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A Non-Invasive Assay For Monitoring Stress Responses: A Comparison Between Wild And Captive-Reared Rainbowfish (Melanoteania Duboulayi), Amina Zuberi, Sinan Ali, Culum Brown 2016 Macquarie University

A Non-Invasive Assay For Monitoring Stress Responses: A Comparison Between Wild And Captive-Reared Rainbowfish (Melanoteania Duboulayi), Amina Zuberi, Sinan Ali, Culum Brown

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

The stress response of wild and captive reared rainbowfish (Melanoteania duboulayi) following chasing by a simulated predator was examined. Cortisol release rate was monitored using a flow through system by measuring water borne hormone levels. Tests using known cortisol concentrations revealed that the technique yielded 95% of the cortisol present in the water. Cortisol release rates increased several fold in both populations after being chased but peaked at different time periods. Wild fish showed a typical stress response with release rate rising to (2.29±0.22 ng g−1 h−1) 2 h after exposure followed by rapid recovery ...


Microhabitat Use Affects Brain Size And Structure In Intertidal Gobies, Gemma E. White, Culum Brown 2016 Macquarie University

Microhabitat Use Affects Brain Size And Structure In Intertidal Gobies, Gemma E. White, Culum Brown

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

The ecological cognition hypothesis poses that the brains and behaviours of individuals are largely shaped by the environments in which they live and the associated challenges they must overcome during their lives. Here we examine the effect of environmental complexity on relative brain size in 4 species of intertidal gobies from differing habitats. Two species were rock pool specialists that lived on spatially complex rocky shores, while the remainder lived on dynamic, but structurally simple, sandy shores. We found that rock pool-dwelling species had relatively larger brains and telencephalons in particular, while sand-dwelling species had a larger optic tectum and ...


A Comparison Of Spatial Learning And Memory Capabilities In Intertidal Gobies, Gemma E. White, Culum Brown 2016 Macquarie University

A Comparison Of Spatial Learning And Memory Capabilities In Intertidal Gobies, Gemma E. White, Culum Brown

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

For the majority of animals, the ability to orient in familiar locations is a fundamental part of life, and spatial memory allows individuals to remember key locations such as food patches, shelter, mating sites or areas regularly occupied by predators. This study determined if gobies collected from rocky platforms and sandy beaches differ in their ability to learn and memorise the locations of tide pools in a simulated rocky intertidal zone. Intertidal rock pool gobies show acute homing abilities and, therefore, should be expected to display superior learning and memory capabilities. In contrast, it is unlikely that natural selection would ...


Hatching Success Of Rainbowfish Eggs Following Exposure To Air, Lois J. Oulton, Penelope Carbia, Culum Brown 2016 Macquarie University

Hatching Success Of Rainbowfish Eggs Following Exposure To Air, Lois J. Oulton, Penelope Carbia, Culum Brown

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

Translocation of fishes within and between drainage basins is widely recognised as a threatening process to Australian native fishes. While many translocations are deliberate, for example for fisheries enhancement, it is possible that translocation can occur naturally. In the Wet Tropic region of Australia, the widespread eastern rainbowfish, Melanotaenia splendida, has begun to colonise the Atherton tablelands. This is of particular concern because the area is home to several endangered endemic species such as the Lake Eacham rainbowfish, M. eachamensis, and its allies. It is likely that some of the translocations have occurred through the use of this species as ...


Variation In Brain Morphology Of Intertidal Gobies: A Comparison Of Methodologies Used To Quantitatively Assess Brain Volumes In Fish, Gemma E. White, Culum Brown 2016 Macquarie University

Variation In Brain Morphology Of Intertidal Gobies: A Comparison Of Methodologies Used To Quantitatively Assess Brain Volumes In Fish, Gemma E. White, Culum Brown

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

When correlating brain size and structure with behavioural and environmental characteristics, a range of techniques can be utilised. This study used gobiid fishes to quantitatively compare brain volumes obtained via three different methods; these included the commonly used techniques of histology and approximating brain volume to an idealised ellipsoid, and the recently established technique of X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). It was found that all three methods differed significantly from one another in their volume estimates for most brain lobes. The ellipsoid method was prone to over- or under-estimation of lobe size, histology caused shrinkage in the telencephalon, and although micro-CT ...


