Isolation rearing reveals latent antisnake behavior in California ground squirrels (Otospermophilus becheeyi) searching for predatory threats

  title={Isolation rearing reveals latent antisnake behavior in California ground squirrels (Otospermophilus becheeyi) searching for predatory threats},
  author={Chris T. Tromborg and Richard G. Coss},
  journal={Animal Cognition},
This study of California ground squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi) investigated the long-term effects of isolation rearing on alarm-call recognition. Six wild-caught squirrels, trapped as yearlings, and six laboratory-reared squirrels were maintained in solitary cages for approximately 3 years prior to the study. Visual searching and olfactory searching were measured as squirrels emerged from their burrow-like nest box into a laboratory room after hearing repetitive playbacks of alarm calls… Expand
The ontogeny of antipredator behavior: age differences in California ground squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi) at multiple stages of rattlesnake encounters
It is found that snake detection improves with age and that pups probably avoid rattlesnakes and minimize time spent in close proximity to them to compensate for their reduced reaction times to strikes. Expand
Eastern Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger) Observed Using a Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) Burrow
An observation of a Sciurus niger (Eastern Fox Squirrel) sheltering in an occupied burrow twice in a single day demonstrates the importance of Gopher Tortoise burrows to vertebrate fauna in the southeastern United States. Expand
Spatial learning in captive and wild-born lizards: heritability and environmental effects
Studying mother-offspring skink pairs, it is shown that wild-born mothers outperformed their captive-born offspring in a spatial learning task, and it is suggested that conditions during early-life stages shape spatial learning more than genetics, and stable captive conditions may have a negative effect on the development of spatial learning. Expand
Sex difference in choice of concealed or exposed refuge sites by preschool children viewing a model leopard in a playground simulation of antipredator behavior
The current study of preschool children characterizes a semi-natural extension of experimental questions on how human ancestors evaded predation when encountering dangerous felids.  In a pretend gameExpand
Something Scary Is Out There: Remembrances of Where the Threat Was Located by Preschool Children and Adults with Nighttime Fear
  • R. G. Coss
  • Psychology
  • Evolutionary Psychological Science
  • 2021
Young children frequently report imaginary scary things in their bedrooms at night. This study examined the remembrances of 140 preschool children and 404 adults selecting either above, side, orExpand


Substrate throwing was positively correlated for the two snakes in both groups of adults, indicating that level of aggressiveness is a consis­ tent component of temperament not specific to species of snakes. Expand
Development of Antisnake Defenses in California Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus Beecheyi): I. Behavioral and Immunological Relationships
The early appearance in pups of risky adult-like investigative and snake-harassment behaviors is interpreted as a by-product of epigenetic processes aimed at older, less vulnerable stages of development in which these behaviors are likely to have greater defensive utility. Expand
Calling and Vigilance in California Ground Squirrels: Age, Sex and Seasonal Differences in Responses to Calls
Repetitive calling has been shown to increase vigilance over that elicited by chatters alone and this effect was found to hold when adult males were examined separately and pups also tended to show the same result, but adult females did not. Expand
The development of alarm-call response behaviour in free-living juvenile Belding's ground squirrels
Despite their vulnerability, juveniles may not emerge with fully formed associations between alarm calls and responses if the local predator context changes over time, thus favouring plasticity in the response repertoire. Expand
Different Functions of "Alarm" Calling for Different Time Scales: a Preliminary Report On Ground Squirrels
It is proposed that predator-prey episodes may be understandable from an "epigenetic" perspective; that is, the first alarm calls during an encounter should shift squirrels from an unwarned to a warned status; subsequent calling must then function in some other way than as a warning. Expand
The antipredator vigilance of adult and juvenile thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Sciuridae: Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) : Visual obstruction and simulated hawk attacks
Simulated hawk attacks on squirrels feeding in the boxes indicate that the greater vigilance of adults led to significantly reduced reaction times compared with juveniles. Expand
Age differences in the response of California ground Squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) to avian and mammalian predators.
Two studies suggest that learning may contribute to predator assessment in juvenile and adult California ground squirrels. Expand
Alarm Calls of California Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi)
California ground squirrel alarm vocalizations were recorded in field and laboratory, and sonagraphically analysed. The contexts of both naturally occurring and experimentally elicited calls wereExpand
Age Differences in the Response of California Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) to Conspecific Alarm Calls
Juvenile California ground squirrel responses to adult alarm calls and juvenile alarm calling may be modified during development to achieve adult form. Adult conspecific chatter and whistle alarmExpand
Barbados green monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) recognize ancestral alarm calls after 350 years of isolation
The results suggest that the leopard alarm call conveys the same information to Barbados green monkeys as West African green monkeys despite generations of isolation from leopards. Expand