Assessment of Motivation in the Lizard, Chalcides Ocellatus

Authors: Skelton, T M; Waran, N K; Young, R J

Source: Animal Welfare, Volume 5, Number 1, February 1996 , pp. 63-69(7)

Publisher: Universities Federation for Animal Welfare

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Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to assess whether running an alleyway can be used to measure the motivation of lizards. Six, eyed skinks, Chalcides ocellatus, were trained to run an alleyway to reach sand in which to hide. Each skink was deprived of sand for 0, 1, 5 or 15 minutes on four occasions and the times to run the alleyway and the latencies to move were recorded. When the sand was 38cm from the start, the three deprivation periods resulted in decreased latencies and increased speed (P < 0.01), but there was no difference between the speeds or latencies for any of the deprivation periods. In a second experiment, the sand was moved to 94cm from the start. Latencies to move did decrease (P < 0.05) as in the first experiment, but speed did not increase. Within certain constraints, this methodology appears to be a good way of assessing motivation of reptiles.

Keywords: ANIMAL WELFARE; EYED SKINK; LIZARD; MOTIVATION; SUBSTRATE DEPRIVATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1996

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