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Date of Award
Restricted Thesis: Campus only access
Bachelor of Science
Dr. Craig Kinsley
Virgin female rats and mother rats have proven to be quite different from each other both physically and behaviorally. When testing the predatory skills of each group of rats, the mothers consistently proved to be more efficient and better all around hunters. The average virgin female rat takes more than five minutes to catch a cricket where as the average mother rat takes around 60 seconds. It was hypothesized that these changes in predatory behavior were due to changes within the sensory system of the animal and further follow up experiments were performed. Individual follow up tests were performed, the first of which knocked out the sense of hearing with a white noise generator, the second knocked out the sense of smell with Zinc Sulfate, and the third knocked out the sense of feeling by removing the whiskers. None of the previous experiments showed any variation from the original findings. A last follow up test was done that removed the rat's sense of vision by testing the rats in the same environment but in pitch black conditions. The rats were then tested and observed with night vision goggles. The results showed both the virgin female rats and the mother rats to have almost the same exact latencies when trying to catch a cricket. It was clear that the mother rats were using a newly developed sense of vision to catch the cricket faster and more efficiently.
Sirkin, Maxwell Richard, "Sensory perception and predatory behavior in female rats" (2008). Honors Theses. 518.