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A methodological analysis of behavioural observation in social African mole rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia)

Niels Desmet, Paul Van Daele and Dominique Adriaens UGent (2013) MAMMALIA. 77(1). p.59-69
abstract
This study evaluates a number of methodological aspects regarding the recording and analysis of social behaviour in mole rat colonies (Bathyergidae, Rodentia). Behavioural observations were carried out on a colony of wild-caught Fukomys micklemi, in order to define an efficient, standardised method for future research. First, durations of work behaviour were scored and compared with data expressed as frequencies (recording method used in previous research). Second, a comparison was made between a terrarium set-up and a set-up with a perspex tunnel system, including a digging unit. Third, observations were carried out at different times of the day in order to map daily activity patterns. Our results show that the set-up with the tunnel system evokes more work activity and increases behavioural resolution. Using frequencies showed to be a better proxy for activity than the labour-intensive scoring of durations. Interindividual variation in activity patterns over a 24-h period were shown to be highly variable, and the moment of peak activity was not consistent. Observations should thus be carried out randomly during the day to avoid any temporal bias.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
African mole rats, activity, behavioural observations, LOCOMOTOR-ACTIVITY, CIRCADIAN-RHYTHMS, Fukomys, methodology, CRYPTOMYS-HOTTENTOTUS-PRETORIAE, DAILY ACTIVITY PATTERNS, SPALACOPUS-CYANUS, COLONY STRUCTURE, HETEROCEPHALUS-GLABER, DOMINANCE HIERARCHY, SUBTERRANEAN RODENT, DAMARENSIS RODENTIA
journal title
MAMMALIA
Mammalia
volume
77
issue
1
pages
59 - 69
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000314753700006
JCR category
ZOOLOGY
JCR impact factor
0.824 (2013)
JCR rank
92/153 (2013)
JCR quartile
3 (2013)
ISSN
0025-1461
DOI
10.1515/mammalia-2012-0021
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
4259192
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-4259192
date created
2014-01-31 14:56:01
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:47:21
@article{4259192,
  abstract     = {This study evaluates a number of methodological aspects regarding the recording and analysis of social behaviour in mole rat colonies (Bathyergidae, Rodentia). Behavioural observations were carried out on a colony of wild-caught Fukomys micklemi, in order to define an efficient, standardised method for future research. First, durations of work behaviour were scored and compared with data expressed as frequencies (recording method used in previous research). Second, a comparison was made between a terrarium set-up and a set-up with a perspex tunnel system, including a digging unit. Third, observations were carried out at different times of the day in order to map daily activity patterns. Our results show that the set-up with the tunnel system evokes more work activity and increases behavioural resolution. Using frequencies showed to be a better proxy for activity than the labour-intensive scoring of durations. Interindividual variation in activity patterns over a 24-h period were shown to be highly variable, and the moment of peak activity was not consistent. Observations should thus be carried out randomly during the day to avoid any temporal bias.},
  author       = {Desmet, Niels and Van Daele, Paul and Adriaens, Dominique},
  issn         = {0025-1461},
  journal      = {MAMMALIA},
  keyword      = {African mole rats,activity,behavioural observations,LOCOMOTOR-ACTIVITY,CIRCADIAN-RHYTHMS,Fukomys,methodology,CRYPTOMYS-HOTTENTOTUS-PRETORIAE,DAILY ACTIVITY PATTERNS,SPALACOPUS-CYANUS,COLONY STRUCTURE,HETEROCEPHALUS-GLABER,DOMINANCE HIERARCHY,SUBTERRANEAN RODENT,DAMARENSIS RODENTIA},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {59--69},
  title        = {A methodological analysis of behavioural observation in social African mole rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2012-0021},
  volume       = {77},
  year         = {2013},
}

Chicago
Desmet, Niels, Paul Van Daele, and Dominique Adriaens. 2013. “A Methodological Analysis of Behavioural Observation in Social African Mole Rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia).” Mammalia 77 (1): 59–69.
APA
Desmet, Niels, Van Daele, P., & Adriaens, D. (2013). A methodological analysis of behavioural observation in social African mole rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia). MAMMALIA, 77(1), 59–69.
Vancouver
1.
Desmet N, Van Daele P, Adriaens D. A methodological analysis of behavioural observation in social African mole rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia). MAMMALIA. 2013;77(1):59–69.
MLA
Desmet, Niels, Paul Van Daele, and Dominique Adriaens. “A Methodological Analysis of Behavioural Observation in Social African Mole Rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia).” MAMMALIA 77.1 (2013): 59–69. Print.