Document Detail

Human handling might interfere with conspecific recognition in the european rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11507710     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Handled rabbit pups react with decreased fear to a human at weaning. We hypothesized that pups learn species-specific features of their handler. Experiment 1 showed that handled animals' reactions were similar to both a human and their mother. Experiment 2 showed that pups reacted similarly to their mother and other adult rabbits. In Experiment 3, we used nonhandled control pups, and pups in the experimental groups were stimulated either by a human, a cat, or both. Only human-handled animals showed high affinity to approach a human at weaning. Similarly, only rabbit pups exposed to a cat did not show fear reaction towards a cat. Nonhandled controls avoided both the cat and the human, and rabbits stimulated by both species did not avoid any of them at weaning. We demonstrated that handling affected the behavior of weanling rabbits in a selective manner, as they only approached those objects frequently to which they had been exposed to.
P Pongrácz; V Altbäcker; D Fenes
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental psychobiology     Volume:  39     ISSN:  0012-1630     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Psychobiol     Publication Date:  2001 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-08-16     Completed Date:  2001-10-04     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0164074     Medline TA:  Dev Psychobiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  53-62     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Ethology, H-2131, Göd, Jávorka S.u.14., Hungary.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Random Allocation
Recognition (Psychology)*
Species Specificity

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