<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Discussion questions

  • According to Gustafsson, crossbred pigs used a costlier strategy than domestic pigs because they were more vigilant against predators. Present an alternative hypothesis. How would you test it?
  • Held et al.’s study found that dominant pigs used a scrounger strategy by exploiting informed subordinate pigs, but it did not test whether subordinate pigs preferentially use a producer strategy. How would you determine if they do? Do you predict that pigs can alternate between strategies?
  • Chewing and biting inedible objects expends energy and does not provide nutrition. How do you reconcile this behavior with optimal foraging theory?


  • Artificial selection - human control over animal breeding in order to increase the prevalence of desired traits
  • Conditional strategy - an inherited mechanism that allows an animal to adapt to various conditions
  • Contrafreeloading - the phenomenon in which an animal chooses food that requires effort to obtain even though other food is available
  • Domestication - the process by which humans take care of and breed animals and animals become accustomed to humans
  • Feral - semi-wild; a feral animal was domesticated but escaped captivity and returned to the wild
  • Optimal foraging theory - theory that uses natural selection to explain animals’ feeding choices
  • Producer - in social foraging theory, an animal that finds food
  • Proximate cause - a cause based on immediate reasons for a behavior, such as physiology
  • Resource allocation theory - theory that argues that in a particular environment, an animal’s resources are balanced between traits for breeding and traits for production
  • Scrounger - in social foraging theory, a dominant animal that takes food from subordinates
  • Social foraging - foraging in which an individual’s decisions are dependent on the actions of another forager
  • tereotypies - repetitive actions resulting from boredom or frustration
  • Ultimate cause - an evolutionary reason for a behavior


  • Andersson M, Nordin E, Jensen P. 2001. Domestication effects on foraging strategies in fowl. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 72:51-62.

    Shows how effects of domestication on foraging strategies are similar in pigs and chickens.

  • Bornett HLI, Edge HL, Edwards SA. 2003. Alternatives to nose-ringing in outdoor sows: The provision of a sacrificial rooting area. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 83:267-276.
  • Broom DM, Sena H, Moynihan KL. 2009. Pigs learn what a mirror represents and use it to obtain information. Anim Behav. 78: 1037-1041.
  • Croney CC, Adams KM, Washington CG, Stricklin WR. 2003. A note on visual, olfactory, and spatial cue use in foraging behavior of pigs: Indirectly assessing cognitive abilities. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 83: 303-308.

    An interesting experiment that connects foraging to animal cognition and intelligence.

  • Dailey JW, McGlone JJ. 1997. Oral/nasal/facial and other behaviors of sows kept individually outdoors on pasture, soil or indoors in gestation crates. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 52:25-43.
  • Day JEL, Kyriazakis I, Lawrence AB. 1996. An investigation into the causation of chewing behaviour in growing pigs: The role of exploration and feeding motivation. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 48:47-59.
  • de Jonge FH, Tilly S, Baars AM, Spruijt BM. 2008a. On the rewarding nature of appetitive feeding behaviour in pigs (Sus scrofa): Do domesticated pigs contrafreeload? Appl Anim Behav Sci. 114:359-372.
  • de Jonge FH, Ooms M, Kuurman WW, Maes JHR, Spruijt BM. 2008b. Are pigs sensitive to variability in food rewards? Appl Anim Behav Sci. 114:93-104
  • Fraser D, Thompson BK. 1991. Armed sibling rivalry among suckling piglets. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. 19:9-15.
  • Giraldeau L, Caraco T. 2000. Social foraging theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Gould, SJ, Lewontin RC. 1979. The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian paradigm: a critique of the adaptionist programme. Proc R Soc Lond. 205:581-598.
  • Grandin T, Johnson C. 2005. Animals in translation. New York, NY: Harcourt Books.

    A highly recommended book by an animal science expert. Connects pig behavior to farm animal welfare issues.

  • Grandin T. 2009. Animals make us human. Boston, MA: Houghton Miffler.
  • Gustafsson M, Jensen P, de Jonge FH, Schurrman T. 1999a. Domestication effects on foraging strategies in pigs (Sus scrofa). Appl Anim Behav Sci. 62:305-317.
  • Gustafsson M, Jensen P, de Jonge FH, Illmann G, Spinka M. 1999b. Maternal behaviour of domestic sows and crosses between domestic sows and wild boar. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 65:29-42

    Discusses behavioral differences between domestic pigs and wild boars.

