Are hand-raised flying-foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) better learners than wild-raised ones in an operant conditioning situation?
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Brigitta Flick, Hugh Spencer, Rick van der Zwan, 2011. "Are hand-raised flying-foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) better learners than wild-raised ones in an operant conditioning situation?", The Biology and Conservation of Australasian Bats, Bradley Law, Peggy Eby, Daniel Lunney, Lindy Lumsden
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This study was undertaken to gain some knowledge of Flying-fox (Megachiroptera: Pteropodidae) learning ability, using 10 Spectacled Flying-foxes Pteropus conspicillatus in a free-operant conditioning paradigm. The subjects were trained to pull levers for a juice reward in the controlled environment of a modified Skinner box. All sessions were monitored and recorded on video. During the course of the experiment a difference was found in the learning behaviour between the three hand-raised and the seven wild-raised subjects. The three hand-raised Flying-foxes learned the task in the seventh, ninth or fourteenth 10-minute session whereas the wild-raised animals did not learn to pull the levers. When returned to the experimental chamber more than three years later two of the hand-reared subjects immediately pulled the levers to receive juice. It showed that these animals remembered the experimental chamber, the location and the reward for pulling the levers.