Size Matters: A Test Of Boldness In Eight Populations Of The Poeciliid Brachyraphis Episcopi, Culum Brown, Victoria Braithwaite 2016 University of Edinburgh

Size Matters: A Test Of Boldness In Eight Populations Of The Poeciliid Brachyraphis Episcopi, Culum Brown, Victoria Braithwaite

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

Individual variation in behaviour within populations may be explained in part by demographics and long-term, stable individual psychological differences. We examined the relation between boldness (taken as the time to emerge from a shelter and explore a novel environment) and body size in eight populations of the poeciliid Brachyraphis episcopi originating from sites upstream and downstream of waterfalls in four rivers that run into the Panama Canal. The relation between body size and time to emerge from a shelter was positive, with larger fish taking longer to emerge. This relation differed between downstream and upstream sites, being significant in the ...


Familiarity With The Test Environment Improves Escape Responses In The Crimson Spotted Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia Duboulayi, Culum Brown 2016 University of Edinburgh

Familiarity With The Test Environment Improves Escape Responses In The Crimson Spotted Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia Duboulayi, Culum Brown

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

Animals that are familiar with their environment have been reported to have greater survivorship for a number of reasons related to their knowledge of the terrain, which they recall from memory. In an initial experiment rainbowfish significantly improved their escape response towards a novel trawl apparatus over a sequence of five runs. Escape latencies were still low during a subsequent exposure 11 months after the initial exposure. While part of the improvement in escape success was certainly due to learning associated with the location of the escape route, it is likely that this was aided by habituation to the tank ...


Habitat-Predator Association And Avoidance In Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia Spp.), Culum Brown 2016 University of Queensland

Habitat-Predator Association And Avoidance In Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia Spp.), Culum Brown

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

The ability to recall the location of a predator and later avoid it was tested in nine populations of rainbowfish (Melanotaenia spp.), representing three species from a variety of environments. Following the introduction of a model predator into a particular microhabitat, the model was removed, the arena rotated and the distribution of the fish recorded again. In this manner it could be determined what cues the fish relied on in order to recall the previous location of the predator model. Fish from all populations but one (Dirran Creek) were capable of avoiding the predator by remembering either the location and ...


Familiarity Facilitates Social Learning Of Foraging Behaviour In The Guppy, Will Swaney, Jeremy Kendal, Hannah Capon, Culum Brown, Kevin N. Laland 2016 University of Cambridge

Familiarity Facilitates Social Learning Of Foraging Behaviour In The Guppy, Will Swaney, Jeremy Kendal, Hannah Capon, Culum Brown, Kevin N. Laland

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

Previous studies have shown that guppies, Poecilia reticulata, can learn the route to a food source by shoaling with knowledgeable conspecifics, and prefer to shoal with experienced foragers and familiar fish. We tested the hypothesis that guppies would learn more effectively from (1) familiar than unfamiliar demonstrators and (2) well-trained than poorly trained demonstrators. Demonstrator fish were given experience in swimming a route to a food source and then introduced into shoals of untrained observer guppies; the spread of this foraging skill was recorded over 15 trials. The demonstrators were either familiar or unfamiliar to the observers and either well ...


The Quality Of Mercy: Organized Animal Protection In The United States 1866-1930, Bernard Unti 2016 The Humane Society of the United States

The Quality Of Mercy: Organized Animal Protection In The United States 1866-1930, Bernard Unti

Bernard Unti, Ph.D.

Historians have largely neglected the animal protection movement, despite its unique accomplishments and its relationship to other reform efforts. While humane advocates in the pre-World War U era rarely transcended anthropocentrism, they launched significant initiatives to extend ethical concern beyond the species barrier. From 1866 onward, they waged campaigns against cruelty to animals in transportation, slaughter, education, entertainment, science, recreation, municipal animal control, and food and fur production.

