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Residency and a broad feeding spectrum are related to extensive spatial exploration in parrots

Mettke-Hofmann, C, Wink, M, Braun, M and Winkler, H (2012) Residency and a broad feeding spectrum are related to extensive spatial exploration in parrots. Behavioral Ecology, 23 (6). pp. 1365-1371. ISSN 1465-7279


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Resident and nomadic species differ substantially in their mobility, with the former spending most of their lives in a restricted area and the latter encountering many areas while tracking spatiotemporal unpredictable resources. Earlier studies have shown that information gathering differs alongside this mobility axis—resident species pay more attention to changes in their familiar environment than nomadic ones. However, little is known about spatial exploration in resident and nomadic species. We investigated spatial exploration in 10 closely related parrot species that differed in their mobility by giving them access to two unfamiliar aviaries left and right of the familiar aviary. For analyses, mobility and some diet and habitat variables were related to spatial exploration. Nomadic species spent less time exploring the novel aviaries and also started tactile exploration later than resident/nomadic and pure resident species. Furthermore, diet specialists visited more new locations in relation to their overall movements than diet generalists. The variables were not correlated with the molecular phylogeny (mitochondrial cytochrome b) of the species. The results indicate that nomads invest less in spatial exploration than residents possibly because they stay only for limited periods of time in one particular area or use easier-to-assess cues. Residents, in contrast, assess a novel environment in detail as they may collect information about future breeding sites for which they need short- and long-term information. Finally, diet specialists may pay attention to fewer environmental cues than generalists, which allows them to move faster through a novel environment.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Behavioral Ecology following peer review. The version of record Residency and a broad feeding spectrum are related to extensive spatial exploration in parrots is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/ars130
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2016 14:08
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 13:31
DOI or ID number: 10.1093/beheco/ars130
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2799
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