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Contribution to Book
Are hand-raised flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) better learners than wild-raised ones in an operant conditioning situation?
The biology and conservation of Australasian bats
  • Brigitta Flick
  • Hugh Spencer
  • Rick van der Zwan, Southern Cross University
Document Type
Book chapter
Publication Date
1-1-2011
Peer Reviewed
Peer-Reviewed
Abstract
This study was undertaken to gain some knowledge of Flying-fox (Megachiroptera: Pteropodidae) learning ability, using 10 Spectacled Flying-foxes Pteropus conspicillatus in a freeoperant conditioning paradigm. The subjects were trained to pull levers for a juice reward in the controlled environment of a modified Skinner box. All sessions were monitored and recorded on video. During the course of the experiment a difference was found in the learning behaviour between the three hand-raised and the seven wild-raised subjects. The three hand-raised Flyingfoxes learned the task in the seventh, ninth or fourteenth 10-minute session whereas the wildraised animals did not learn to pull the levers. When returned to the experimental chamber more than three years later two of the hand-reared subjects immediately pulled the levers to receive juice. It showed that these animals remembered the experimental chamber, the location and the reward for pulling the levers.
Citation Information

Flick, B, Spencer, H & Van Der Zwan, R 2011, 'Are hand-raised flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) better learners than wild-raised ones in an operant conditioning situation?', in PE B Law, D Lunney & L Lumsden (eds), The biology and conservation of Australasian bats, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, NSW, pp. 86-91. ISBN: 9780980327243