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On the importance of accounting for alternative foraging tactics when assessing cognitive performance in wild animals

(2021) JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY. 90(11). p.2474-2477
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Abstract
Research Highlight: Reichert, S., Morand-Ferron, J., Kulahci, I. G., Firth, J. A., Davidson, G. L., Crofts, S. J., & Quinn, J. L. (2021) Cognition and covariance in the producer-scrounger game. Journal of Animal Ecology, . When foraging in groups, individuals can either acquire their own resources, as producers, or profit from the work of other individuals, as scroungers. Individuals vary in how much they rely on one foraging tactic over the other. Yet, each of these foraging tactics presents unique cognitive challenges. Using a field experiment with a mixed-species flock of birds, Reichert et al. (2021) investigated how production learning (i.e. successfully feeding from their assigned rewarded feeder) and scrounging propensity (i.e. collecting food from a non-assigned feeders by following another individual) are related at an individual level, as well as the repeatability of both production learning and scrounging propensity. The authors show that overall, (a) individuals learned to scrounge, (b) individuals who rely more on scrounging took longer to learn their assigned feeder and (c) variation in each cognitive trait was mostly explained by individual behavioural flexibility rather than by consistent differences between individuals. Since learning was negatively correlated with the use of an alternative foraging tactic (i.e. scrounging), results of this study also suggest that individual choice of foraging tactics should be considered when evaluating cognitive abilities in wild animals.
Keywords
Animal Science and Zoology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, behavioural flexibility, cognition in the wild, foraging tactics, learning, producer-scrounger game theory, repeatability, STRATEGY CHOICE, SCROUNGERS, PRODUCERS, EVOLUTION, GAME

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MLA
Vernouillet, Alizée. “On the Importance of Accounting for Alternative Foraging Tactics When Assessing Cognitive Performance in Wild Animals.” JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY, vol. 90, no. 11, 2021, pp. 2474–77, doi:10.1111/1365-2656.13602.
APA
Vernouillet, A. (2021). On the importance of accounting for alternative foraging tactics when assessing cognitive performance in wild animals. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13602
Chicago author-date
Vernouillet, Alizée. 2021. “On the Importance of Accounting for Alternative Foraging Tactics When Assessing Cognitive Performance in Wild Animals.” JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13602.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vernouillet, Alizée. 2021. “On the Importance of Accounting for Alternative Foraging Tactics When Assessing Cognitive Performance in Wild Animals.” JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.13602.
Vancouver
1.
Vernouillet A. On the importance of accounting for alternative foraging tactics when assessing cognitive performance in wild animals. Vol. 90, JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY. 2021. p. 2474–7.
IEEE
[1]
A. Vernouillet, “On the importance of accounting for alternative foraging tactics when assessing cognitive performance in wild animals,” JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY, vol. 90, no. 11. pp. 2474–2477, 2021.
@misc{8739914,
  abstract     = {{Research Highlight: Reichert, S., Morand-Ferron, J., Kulahci, I. G., Firth, J. A., Davidson, G. L., Crofts, S. J., & Quinn, J. L. (2021) Cognition and covariance in the producer-scrounger game. Journal of Animal Ecology, . When foraging in groups, individuals can either acquire their own resources, as producers, or profit from the work of other individuals, as scroungers. Individuals vary in how much they rely on one foraging tactic over the other. Yet, each of these foraging tactics presents unique cognitive challenges. Using a field experiment with a mixed-species flock of birds, Reichert et al. (2021) investigated how production learning (i.e. successfully feeding from their assigned rewarded feeder) and scrounging propensity (i.e. collecting food from a non-assigned feeders by following another individual) are related at an individual level, as well as the repeatability of both production learning and scrounging propensity. The authors show that overall, (a) individuals learned to scrounge, (b) individuals who rely more on scrounging took longer to learn their assigned feeder and (c) variation in each cognitive trait was mostly explained by individual behavioural flexibility rather than by consistent differences between individuals. Since learning was negatively correlated with the use of an alternative foraging tactic (i.e. scrounging), results of this study also suggest that individual choice of foraging tactics should be considered when evaluating cognitive abilities in wild animals.}},
  author       = {{Vernouillet, Alizée}},
  issn         = {{0021-8790}},
  keywords     = {{Animal Science and Zoology,Ecology,Evolution,Behavior and Systematics,behavioural flexibility,cognition in the wild,foraging tactics,learning,producer-scrounger game theory,repeatability,STRATEGY CHOICE,SCROUNGERS,PRODUCERS,EVOLUTION,GAME}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{11}},
  pages        = {{2474--2477}},
  series       = {{JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY}},
  title        = {{On the importance of accounting for alternative foraging tactics when assessing cognitive performance in wild animals}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13602}},
  volume       = {{90}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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