SOME BEHAVIORAL TESTS OF DOMESTICATION IN NORWAY RATS by ROBERT BOICE 1) (Dept. of Psychology and Space Sciences Research Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65201, U.S.A.) "Domestication not only changes the external appearances of animals, but ' alters and modifies their natural dispositions" (p. 269). "If we add to climate and food, those natural causes of alteration in free animals, the empire of man over such of them as he has reduced to servitude, the degree to which tyranny degrades and disfigures nature, will appear to be greatly augmented" (p. 267, SMELLIE, 1838). The traditionally accepted view of domestication effects in the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) is one of degeneracy (LOCKARD, 1968). Attendant assumptions include a demise of learning ability (ROBINSON, 1965) and of social behaviors (BARNETT, 1963) in the course of domestication. This general view, although based on limited data, is an apparent source of misunder- standings about the behavioral relation of the wild and albino Norway rat. One of these is that the differences have already been established in a variety of experimental situations (LOCKARD, 1968). In fact, until recently, learning comparisons of wild and laboratory rats were rare and inconclusive (SMALL, I90I ; STONE,
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1972
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