liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are able to detect hidden food using olfactory cues
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Meerkats are known to strongly rely on chemical communication in social contexts. However, little is known about their use of the sense of smell in food detection and selection. The aim of the present study was therefore to assess whether meerkats are able to (1) detect hidden food using olfactory cues, (2) distinguish the odour of real food from a single food odour component, and (3) build an association between the odour of real food and a novel odour. I employed the buried food test, widely used with rodents to assess basic olfactory abilities, designed to take advantage of the propensity of meerkats to dig. I found that the meerkats were clearly able to find all four food types tested (mouse, chicken, mealworm, banana) using olfactory cues alone and that they successfully discriminated between the odour of real food and a food odour component. In both tasks, the animals dug in the food-bearing corner of the test arena as the first one significantly more often than in the other three corners, suggesting development of an efficient foraging strategy. No significant association-building between a food odour and a novel odour was found within the 60 trials performed per animal. I conclude that meerkats are able to use olfactory cues when foraging and that their sense of smell is well-adapted for recognizing specific odours of behavioural relevance. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first study to successfully employ the buried food test with a carnivore species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 33
Keywords [en]
Buried food test, food odour, foraging, meerkat, olfaction, Suricata suricatta
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-151238ISRN: LITH-IFM-A-EX--18/3465--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-151238DiVA, id: diva2:1248046
External cooperation
Kolmårdens djurpark
Subject / course
Biology
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-09-14 Created: 2018-09-13 Last updated: 2018-09-14Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1805 kB)342 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1805 kBChecksum SHA-512
5f0e7a920a47627f0c81514afa789c702dcfef49664ff7e9da52b55c5c4985e6b5ea47b70cac2dae8de5d58739869818d284cfdf39ccb9072bb23d6f5886599c
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Sörensen, Ida
By organisation
Biology
Behavioral Sciences Biology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 342 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 341 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf