Cognitive Ecology in Hummingbirds: The Role of Sexual Dimorphism and Its Anatomical Correlates on Memory

González-Gómez, Paulina L.; Madrid-Lopez, Natalia; Salazar, Juan E.; Suárez, Rodrigo; Razeto Barry, Pablo; Mpodozis, Jorge; Bozinovic, Francisco; Vasquez, Rodrigo A.; Graham, Paul

Abstract

In scatter-hoarding species, several behavioral and neuroanatomical adaptations allow them to store and retrieve thousands of food items per year. Nectarivorous animals face a similar scenario having to remember quality, location and replenishment schedules of several nectar sources. In the green-backed firecrown hummingbird (Sephanoides sephanoides), males are territorial and have the ability to accurately keep track of nectar characteristics of their defended food sources. In contrast, females display an opportunistic strategy, performing rapid intrusions into males territories. In response, males behave aggressively during the non-reproductive season. In addition, females have higher energetic demands due to higher thermoregulatory costs and travel times. The natural scenario of this species led us to compared cognitive abilities and hippocampal size between males and females. Males were able to remember nectar location and renewal rates significantly better than females. However, the hippocampal formation was significantly larger in females than males. We discuss these findings in terms of sexually dimorphic use of spatial resources and variable patterns of brain dimorphisms in birds.

Más información

Título según WOS: Cognitive Ecology in Hummingbirds: The Role of Sexual Dimorphism and Its Anatomical Correlates on Memory
Título según SCOPUS: Cognitive ecology in hummingbirds: The role of sexual dimorphism and its anatomical correlates on memory
Título de la Revista: PLOS ONE
Volumen: 9
Número: 3
Editorial: PLOS is a nonprofit, Open Access publisher
Fecha de publicación: 2014
Idioma: English
URL: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0090165
DOI:

10.1371/journal.pone.0090165

Notas: ISI, SCOPUS