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Anim. Behav., 1978, 26, 45 5-462 SOME EFFECTS OF EARLY EXPERIENCE ON FEEDING RESPONSES
 

Summary: Anim. Behav., 1978, 26, 45 5-462
SOME EFFECTS OF EARLY EXPERIENCE ON FEEDING RESPONSES
IN THE COMMON GARTER SNAKE, THAMNOPHIS SIRTALIS
BY STEVAN J. ARNOLD
Department of Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637
Abstract. The effects of early experience on chemoreceptive and feeding responses were studied using
224 naive, newborn snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) from a single locality in California . The effect of
experience depends on the kind of prey . Responses to some prey (fish) can be modified by early experi-
ence. Response to dead, motionless fish can be enhanced by a single experience with a live, moving
fish. Responses to other prey were not affected by experience . Snakes attacked and ate frogs and tad-
poles on nearly all occasions regardless of prey movement and experience with other prey.
There is now considerable evidence indicating
that naive newborn snakes are prone to attack
some prey more than others, and that chemo-
reception is a major sensory modality in prey
recognition (Burghardt 1966, 1967, 1969, 1975 ;
Burghardt & Abeshaheen 1971 ; Gove &
Burghardt 1975). Odiferous particles are appar-
ently transported to the chemoreceptive epithel-
ium of the Jacobson's organ, in the roof of the

  

Source: Arnold, Stevan J. - Department of Zoology, Oregon State University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology