2013 Vol. 34, No. E1
2013, 34(E1): 560-E.
We investigated the structure and seasonality of the proximity network in a group of polygynous western black crested gibbons (Nomascus concolor) using social network analysis. The spatial proximity changed seasonally and was affected by temperature and rainfall. Preferred proximity association was not distributed randomly among individuals. Kinship was one explanation for the social structure, as offspring preferred to maintain close proximity with their mothers. The proximity of infants to mothers decreased with age, and independent offspring had lower proximity to mothers than dependent ones. We found that the adult male had different proximity relationships with two different adult females. The frequency of proximity between the male and the infant-carrying female was significantly higher than that between the male and the female who had immigrated carrying one offspring of uncertain paternity into the group. Infanticide avoidance and/or predation protection for dependent infants might explain the proximity relationship differences. Temperature influenced group proximity association, with individual proximity increasing in the cold months and decreasing in the hot months. Group proximity decreased in months with higher anthropogenic disturbance.
Infanticide by males is a common phenomenon in mammals, especially primates, as lactation lasts much longer than gestation in many species. Usually, infanticidal episodes occur soon after group takeovers, and are traditionally considered a male reproductive strategy (i.e., support the sexual selection hypothesis, Hrdy, 1974). To verify the validity of this conception, we observed one group of François’ langurs in the Nonggang Nature Reserve, China, between August 2003 and July 2004. During the study period, a François’ langur female with the youngest infant in the group was attacked three times by immigrating males, and later disappeared by the third day after the final attack. We suggest that these attacks on the female-infant dyad represent infanticide attempts by males, and may be the cause of the adult female and her infant’s disappearance. Presumably, that female dispersed with her infant to avoid infanticide and was not killed. Though these observations do not completely verify the sexual selection hypothesis, they are not inconsistent with it.
Although differences in food-hoarding tactics both reflect a behavioral response to cache pilferage among rodent species and may help explain their coexistence, differentiation in cache pilfering abilities among sympatric rodents with different hoarding strategies is seldom addressed. We carried out semi-natural enclosure experiments to investigate seed hoarding tactics among three sympatric rodent species (Tamias sibiricus, Apodemus peninsulae and Clethrionomys rufocanus) and the relationship of their pilfering abilities at the inter- and intraspecific levels. Our results showed that T. sibiricus exhibited a relatively stronger pilfering ability than A. peninsulae and C. rufocanus, as indicated by its higher recovery rate of artificial caches. Meanwhile A. peninsulae showed a medium pilfering ability and C. rufocanus displayed the lowest ability. We also noted that both cache size and cache depth significantly affected cache recovery in all three species. T. sibiricus scatter-hoarded more seeds than it larder-hoarded, A. peninsulae larder-hoarded more than scatter-hoarded, and C. rufocanus acted as a pure larder-hoarder. In T. sibiricus, individuals with lower pilfering abilities tended to scatter hoard seeds, indicating an intraspecific variation in hoarding propensity. Collectively, these results indicated that sympatric rodent species seem to deploy different food hoarding tactics that allow their coexistence in the temperate forests, suggesting a strong connection between hoarding strategy and pilfering ability.
This study aimed to discuss the energy budget of Elliot’s pheasant Syrmaticus ellioti in different seasons, with life and health, good growth and normal digestion of Elliot’s pheasant as the tested objects, The energy budget of Elliot’s pheasant was measured by daily collection of the trial pheasants’ excrement in the biological garden of Guangxi Normal University from March 2011 to February 2012. The results showed that the gross energy consumption, metabolic energy and excrement energy varied by season, increasing as temperature decreased. There was significant difference in gross energy consumption, metabolic energy, excrement energy between adults and nonages. There was also a trend that food digestibility of pheasants increases as temperature increases. In the same season, the food digestibility of adults was better than that of nonages. Throughout spring, summer, autumn and winter, the metabolic energy of 4-year adults were 305.77±13.40 kJ/d, 263.67±11.89 kJ/d, 357.23±25.49 kJ/d and 403.12±24.91 kJ/d, respectively, and the nonages were 284.86±17.22 kJ/d, 284. 66±15.16 kJ/d, 402. 26±31.46 kJ/d and 420. 30±31.98 kJ/d, respectively. The minimum metabolic energies were 247.65±21.81 g, 265.86±26.53 g, respectively for each group, detected between 4-year adults and 1-year nonages. Further study is needed to determine whether 29.6 C is the optimal temperature for the Elliot’s pheasant.
Association between the reward caused by consuming drugs and the context in which they are consumed is essential in the formation of morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP). Glucocorticoid receptor (GRs) activation in different regions of the brain affects reward-based reinforcement and memory processing. A wide array of studies have demonstrated that blockage of GRs in some brain areas can have an effect on reward-related memory; however, to date there have been no systematic studies about the involvement of glucocorticoids (GCs) in morphine-related reward memory. Here, we used the GR antagonist RU38486 to investigate how GRs blockage affects the sensitization and CPP behavior during different phases of reward memory included acquisition, retrieval and reconsolidation. Interestingly, our results showed RU38486 has the ability to impair the acquisition, retrieval and reconsolidation of reward-based memory in CPP and sensitization behavior. But RU38486 by itself cannot induce CPP or conditioned place aversion (CPA) behavior. Our data provide a much more complete picture of the potential effects that glucocorticoids have on the reward memory of different phases and inhibit the sensitization behavior.