Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 126, Issue 2, pp 105–114

Configurational prey-selection by individual experience in the toadBufo bufo

  • J. -P. Ewert
  • W. Kehl

DOI: 10.1007/BF00666362

Cite this article as:
Ewert, J.P. & Kehl, W. J. Comp. Physiol. (1978) 126: 105. doi:10.1007/BF00666362


The habituation method was used to investigate the toad's ability to discriminate between two dimensional prey dummies of different shapes and patterns: If immediately following habituation of the prey-catching orienting behavior to a dummy form “A”, prey-catching responses are elicited when another form “B” is presented, it can be concluded that the toad is able to discriminate between the two patterns. The results show that toads are able to discern detailed structures within the outline limits of a 5 mm× 20 mm worm-like shape, on the basis of individual experience (stimulus specific habituation). In particular the results demonstrate that triangular stimulus patterns moved with a horizontal acute angle leading increase the releasing value of prey features whereas separate additional dots moved simultaneously may reduce the prey features of an optimal prey dummy. Dots, stripes and acute angles obviously have a significant effect in theexperience governed pattern discrimination of prey for toadsBufo bufo.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. -P. Ewert
    • 1
  • W. Kehl
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuro-ethology and Biocybernetic LaboratoriesUniversity of KasselKasselGermany

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