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  Previous issue (2020. Vol. 13, no. 4)


Experimental Psychology (Russia)

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2072-7593

ISSN (online): 2311-7036


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2008

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Comparative analysis of stereotypical behavior with hunting in small mammals as an example 1019


Levenets Y.V.
Postgraduate Student, Institute of Animal Systematics and Ecology, SB RAS, Novosibirsk, Russia

Panteleeva S.N.
PhD in Biology, Senior Research Associate, Institute of Animal Systematics and Ecology, SB RAS, Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia

Reznikova J.I.
Doctor of Biology, Professor, Senior Research Associate, Institute of Animal Systematics and Ecology, SB RAS, Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia

Comparative analysis of stereotypical behavioral patterns including elements of flexible behavior is presented, with hunting behavior of small mammals as an example. Reactions towards live prey (cockroaches) were investigated in rodents possessing different feeding specialization, in comparison with the insectivorous common shrew. Quantitative analysis was used, and Markov chains were constructed to generate schemes of stereotypes of hunting behavior in different species. The characteristic feature of hunting stereotypes in rodents is that after seizing an insect with teeth, they seize and hold it with their forepaws. This is the more evolutionary progressive feature than seizing the prey with teeth only, like shrews do. As schemes of stereotypes and tactics of hunting appeared to be similar in herbivorous narrow-headed voles and granivorous striped field mice, one can assume that these rodents possess specific adaptations to carnivorous life style. Norway rats display the less specialized hunting stereotypes. The studied rodent species demonstrate more primitive hunting stereotypes than specialized hunting rodents; however, their hunting stereotype is rather specific, and this can be considered behavioral adaptation allowing rodents to broaden feeding resources by the use of active hunting towards insects. A suggested scheme of comparative analysis of stereotypical behavior can be used in ethological and psychological studies. The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (grant No. 14-14-00603).

Keywords: comparative psychology, stereotypical behavior, behavioral patterns, hunting behavior, rodents

Column: Comparative Psychology


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