Age and Season Affect Chemical Discrimination of Liolaemus bellii Own Space
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We explored chemical discrimination of own vs. novel space by different age classes (neonates, juveniles, and adults) of the lizard Liolaemus bellii, during pre- and post-hibernation seasons. We recorded the number of tongue flicks (TF) lizards produced during 10 min in their own or a novel enclosure. Age class and season affected chemical discrimination. Only adults and neonates discriminated their own space, albeit using different strategies: while adults made fewer TF in their own enclosure, neonates made more TF in their own enclosure. This difference was interpreted in terms of different requirements for discrimination of individuals during their lives. Increased chemical exploration by juveniles and adults at the onset of the post-hibernation season was associated with food-searching and reproductive behaviors.
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