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Social preference of female gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) as influenced by coat color of males

Authors
Journal
Behavioral and Neural Biology
0163-1047
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
54
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0163-1047(90)91394-q

Abstract

Female gerbils ( Meriones unguiculatus) of three distinct coat colors (agouti, black, and sandy or pink-eyed dilution) were tested in a Y-maze whose arms led to compartments containing unfamiliar male gerbils of varying coat colors. The stimulus animals were separated from the females by a Plexiglas door. The trials lasted for 2 min and each female was exposed to the following four combinations: two males of the same coloring as the female; one male of the same color and another of a different color from the female; both males of different color from the female. The number of crossings to the left and right arms was relayed by photocells to an IBM PC computer. The results indicate that agouti females preferred visiting the arm occupied by agouti males while those of the other coat colors showed no preference for the “wild-type” males. Instead, sandy and black female gerbils preferred to be in proximity with those of nonwild types.

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