Early experience with food items of differing sizes and optimal foraging in golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus)

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Barbara Turpin (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Timothy D. Johnston

Abstract: The experiments in this dissertation were designed to examine the role of early experience on later food choice by golden hamsters. In Experiment 1, the profitabilities of three sizes of Noyes food pellets (20, 45, and 94 mg) were assessed. The order of profitabilities were 94> 45> 20. In Experiment 2, hamsters were reared, from birth to 35 days of age, on one of the three pellet sizes used in Experiment 1 and were later allowed to choose among the sizes. It was found that early experience had consistent effects on later food choice: Animals chose the size(s) most dissimilar to the size with which they were reared. This result is unexpected and fits into no extant theory of food choice. Experiment 3 was conducted in order to see whether taste preference could be induced in hamsters as they are in other rodents. Animals were reared on either unflavored (control), banana-flavored, or coconut-flavored food, and, later, given a simultaneous choice between banana- and coconut-flavored food. Control animals showed no preference for either flavor; animals in the other groups showed a preference for the familiar flavor.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1989
Hamsters $x Experiments
Food preferences $x Experiments

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