Nicolaus, Lowell Keith
M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Biological Sciences
Predation (Biology); Animal psychology; Avoidance (Psychology)
The differences in prey avoidance caused by illness (conditioned taste aversion = CTA) versus noxious taste may be important with respect to both the longevity and the generalization of the learned avoidance. The results of the first study that examined the separate and combined effects of illness and noxious taste of insect prey on a vertebrate predator are reported here. Sucrose Octaacetate, a bitter tasting, but non-toxic, substance was used to render prey noxious tasting, but not illness causing. Quinine Hydrochloride was injected into the prey to render them illness causing, but not noxious tasting. The prey used in the experiment were mealworms (Tenebrio sp.) and the predators were free-ranging breeding, male red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus). The crude comparisons of this study strongly suggest that both in terms of individual and inclusive fitness, no defense (control) and noxious taste only were not as effective a defense as were either CTA only or CTA + noxious.
Crowe, Mary Louise, "The separate and combined effects of illness and noxious taste on prey survivability" (1990). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 6288.
Northern Illinois University
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