Advertisement

Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Effects of cold on activity and exploration by wild house mice in a residential maze

  • 27 Accesses

  • 9 Citations

Summary

Wild house mice,Mus musculus, were bred in environments kept at 23 °C (warm-reared) or 3 °C (cold-reared). Males of the fourth generation in each condition were observed for 4 days in a residential maze with a central nest box and four arms radiating from it. One maze arm contained food, one contained water, and two were empty until Day 4, when one had soft (balsa) wood. Mice of each type were run in a maze at each temperature.

Mice of all classes responded to the novel environment of the maze with a high rate of visiting the arms on Day 1. The novel presence of balsa wood also provoked extra visits to the arm that contained it, and a longer stay in that arm on Day 4 than on Day 3. Visits to the arms were fewer in the cold than in the warm, and time spent in the arms was less.

Cold-reared mice in the cold environment spent more time outside the nest on Day 1, that is, were more responsive to novelty than were the warmreared. Hence for the cold-reared mice the competitive balance between exploring and energy conservation was altered. This difference, we suggest, is an aspect of cold-adaptation.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Barnett, S.A.: Adaptation of mice to cold. Biol. Rev.40, 5–51 (1965)

  2. Barnett, S.A.: Maternal processes in the cold-adaptation of mice, Biol. Rev.48, 477–508 (1973)

  3. Barnett, S.A., Cockroft, A.L., Smart, J.L.: An artificial habitat for recording movement. J. Physiol. (Lond.)187, 15–16P (1966)

  4. Barnett, S.A., Cowan, P.E.: Activity, exploration, curiosity and fear: an ethological study. Interdise. Science Rev.1, 43–62 (1976)

  5. Barnett, S.A., Dickson, R.G., Marples, T.G., Radha, E.: Sequences of feeding, sampling and exploration by wild and laboratory rats (in preparation)

  6. Barnett, S.A., Mount, L.E.: Resistance to cold in mammals. In: Thermobiology (ed. A.S. Rose), pp. 411–477. London-New York: Academic Press 1967

  7. Barnett, S.A., Munro, K.M.H., Smart, J.L., Stoddart, R.C.: House mice bred for many generations in two environments. J. Zool. (Lond.)177, 153–169 (1975)

  8. Barnett, S.A., Scott, S.G.: Behavioural “vigour” in inbred and hybrid mice. Anim. Behav.12, 325–337 (1964)

  9. Barnett, S.A., Smart, J.L.: Activity of inbred and F1 mice in a residential maze. Quart. J. exp. Psychol.22, 494–502 (1970)

  10. Barnett, S.A., Smart, J.L.: The movements of wild and domestic house mice in an artifical environment. Behav. Biol.15, 85–93 (1975)

  11. Cowan, P.E.: Neophobia and neophilia: new-object and new-place reactions of threeRattus species. J. comp. physiol. Psychol.91, 63–71 (1977)

  12. Hart, J.S.: Rodents. In: Comparative Physiology of Thermogregulation II (ed. G.C. Whittow), pp. 2–152. London-New York: Academic Press 1971

  13. Laurie, E.M.O.: The reproduction of the house mouse (Mus musculus) living in different environments. Proc. roy. Soc. B133, 248–281 (1946)

  14. Maruniak, J.A., Owen, K., Bronson, F.H., Desjardins, C.: Urinary marking in male house mice: responses to novel environmental and social stimuli. Physiol. Behav.12, 1035–1039 (1974)

  15. McFarland, D.J.: Form and function in the temporal organisation of behaviour. In: Growing points in Ethology (eds. P.P.G. Bateson, R.A. Hinde), pp. 55–93. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1976

  16. Ostermann, K.: Zur Aktivität heimischer Muriden und Gliriden. Zool. Jb. Zool.66, 355–388 (1956)

  17. Southern, H.N.: The control of rats and mice. Vol. 3, Mice. Oxford: Clarendon 1954

  18. Wolfe, J.L., Barnett, S.A.: Effects of cold on nest-building by wild and domestic mice,Mus musculus L. Biol. J. Linn. Soc.9, 73–85 (1977)

  19. Zollhauser, M.: Versuche über Ruhe- und Aktivitätsperioden bei verschiedenen Mäusearten. Z. vergl. Physiol.40, 642–663 (1958)

Download references

Author information

Additional information

These experiments were done in part while JLW held an award from the National Science Foundation under the US/Australia Agreement for Scientific Cooperation. We are also grateful to Rhondda G. Dickson for help with the statistical analysis.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Barnett, S.A., Hocking, W.E. & Wolfe, J.L. Effects of cold on activity and exploration by wild house mice in a residential maze. J. Comp. Physiol. 123, 91–95 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00657347

Download citation

Keywords

  • Energy Conservation
  • House Mouse
  • Fourth Generation
  • Cold Environment
  • Longe Stay