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Why do individuals groom? : functionality of behaviour and its effects on Kangaroo Rat conservation Mills, Katelyn 2014

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Why Do Individuals Groom?  Functionality of Behaviour and Its Effects on Kangaroo Rat Conservation Katelyn Mills Liv Baker, PhD Image: Mark A. Chappell Behaviour Functionality   Different ways in which the same behaviour manifests itself in a variety of contexts   Seen in humans and animals  Stephens’ Kangaroo Rats (SKR)  Nocturnal  Endemic to Southern California [Lowe, 1997]  Burrow-dwelling [Brock and Kelt, 2002]  Primary diet is seeds  Endangered due to habitat loss   Urbanization  Agricultural expansion Translocation  Main method of conservation for Stephens’ kangaroo rats   Success rates between 10-25%   Stress is main factor Grooming  Sandbathing  General Grooming Behaviours   Used to: [Wolff, Watson and Thomas, 2002]   strengthen social bonds,   show reproductive receptivity,   display dominance   establish territories The Methods  2 populations:   fallow agricultural land and parking lot  2 treatments  Predator stimulus: fox urine rock  Conspecific stimulus: mirror  Each trial  5 minute acclimation  5 minute active   Predator Stimulus Conspecific Stimulus Seed Tray Refuge Rock Removable Panel Data Collection  120 trials (n=60)  Duration and Frequency of Grooming Recorded  Short Sandbathing  Extended Sandbathing  General Grooming Results  Preliminary Results:   Dependent Variables:  Short Sandbathing,   Extended Sandbathing  Grooming behaviours  Independent Variables:  Treatment  Population  Trial order  Results   Population  x  Treatment   Frequency Short Sandbathing p-value= 0.004  Duration Short Sandbathing p-value= 0.007  Results   Population  x  Treatment   Frequency Short Sandbathing p-value= 0.004  Duration Short Sandbathing p-value= 0.007  Frequency Extended Sandbathing p-value= 0.033  Duration Extended Sandbathing p-value= 0.021  Results Sandbathing Behaviours       Fallow Agriculture           >                Parking Lot  Predator Stimulus  >  Mirror Stimulus Results  Associated Behaviours  Escape Behaviours Image: Results  Associated Behaviours  Escape Behaviours  Digging  Results  Associated Behaviours  Escape Behaviours  Digging  Smelling and Increased     Vigilance    Behaviour  Posture or activity  Autonomic  Visceral or endocrine responses  Subjective  Emotional or feeling  [Boissy et al., 2007] How is this applicable? Take Home Message  Translocation is a very prominent method of conservation in Stephens’ kangaroo rats   Improved knowledge of these practices are needed   This can be done by incorporating behaviour functionality and the motivation behind behavioural displays Acknowledgements   Dr. Liv Baker Dr. Marina von Keyserlingk Dr. Dan Weary Joanna Makowska  Literature Cited Barber, N. and Thompson, RL. 1990. Sandbathing Reduces fur Lipids of chinchillas, Chinchilla-laniger. Animal Behaviour 39: 403-405.   Boissy, A. Manteuffel, G., Jensen, MB, Moe, RO., Spruijt, B., Keeling, LJ., Winckler, C., Forkman, B., Dimitrov, I., Langbein, J., Bakken, M., Veissier, I., Aubert, A. 2007. Assessment of positive emotions in animals to improve their welfare. Physiology & Behavior 92 (3):375-397.   Borchelt, PL., Griswold, JG. And Branchek, RS. Analysis of sand-bathing and grooming in kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami). Animal Behaviour 24 (1): 347-353.   Ebensperger, LA., Caiozzi, A. 2002. Male degus, Octodon degus, modify their dustbathing behavior in response to social familiarity of previous dustbathing marks. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 75 (1): 157-163.    Mateo, JM. 2006. The nature and representation of individual recognition odours in belding’s ground squirrels. Animal Behaviour 71 (1): 141-154.    Mendl, M, Burman OHP and Paul, ES. 2010. An integrative and functional framework for the study of animal emotion and mood. Proceedings of Biological Sciences 277 (1696): 2895-2904.   Merriam Webster. 2011. “grooming”. Retrieved November 23, 2013, from   Panksepp, J. 2010. Affective consciousness in animals: perspectives on dimensional and primary process emotion approaches. Proceedings of Biological Sciences 277 (1696):2905-2907.   Randall, JA. 1987. Sandbathing as a territorial scent-mark in the bannertail kangaroo rat, Dipodomys-spectabilis. Animal Behaviour 35 (1): 426-434.   Randall, JA. 1981. Comparison of sandbathing and grooming in 2 species of kangaroo rat. Animal Behaviour 29 (1): 1212-1219.    Shier, DM. and Randall, JA. 2007. Use of different signaling modalities to communicate status by dominant and subordinate heermann’s kangaroo rats (Dipodomys heermanni). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 61 (7): 1023-1032.   U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 2014. Endangered Species. Retrieved January 15, 2014. From  Wolff, JO, Watson, MH, and Thomas, SA. 2002. Is self-grooming by male prairie voles a predictor of mate choice? Ethology 108 (2): 169-179  Questions?  


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