Ethology of Mammals by R. F. Ewer (auth.)

By R. F. Ewer (auth.)

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Ted the factors responsible for this orientation. Half grown rats and "skin sausages", consisting of a rat's skin filled with chopped meat, were used in his tests. Using a series of combinations in which either the head, the body or both were skinned, the tail was either present or removed, and the head was either left in place, removed or attached to the posterior end, he demonstrated that the orientation is not visual but tactile and the directing factor is the lie of the hair on the prey. In dealing with small birds, the lie of the feathers plays the same role but here, 46 ETHOLOGY OF MAMMALS working "against the grain" may lead either to the.

Beatty (1951) records seeing a chimpanzee using a stone to crack palm nuts against a fiat piece of rock. The chimpanzee brought an armful of nuts to the fiat rock, sat down and proceeded to crack them one by one by pounding them with a stone. Here, as in Goodall's case, a considerable amount ofinsight is involved, for the tool and the object on which it was used were not originally side by side, but had to be brought tagether by the animal; an operation which would seem to demand some degree of forethought.

The species known to use the paws in picking up their food are as follows: the haremouse, Lagidium peruanum; the pacarana, Dinomys branickii; the coypu, Myocastor coypus (Kunkel and Kunkel, 1964); the pocket mouse, Perognathus pacificus (Bailey, 1939) and the kangaroo rats, Dipodomys (Shaw 1934; Culbertson, 1946). lt may be tempting to assume that these various patterns of food manipulation are simply the result of the animals learning what is most convenient and that it is merely uniformity of structure that produces uniformity of feeding methods within a species.

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