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Self-Medication in Wild Animals


The study of parasites and their likely influence on optimal foraging and mate-selection in animals has attracted much attention in recent times. The possible effects of parasites on the host include the manipulation of host behaviour by parasites and the emergence of host behavioural adaptations for protecting against parasitism. Self-medication in wild animals is believed to be the behavioural adaptation evolved primarily against parasites and associated diseases. In this article, we have briefly reviewed some types of unusual behaviour observed inmammals, birds and insectswhich can be considered as self-medication.

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Correspondence to Rajasekar Raman or Sripathi Kandula.

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Rajasekar Raman is a PhD student in the Department of Animal Behaviour and Physiology, Madurai Kamaraj University. His research interests include behavioural ecology and conservation of bats. Presently he is studying the roosting ecology of the tentmaking fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx.

Sripathi Kandula is a Professor in Neurophysiology, Department of Animal Behaviour and Physiology, School of Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University. His research interests are in the fileds of echolocation, social organization, mating system, population genetics and conservation of bats.

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Raman, R., Kandula, S. Zoopharmacognosy. Reson 13, 245–253 (2008).

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