  • Held S, Mendl M, Devereux C, Byrne RW. 2000. Social tactics of pigs in a competitive foraging task: The "informed forager" paradigm. Anim Behav. 59:569-576.
  • Held S, Mendl M, Devereux C, Byrne W. 2001. Behaviour of domestic pigs in a visual perspective taking task. Behaviour. 138:1337-1354.
  • Held S, Baumgartner J, KilBride A, Byrne RW, Mendl M. 2005. Foraging behaviour in domestic pigs (Sus scrofa): Remembering and prioritizing food sites of different value. Anim Cogn. 8:114-121.
  • Held, SDE, Byrne RW, Jones S, Murphy E. 2010. Domestic pigs, Sus scrofa, adjust their foraging behaviour to whom they are foraging with. Anim Behav. In press.
  • Holm L, Jensen MB, Pedersen LJ, Ladewig J. 2008. The importance of a food feedback in rooting materials for pigs measured by double demand curves with and without a common scaling factor. 111:68-84.
  • Houpt, KA. 2005. Domestic animal behavior. Ames, Iowa: Blackwell Publishing Professional.

    Gives brief summaries of the behavior of various domestic animals.

  • Jansen J, Bolhuis JE, Schouten WGP, Spruijt BM, Wiegant VM. 2009. Spatial learning in pigs: Effects of environmental enrichment and individual characteristics on behaviour and performance. Anim Cogn. 12:303-315.
  • Jensen P, Gustafsson M. 1997. Towards a functional view of domestication. Proc. 31st Int. Congress of the ISAE, 13-16 August, Prague, Polygravia SAV, Czech Republic. 28.
  • Jensen P, editor. 2009. The ethology of domestic animals. Cambridge, MA: CAB International.
  • Kamil AC, Krebs JR, Pulliam HR. 1987. Foraging Behavior. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
  • Kouwenberg AL, Walsh CJ, Morgan BE, Martin GM. 2009. Episodic-like memory in crossbred Yucatan minipigs (Sus scrofa). Appl Anim Behav Sci. 117:165-172.
  • Laughlin K, Mendl M. 1999. Pigs shift too: Foraging strategies and spatial memory in the domestic pig. Anim Behav. 60:403-410.
  • Marchant-Forde JN, editor. 2009. The welfare of pigs. New York, NY. Springer Science.
  • McLeman MA, Mendl M, Jones RB, White R, Wathes CM. 2004. Discrimination of conspecifics by juvenile domestic pigs, Sus scrofa. Anim Behav. 70:451-461.
  • Mendl M, Laughlin K, Hitchcock D. 1997. Pigs in space: Spatial memory and its susceptibility to interference. Anim Behav. 54: 1491-1508.
  • Nielsen BL, Whittemore CT. 1996. Feeding behavior of growing pigs using single or multi-space feeders. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 63:79-91.
  • Pierce, GJ, Ollason, JG. 1987. Eight reasons why optimal foraging theory is a complete waste of time. Oikos. 49(1):111-117.
  • Price EO. 2002. Animal domestication and behavior. New York, NY: CABI Publishing.
  • Puppe B, Ernst K, Schon PC, Manteuffel G. 2007. Cognitive enrichment affects behavioural reactivity in domestic pigs. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 105:75-86.
  • Schutz KE, Forkman B, Jensen P. 2001. Domestication effects on foraging strategy, social behavior and different fear responses: a comparison between the red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) and a modern layer strain. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 74:1-14.
  • Stephens DW, Brown JS, Ydenberg RC. 2007. Foraging. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

    A comprehensive guide to optimal foraging theory.

  • Stephens DW, Krebs JR. 1986. Foraging theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Studnitz M, Jensen KH, Jorgensen E. 2003. The effect of nose rings on the exploratory behaviour of outdoor gilts exposed to different tests. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 84:41-57.
  • Studnitz M, Jensen MB, Pedersen LJ. 2007. Why do pigs root and in what will they root? A review on the exploratory behaviour of pigs in relation to environmental enrichment. 107:183-197.
  • Thomsen LR, Nielsen BL, Larsen, ON. 2010. Implications of food patch distribution on social foraging in domestic pigs (Sus scrofa). Appl Anim Behav Sci. 122:111-118.
  • Watson L. 2004. The whole hog. England: Profile Books LTD.

    Describes numerous species of hogs, including the wild boar and the domestic pig.

About the author

A portrait of the author.

Arielle Layman is a senior majoring in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Rice University. She is from New Jersey and loves animals, science fiction, and cooking and baking vegan food. Next year she will be moving to rural New Mexico to teach high school science as a Teach For America corps member.

Questions & Answers

are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get Jobilize Job Search Mobile App in your pocket Now!

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store Now

Source:  OpenStax, Mockingbird tales: readings in animal behavior. OpenStax CNX. Jan 12, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11211/1.5
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Mockingbird tales: readings in animal behavior' conversation and receive update notifications?