We conducted experiments using the apparatus and design followed by Wassersug and Hessler (1971) and Wassersug (1973) to test the aggregative behavior of tadpoles of Rhinophrynus dorsalis in response to visual and olfactory stimuli. Results neither supported nor refuted the hypothesis that either stimulus is used as a mechanism for school formation. The exercise did lead to doubts about the experimental design. Some ambiguity resulted from the fact that the significance of the results depended upon the way in which the data were analyzed. Several alternative methods were considered. We also observed tadpoles reared in isolation to determine the effect of prior social conditioning on aggregative behavior. Isolates grew less than group-reared animals, were less active, and exhibited a strong avoidance reaction when subsequently exposed to conspecifics.
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Study of aggregative behavior of Rhinophrynus dorsalis tadpoles: design and analysis