Title

Stereotypic Behavior in Wild Marine Carnivores?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2011

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Stereotypic behavior is observed in many species within zoological institutions. Attempts to reduce such behavior typically involve some form of environmental enrichment that provides opportunities for species appropriate behavior or some degree of control within the environment. However, environmental enrichment has never been completely successful in eliminating stereotypic behavior for an entire group of animals within a zoological facility. In the wild, stereotypic behavior is rarely observed. Documenting the occurrence of stereotypic behavior in the wild, and circumstances in which it occurs, could help provide insight into the causes of such behavior within zoological institutions. The following commentary details the observations of wild lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) engaging in a stereotyped swimming pattern behind a research vessel north of Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas. We consider a possible explanation for the sharks' behavior and hope to stimulate conversation as well as increase examination of animal management routines in zoological facilities. Zoo Biol 30: 365-370, 2011. (C) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Publication Title

Zoo Biology

Volume

30

Issue

4

First Page

365

Last Page

370