This study situates organized concern for animals in relation to other post-Civil War reforms--including temperance and child protection. It explains the rise of humane work in light of antebellum trends in law ...


Animal Ethics And Animal Welfare Science: Bridging The Two Cultures, David Fraser 2016 University of British Columbia

Animal Ethics And Animal Welfare Science: Bridging The Two Cultures, David Fraser

David Fraser, Ph.D.

Since the 1970s, scientists studying animal welfare and philosophers writing about animal ethics have worked toward the common goal of understanding and articulating our proper relationship to animals of other species. However, the two groups approached this task using such different concepts, assumptions, and vocabulary that they functioned as two distinct ‘‘cultures’’ with little mutual understanding or communication. Some of the best known ethical writing created barriers for scientists because it tended (1) to focus only on the level of the individual rather than making some decisions at the level of the population, ecosystem or species, (2) to advocate single ...


‘Pleasures’, ‘Pains’ And Animal Welfare: Toward A Natural History Of Affect, D. Fraser, I. J.H. Duncan 2016 University of British Columbia

‘Pleasures’, ‘Pains’ And Animal Welfare: Toward A Natural History Of Affect, D. Fraser, I. J.H. Duncan

David Fraser, Ph.D.

In hedonic theories of motivation, 'motivational affective states' (MASs) are typically seen as adaptations which motivate certain types of behaviour, especially in situations where a flexible or learned response is more adaptive than a rigid or reflexive one. MASs can be negative (eg unpleasant feelings of hunger or pain) or positive (eg pleasant feelings associated with eating and playing). Hedonic theories often portray negative and positive MASs as opposite ends of a one-dimensional scale.

We suggest that natural selection has favoured negative and positive affect as separate processes to solve two different types of motivational problems. We propose that negative ...


Science, Values And Animal Welfare: Exploring The ‘Inextricable Connection’, D. Fraser 2016 Centre for Food and Animal Research, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Science, Values And Animal Welfare: Exploring The ‘Inextricable Connection’, D. Fraser

David Fraser, Ph.D.

In conceptualizing animal welfare, it is useful to distinguish among three types of concepts. 'Type l' are single, measurable attributes. 'Type 2' are single attributes that cannot be measured directly but can be estimated by correctly combining various contributing attributes. 'Type 3' are concepts involving multiple attributes which are grouped together because they serve some common function, and whose relative importance cannot be established in an entirely objective way. Individuals who treat animal welfare as a type 1 concept may propose single, objective measures of welfare, such as longevity or levels of stress-related hormones; however, this approach rests on judgements ...


Fish Intelligence, Sentience And Ethics, Culum Brown 2016 Macquarie University

Fish Intelligence, Sentience And Ethics, Culum Brown

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

Fish are one of the most highly utilised vertebrate taxa by humans; they are harvested from wild stocks as part of global fishing industries, grown under intensive aquaculture conditions, are the most common pet and are widely used for scientific research. But fish are seldom afforded the same level of compassion or welfare as warm-blooded vertebrates. Part of the problem is the large gap between people’s perception of fish intelligence and the scientific reality. This is an important issue because public perception guides government policy. The perception of an animal’s intelligence often drives our decision whether or not ...


Complex Patterns Of Male Alliance Formation In A Dolphin Social Network, Joanna Wiszniewski, Culum Brown, Luciana M. Möller 2016 Macquarie University

Complex Patterns Of Male Alliance Formation In A Dolphin Social Network, Joanna Wiszniewski, Culum Brown, Luciana M. Möller

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

The formation and maintenance of alliances is regarded as one of the most socially complex male mating strategies in mammals. The prevalence and complexity of these cooperative relationships, however, varies considerably among species as well as within and between populations living in different ecological and social environments. We assessed patterns of alliance formation for Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops aduncus, in Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia, to investigate the stability of these alliances, the structure of associations, as well as variation in schooling patterns among males. Our results showed that association patterns among males within this population showed considerable variability ...


Laterality Is Linked To Personality In The Black-Lined Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia Nigrans, Culum Brown, Anne-Laurence Bibost 2016 Macquarie University

Laterality Is Linked To Personality In The Black-Lined Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia Nigrans, Culum Brown, Anne-Laurence Bibost

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

Emotions such as fear in vertebrates are often strongly lateralised, that is, a single cerebral hemisphere tends to be dominant when processing emotive stimuli. Boldness is a measure of an individual’s propensity to take risks and it has obvious connections with fear responses. Given the emotive nature of this well-studied personality trait, there is good reason to suspect that it is also likely to be expressed in a single hemisphere. Here, we examined the link between laterality and boldness in wild and captive-reared rainbowfish, Melanotaenia nigrans. We found that fish from the wild were bolder than those from captivity ...


Tool Use In Fishes, Culum Brown 2016 Macquarie University

Tool Use In Fishes, Culum Brown

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

Tool use was once considered the sole domain of humans. Over the last 40 years, however, it has become apparent that tool use may be widespread across the animal kingdom. Pioneering studies in primates have shaped the way we think about tool use in animals, but have also lead to a bias both in terms of our expectations about which animals should be capable of using tools and the working definition of tool use. Here I briefly examine tool use in terrestrial animals and consider the constraints of the current working definition of tool use in fishes. Fishes lack grasping ...


In Situ Examination Of Boldness–Shyness Traits In The Tropical Poeciliid, Brachyraphis Episcopi, Culum Brown, Felicity Jones, Victoria Braithwaite 2016 University of Edinburgh

In Situ Examination Of Boldness–Shyness Traits In The Tropical Poeciliid, Brachyraphis Episcopi, Culum Brown, Felicity Jones, Victoria Braithwaite

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

Explaining consistent variation in the behaviour of individuals in terms of personality differences is one of the cornerstones of understanding human behaviour but is seldom discussed in behavioural ecology for fear of invoking anthropomorphism. Recently, however, interest has begun to focus on identifying personality traits in animals and examining their possible evolutionary consequences. One major axis used to define personality traits is the shyness–boldness continuum. We examined boldness in an in situ experiment using fish from eight populations of the poeciliid Brachyraphis episcopi (also referred to as Brachyrhaphis episcopi). Fish from high- and low-predation regions within four streams that ...


Correlation Between Boldness And Body Mass In Natural Populations Of The Poeciliid Brachyrhaphis Episcopi, C. Brown, F. Jones, V. Braithwaite 2016 Macquarie University

Correlation Between Boldness And Body Mass In Natural Populations Of The Poeciliid Brachyrhaphis Episcopi, C. Brown, F. Jones, V. Braithwaite

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

The boldness of individual Brachyrhaphis episcopi, collected from regions of high and low predation, was investigated using two independent assays: (1) the time to emerge from cover and (2) the propensity to leave shoal mates and investigate a novel object. A strong correlation between the two assays was revealed such that fish that emerged from shelter sooner were also more likely to approach a novel object. This is indicative of a boldness personality axis acting across both behavioural contexts. Fish from high-predation areas were bolder than those from low-predation areas and males were bolder than females. A significant correlation between ...


Learned Recognition And Avoidance Of Invasive Mosquitofish By The Shrimp, Paratya Australiensis, Joshua D. Bool, Kristen Whitcomb, Erin Kydd, Culum Brown 2016 Macquarie University

Learned Recognition And Avoidance Of Invasive Mosquitofish By The Shrimp, Paratya Australiensis, Joshua D. Bool, Kristen Whitcomb, Erin Kydd, Culum Brown

Culum Brown, Ph.D.

Little is known about the learning ability of crustaceans, especially with respect to their anti-predator responses to invasive species. In many vertebrates, anti-predator behaviour is influenced by experience during ontogeny. Here, predator-naïve glass shrimp (Paratya australiensisis) were exposed to a predatory, invasive fish species, Gambusia holbrooki, to determine whether shrimp could learn to: (1) avoid the scent of Gambusia via classical conditioning; and (2) restrict their activity patterns to the night to reduce predatory encounters. Conditioned shrimp were placed in containers in aquaria containing Gambusia for 3 days during which time they could be harassed but not consumed by Gambusia ...


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