Although the ostrich has been bred for several decades for feathers and/or meat, its behaviour has received limited attention. To our knowledge there are just descriptions of behavioural repertoire or detailed measurements of behaviour, but in limited contexts. We recorded the behaviour of six 4-year old Black neck ostrich (Struthio camelus domesticus) pairs, kept in and already acquainted to 900 m2 paddocks. This longitudinal study spanned one solar year and the birds were observed individually during six 120-min observational sessions per month, although the statistical basis used was at season level. We focussed on the behaviour transitions, more than recording the behaviour duration only, as transition recording allows elucidation of the behaviour repertoire. The 22 behaviours considered were recorded continuously with a digital event recorder. Most transitions were one-way transitions in both sexes and had small variation among seasons. This suggests low variability in behaviour performance, although the existence of stereotypes is unlikely. Males displayed a slight, but constantly higher, number of transitions than females, showing that they possess a wider, or more varied, behavioural repertoire. There were many transition loops, not random and indicative of some rigidity in sequence repetition. In both males and females the total amount of transitions relied on a very few activities, indicative of a few widely used behaviours, particularly those connected to locomotion, which repeatedly followed or preceded many others. Walking was an activity greatly involved in transitions in both winter and spring, following and preceding many other behaviours, showing that even in captivity, locomotion maintains its importance for reproduction.
Year-round behavioural sequences in captive ostrich (_Struthio camelus domesticus_) pairs / CSERMELY D.; GAIBANI G; DARDANI E. - In: APPLIED ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR SCIENCE. - ISSN 0168-1591. - 103(2007), pp. 156-166. [10.1016/j.applanim.2006.04.018]
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