Matching Items (1)

147559-Thumbnail Image.png

The role of skill in determining dominance in the virile crayfish, Faxonius virilis

Description

Studies of animal contests often focus solely on a single static measurement of fighting ability, such as the size or the strength of the individual. However, recent studies have highlighted

Studies of animal contests often focus solely on a single static measurement of fighting ability, such as the size or the strength of the individual. However, recent studies have highlighted the importance of individual variation in the dynamic behaviors used during a fight, such as, assessment strategies, decision making, and fine motor control, as being strong predictors of the outcome of aggression. Here, I combined morphological and behavioral data to discover how these features interact during aggressing interactions in male virile crayfish, Faxonius virilis. I predicted that individual variation in behavioral skill for decision making (i.e., number of strikes thrown), would determine the outcome of contest success in addition to morphological measurements (e.g. body size, relative claw size). To evaluate this prediction, I filmed staged territorial interactions between male F. virilis and later analyzed trial behaviors (e.g. strike, pinches, and bout time) and aggressive outcomes. I found very little support for skill to predict win/loss outcome in trials. Instead, I found that larger crayfish engaged in aggression for longer compared to smaller crayfish, but that larger crayfish did not engage in a greater number of claw strikes or pinches when controlling for encounter duration. Future studies should continue to investigate the role of skill, by using finer-scale techniques such as 3D tracking software, which could track advanced measurements (e.g. speed, angle, and movement efficiency). Such studies would provide a more comprehensive understanding of the relative influence of fighting skill technique on territorial contests.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05