Peer reviewed science August ’16

Here are the papers for volume 3, only 11 so a quiet month, published in and around July 2016 directly relevant to zoo keepers and aquarists. As always, if you need a paper please email for assistance.

Animal Behaviour Volume 119 September 2016

*No relevant articles this month*

Zoo Biology

*no new issue at time of collation*

Applied Animal Behaviour Science Volume 181, Pages 1-214 (August 2016)

Eleanor Greenway, Katherine S. Jones, Gavan M. Cooke, Environmental enrichment in captive juvenile thornback rays, Raja clavata (Linnaeus 1758), Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Available online 29 June 2016, ISSN 0168-1591,

The study identified significant preferences for sand as a substrate compared to gravel or a bare tank, and significantly avoided black coloured sand over white or yellow sand.

The experiments involving group size showed significant increases in stereotypies with increasing numbers of individuals.

Rays spent more time resting in sand substrate and differed in type of resting in different depths of substrate.

lávia R.M. Oliveira, Sérgio L.G. Nogueira-Filho, Maria B.C. Sousa, Carlos T.S. Dias, Michael Mendl, Selene S.C. Nogueira, Measurement of cognitive bias and cortisol levels to evaluate the effects of space restriction on captive collared peccary (Mammalia, Tayassuidae), Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume 181, August 2016, Pages 76-82, ISSN 0168-1591,

Space-restricted collared peccaries show negative judgement bias and elevated cortisol.

Metabolism pens may therefore compromise the welfare of collared peccaries.

Cognitive bias paradigm is a useful tool to assess housing impact on peccaries.

Michaela Hanson, Susan M. Jojola, Nancy E. Rawson, Melissa Crowe, Matthias Laska, Facial expressions and other behavioral responses to pleasant and unpleasant tastes in cats (Felis silvestris catus), Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume 181, August 2016, Pages 129-136, ISSN 0168-1591,

Cats display distinct facial expressions to pleasant and unpleasant tastes.

No masking effect of a pleasant taste on an unpleasant taste was observed

Behavioral responses may be more informative than consumption data concerning taste

Lauren M. Robinson, Natalie K. Waran, Matthew C. Leach, F. Blake Morton, Annika Paukner, Elizabeth Lonsdorf, Ian Handel, Vanessa A.D. Wilson, Sarah F. Brosnan, Alexander Weiss, Happiness is positive welfare in brown capuchins (Sapajus apella), Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume 181, August 2016, Pages 145-151, ISSN 0168-1591,

We tested the reliability of questionnaire measures of brown capuchin welfare.

Staff ratings were consistent; happiness and welfare were highly correlated.

Ratings were associated with personality and stereotypy.

Questionnaires are a reliable, valid tool for assessing brown capuchin welfare.

Katherine A. Cronin, Victoria West, Stephen R. Ross, Investigating the relationship between welfare and rearing young in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume 181, August 2016, Pages 166-172, ISSN 0168-1591,

We investigated whether reproduction was associated with improved welfare.

We studied female chimpanzees with and without dependent young at a sanctuary.

We found no evidence that rearing young was associated with improved welfare.

This finding suggests managers need not allow breeding to enhance welfare.


Animal Welfare Volume 25, Number 3

Miller, LJ; Pisacane, CB; Vicino, 2016 Relationship between behavioural diversity and faecal glucocorticoid metabolites: a case study with cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) Animal Welfare, Volume 25, Number 3, August 2016, pp. 325-329(5)

Historically, zoos have utilised negative indicators of welfare, such as stereotypic behaviour to examine and monitor collection animals. However, absence of stereotypic behaviour or negative indicators of welfare does not indicate that an animal is thriving. The goal of the current study was to continue efforts to validate behavioural diversity as an indicator of welfare using cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) as a model species. Behavioural and faecal glucocorticoid metabolite data were collected on 18 cheetah at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park over a period of three months to explore the relationship between behavioural diversity and adrenal hormones related to the stress response. Results suggest that behavioural diversity can be utilised as an indicator of animal welfare to monitor animal collections within zoological facilities. However, additional research with other species should be conducted to better understand behavioural diversity as a positive indicator of animal welfare

Journal of zoo and aquarium research

*no new articles*

Aquaculture International- August 2016 Volume 24 issue 4.

Medeiros, B. A. Lopez, L. A .Sampaio, L. A. Romano, R.V. Rodrigues, (2016) Ammonia and nitrite toxicity to false clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris. Aquaculture International, 24:4, 985-993.

False clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris, is one of the most commercialized fish species in the world, highly produced to supply the aquarium market. The high stocking densities used to maximize fish production can increase ammonia and nitrite to toxic levels.Prolonged (96 hours +) exposure to Ammonia levels higher than 0.57 mg/l and Nitrite levels higher than 25mg/l are detrimental to Clownfish juveniles.


Journal of the World Aquaculture – August 2016 Volume 47, Issue 4.

Li and C. E. Boyd (2016) Influence of a Bacterial Amendment on Water Quality in Small Research Ponds for Channel Catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, Production. Journal of the World Aquaculture, 47:4, 464-469,

Even used at three times the recommended dose a “Waste and Sludge” reducing bacterial supplement did not significantly affect the ammonia or nitrite production in growth ponds.

Fish and Fisheries – March 2016

F.D.F. Sampaio and C. A. Freire (2016), An overview of stress physiology of fish transport: changes in water quality as a function of transport duration. Fish and Fisheries.

In short term transport (<4 hours) pH decreasing is primary concern, in longer transport (>4 hours) the accumulation of ammonia becomes more physiologically damaging.

Aquaculture Research

Sharon, S. Fridman, N. Reiss-Hevlin, T. Sinai, P. Boisot, and D. Zilberg (2016), Effects of different commercial diets on growth performance, health and resistance toTetrahymena sp. infection in guppies, Poecilia reticulata (Peters). Aquaculture Research, 47: 2276–2286.

A diet with the lowest protein (53.5%) and lowest fat (12%) provided the most balanced diet for the fish and gave them the highest disease resistance.  An experimental, high protein diet (67.5%) performed the worst.

Cerezo Valverde, and B. G. García, (2016), High feeding and growth rates in common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) fed formulated feeds with an improved amino acid profile and mixture of binders. Aquaculture Research.

 Authors describe a gel diet for use with octopus based on freeze dried squid or hake bound with gelatine.




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