Document Detail

Chickadees are selfish group members when it comes to food caching.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20657801     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Many food-caching animals live in groups and cache pilferage may be one of the negative consequences of social living. Several hypotheses have been proposed to suggest that individuals may benefit from caching even when cache pilferage is high if all individuals can cache and pilfer equally. Stable groups may hypothetically support the evolution of such "reciprocal pilfering" because all group members may potentially have numerous opportunities to pilfer each other's caches. If that were the case, then we would expect animals cache openly in front of their group members, but to avoid caching in direct view of unknown conspecifics. We tested this hypothesis by allowing mountain chickadees (Poecile gambeli) to cache food in three experimental conditions: (1) with a familiar observer from the same group and with an unfamiliar conspecific observer present; (2) with a familiar observer from the same group only, and (3) without any observers. When presented with both a familiar and an unfamiliar observer, the caching chickadees treated both observers equally by choosing caching sites that were both farther away and out of sight of both observers. When only the familiar observer was present, chickadees shifted their choice of caching sites to the surfaces both away from and out of sight of the observer. When no observers were present, all available caching sites were used equally. Our results thus do not support the reciprocal cache sharing hypothesis and suggest that chickadees try to minimize cache pilferage from both familiar group members and unfamiliar conspecifics.
Vladimir V Pravosudov; Timothy C Roth; Lara D Ladage
Publication Detail:
Journal Detail:
Title:  Animal behaviour     Volume:  80     ISSN:  0003-3472     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2010 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-7-26     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376746     Medline TA:  Anim Behav     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  175-180     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Biology, University of Nevada Reno.
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Grant Support
R01 MH076797-02//NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH076797-03//NIMH NIH HHS; R21 MH079892-02//NIMH NIH HHS

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