Document Detail

Aggressive behaviour in immature captive Nile crocodiles, Crocodylus niloticus, in relation to feeding.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8346299     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This study presents five aspects of aggressive behaviour in juvenile Nile crocodiles, Crocodylus niloticus, as observed in five cohorts of 6-18 month-old animals. During this period, the animals grew from a range of 35-55 cm, to a range of 65-115 cm. 1) Stock density related to aggression: decrease in density resulted in significant decrease in the frequency of agonistic events, with 0.64 events/100 crocodiles/min observed in a density of 6.7 crocodiles/m2, compared to 0.26 events/100 crocodiles/min observed in a density of 4.7 crocodiles/m2. 2) Aggression during feeding: in all five groups, there was a significantly higher level of aggression during feeding times. 3) Aggression related to body size: the largest crocodiles were the most aggressive group in agonistic events, mainly against the smallest ones. The largest group, the medium sized, was the least involved in agonistic events. 4) Aggression related to food preference: crocodile food preference was live fish > live chicks > dead fish > ground meat. Except for one food type (live chicks), a significant (p < 0.05) correlation was found between food preference and feeding related aggression in the prey diet groups. 5) Aggression related to an artificial selection for size: removal of the largest crocodiles (which formed 30% of the stock) from the population caused a dramatic decrease in all forms of aggressive behaviour.
B Morpurgo; G Gvaryahu; B Robinzon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physiology & behavior     Volume:  53     ISSN:  0031-9384     ISO Abbreviation:  Physiol. Behav.     Publication Date:  1993 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1993-09-09     Completed Date:  1993-09-09     Revised Date:  2003-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0151504     Medline TA:  Physiol Behav     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1157-61     Citation Subset:  IM    
Gan-Shmuel Crocodile Farm, Israel.
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MeSH Terms
Aggression / psychology*
Aging / psychology*
Alligators and Crocodiles*
Body Weight
Feeding Behavior*
Food Preferences / psychology
Hierarchy, Social
Predatory Behavior
Social Environment*

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