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Behavior of Phrynocephalus frontalis to Avoid TrapsEnglish Full Text

Mingxia FU;Shaoyong CHEN;Zhichao HE;Zhiliang JIE;Junhuai BI;College of Life Sciences,Inner Mongolia Normal University;

Abstract:Previous studies have shown that reptiles are capable of spatial learning and learn to locate important environmental resources so that they can return to those locations at a future time,when needed.Lizards improve their adaptability and survival by learning the position of their shelter in a complex environment.This behavior raises the question,whether lizards can sense danger,such as a trap,in their surroundings,by determining the location of the trap and avoiding it.In the present study,we used a pitfall trap to test if steppe toad-headed agama,Phrynocephalus frontalis,can learn to recognize the position of the trap and avoid it.Our results revealed that the percentage of activity time in the trap area was significantly reduced(P < 0.001) and the time of drop trap was also significantly reduced(P = 0.00631).The number of burrows dug by lizards distributed in the trap area was the least.Reduced activity time in the trap area was observed to have no obvious relationship with the drop in the number of burrows.The present study,therefore,demonstrates that P.frontalis are capable of learning the avoidance of a trap by locating its position.The findings offer significant insight in the understanding of reptilian behavior,which is important in the study of the role of reptiles in global ecology,especially because they are often very sensitive to environmental changes.
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