BIO LAB #12 - Does limited food resource affect level of...

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Does limited food resource affect level of aggression in crickets, Acheta domesticus ? Phuong Lam BIO 206, Spring, 2011 Unique # 48840, Mary-Kay Johnson April 26 th , 2011
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Does limited food resource affect level of aggression in crickets, Acheta domesticus ? Abstract: Animals compete against one another for numerous reasons in order to survive. Many agonistic displays in animals have been observed and studied for decades. One good model to study the aggressive behaviors of animals is field cricket . In this experiment, we observed 78 crickets, Acheta domesticus , on their aggressive behaviors by manipulating the limited resource, a food pellet. We had a control group, which was given no food pellet, and variable group, given one food pellet. The purpose of this study was to see if the limited resource, food, would affect the level aggression in crickets. The crickets were starved for one week prior to the experimentation in order to test if hunger drove their motivation and willingness to compete for limited food pellet. The observations during the encounters between two crickets were recorded based on agonistic behaviors: antenna fencing, mandible spreading, mandible biting, wing movement, and chirping. Throughout the experiment, we noticed that the one who had the longest possession of food tended to show more agnostic behaviors; thus, he was most likely to win. Although the means and standard deviations show that aggressive behaviors tend to be higher in the encounters with food pellet, the T-test showed that there is not enough evidence (statistically insignificant) in the experiment to prove that the level of aggressive behavior in crickets was linked to limited food resource. Introduction:
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Crickets’ aggressive behaviors have been observed for thousands of years and can even be dated all the way back to the ancient Chinese (Alexander, 1961; Rillich, et al., 2007). In the last few decades, much research and many studies have been carried out to observe the different aspects of the behaviors of different species of crickets and to explain what drives those agnostic behaviors. Aggressive behaviors in animals can be varied, complex and caused by numerous reasons. Crickets are convenient models to study animal behaviors because they are small, easy to maintain, and can also be manipulated in different ways. Aggressive behaviors in conspecific crickets tend to show more frequently in males than in females (Alexander 1961; Tachon, 1999). Female crickets compete against each other for mating when the males produce the calling songs (Brown al et, 2007). Male crickets often compete against each other for multiple reasons such as mating, limited food resources, and shelter (Hsu, 2006; Nosil, 2002). Although aggressive encounters of crickets might benefit them in obtaining food or mates, they can be very energetically costly. The agonistic behaviors could also harm crickets in many other ways such as physical injuries and become easy targets for predation (Buena &
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BIO LAB #12 - Does limited food resource affect level of...

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