Fractal structure of sequential behaviour patterns: an indicator of stress

Animal Behaviour
By: , and 

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Abstract

The detection of stress arising from parasitic infection bySarcoptes scabieisand from pregnancy is explored, using a fractal analysis of head lifting behaviour and feeding–non-feeding activity sequences in female Spanish ibex,Capra pyrenaica, under natural conditions. Because organisms under stress increase their metabolic rate and, in consequence, energy consumption, it follows that stress will, generally, lead to a reduction in complexity (fractal dimension) of exploratory behaviour. In the present study the fractal dimension of the three measures of complexity used declined with stress, both from pregnancy and from parasitic infection. This observation provides a new and effective way to assess the general state of animals’ health in the field, without the need for capture and handling.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Fractal structure of sequential behaviour patterns: an indicator of stress
Series title Animal Behaviour
DOI 10.1006/anbe.1996.0040
Volume 51
Issue 2
Year Published 1996
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description 7 p.
First page 437
Last page 443
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