they reduce feeding behavior, and the food consumption, feeding frequency and feeding time were not significantly different. But with the familiar with the degree of increase of food, still show the feeding preferences of the large volume of food than the other three type of foods. The proximity of the phylogenetic relationship of adult rats novel food choice, social learning affect the experience of rats are more likely to observe and study the feeding behavior of rats’kinship, and the strange demonstration did not significant effect on observers’feeding behavior; feeding behavior of inexperienced rats were not significant.

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