• Mohd Idris

      Articles written in Proceedings – Animal Sciences

    • Behavioural responses of the Indian gerbil,Tatera indica to conspecific sebum odour of the ventral scent marking gland

      Mohd Idris Ishwar Prakash

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      Behavioural responses of the Indian gerbil,Tatera indica, to conspecific sebum odour of the male ventral marking scent gland were studied in a glass cage and a plus maze. Male and female gerbils were attracted towards the strange male sebum odour though its magnitude was low in females possessing the ventral marking gland, still lower in the females in which the marking gland was absent. The diversity in preferential behaviour of femaleTatera indica is discussed in relation to the role of ventral marking behaviour in chemical communication among rodents. Correlating the results of the experiments with our field observations, it appears that the function of scent marking inT. indica is more of a ‘familiarisation’ nature to label the habitat for its own use in orientation or to signal ‘home’ to the marking animal.

    • Scent marking in the Indian gerbil,Tatera indica in response to conspecific odours

      Mohd Idris Ishwar Prakash

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      Results of experiments conducted in T-maze to probe the functional role of conspecific odours indicated that whereas the male Indian gerbil,Tatera indica indica invariably prefers odours (from their body, that of the sebum exudation of scent marking gland, urine and faecal matter) of strange males, the females with and devoid of the scent marking gland show slight preference for male odours. However, all the categories ofTatera indica placed their preference for their own odours at the lowest. This behaviour suggests that the role of scent marking to label the habitat for its own use or to signal ‘home’ to the marking animal may not be the sole function of scent marking in this species. It is quite possible that in the desert grassland, scent marking is being used for maintaining a minimum distance between two animals or pairs, as exhibited by the diversity in the occurrence of the scent gland in the field (pair-tolerant) and urban (gregarious social organisation) populations ofTatera indica. This type of spatial distribution, maintained by scent marking behaviour, may be important to withstand the low carrying capacity of the aridland which suffers from almost a perpetual paucity of food.

    • Laboratory evaluation of bait base for the control of sand coloured rat,Rattus gleadowi

      Mohd Idris A P Jain B K Soni

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      SinceRattus gleadowi replacesMeriones hurrianae andTatera indica after a control operation, studies were planned on the bait preferences of this minor pest species. Results tend to reveal that bajra (Pennisetum typhoides) whole grain, bajra flour and wheat grain +2% arachis oil may be used as effective poison carriers for this sand coloured rat. Additives like sugar and salt did not improve the palatability of the candidate bait material. Average energy requirement of experimental rodents ranges from 70·9 Kj/100 g body wt/24 hr in multiple choice tests to 72·6 Kj/100 g body wt/24 hr in single choice tests.

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