Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
The Effect of Enrichment Filling and Engagement Time on Regurgitation and Reingestion Behaviour in Three Zoo-Housed Orangutans
Previous Article in Journal
Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens—Open Access Journal Devoted to Ex Situ Research and Conservation of our Planet’s Biodiversity
Previous Article in Special Issue
Seasonal and Daily Activity of Two Zoo-Housed Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos horribilis)
Article

Posture as a Non-Invasive Indicator of Arousal in American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus)

1
Animal Welfare Science Program, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
2
Conservation and Science Department, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2021, 2(1), 1-9; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2010001
Received: 28 October 2020 / Revised: 21 November 2020 / Accepted: 4 December 2020 / Published: 7 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Science of Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare)
Animal welfare has become a priority for modern zoos and aquariums. However, amphibians have not yet been the focus of much welfare research, perhaps in part because they do not tend to display many quantifiable active behaviors. This study focused on nine zoo-housed American toads (Anaxyrus americanus), a species that displays long periods of sedentary behavior, to explore whether more subtle cues could serve as welfare indicators. A novel American toad posture index was developed that characterized toad posture based on the angle of their forelimbs, visibility of ventral regions, and body weight distribution. As an indicator of arousal, approximate breathing rates were assessed based on the rate of expansion of the toads’ throats. Subsequent analyses revealed that lower body postures were associated with slower rates of throat expansion and raised postures with faster rates of throat expansion, suggesting that posture may be a promising way to quickly and non-invasively assess toad arousal. This work lays important groundwork for assessing welfare of an understudied species, and we are optimistic that, with additional validation, these approaches can be applied in future amphibian welfare research. View Full-Text
Keywords: amphibian; welfare; breathing; zoo-housed; behavior amphibian; welfare; breathing; zoo-housed; behavior
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Woody, S.M.; Santymire, R.M.; Cronin, K.A. Posture as a Non-Invasive Indicator of Arousal in American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus). J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2021, 2, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2010001

AMA Style

Woody SM, Santymire RM, Cronin KA. Posture as a Non-Invasive Indicator of Arousal in American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus). Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens. 2021; 2(1):1-9. https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2010001

Chicago/Turabian Style

Woody, Sarah M., Rachel M. Santymire, and Katherine A. Cronin 2021. "Posture as a Non-Invasive Indicator of Arousal in American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus)" Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens 2, no. 1: 1-9. https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2010001

Find Other Styles

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop