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Impact of natural and artificial prenatal stimulations on the behavioural profile of Japanese quail

Abstract : As the sensory systems of vertebrates develop prenatally, embryos perceive many environmental stimuli that can influence the ontogeny of their behaviour. Whether the nature and intensity of prenatal stimuli affect differently this ontogeny remains to be investigated. In this context, this study aimed to analyse the effects of prenatal auditory stimulations (natural stimulations "NS": predator vocalisations, or artificial stimulations "AS": metallic sounds) on the subsequent behaviour of young Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). For that, behavioural variables recorded during ethological tests evaluating emotional and social reactivity were analysed using a principal component analysis. This analysis revealed significant differences between the behavioural profile of stimulated chicks and that of non-exposed chicks. Indeed, chicks exposed to NS expressed more intense emotional responses in fearful situations, but less neophobia in the presence of a novel environment or object, whereas chicks exposed to AS appeared more sensitive to social isolation. Our original results show that the acoustic environment of embryos can influence the way young birds subsequently interact with their social and physical environment after hatching, and face challenges in changing living conditions.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03595640
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Submitted on : Friday, May 13, 2022 - 3:55:54 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, August 4, 2022 - 3:44:04 PM

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Nawel Mezrai, Cécilia Houdelier, Aline Bertin, Ludovic Calandreau, Cécile Arnould, et al.. Impact of natural and artificial prenatal stimulations on the behavioural profile of Japanese quail. Journal of Experimental Biology, The Company of Biologists, 2022, 225 (6), pp.jeb243175. ⟨10.1242/jeb.243175⟩. ⟨hal-03595640⟩

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