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Observations of hunting behaviour in an urban predator: the domestic Dog Canis familiaris

Fulton, G.R. (2014) Observations of hunting behaviour in an urban predator: the domestic Dog Canis familiaris. Australian Zoologist, 37 (1). pp. 102-104.

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Two different hunting methods, used by domestic Dogs Canis familiaris, are described involving attacks on an Orange-footed Scrubfowl Megapodius reinwardt and Silver Gull Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae. The two observations were recorded in widely different habitats: one occurred in a botanical garden and the other on a beach. The two dogs adapted their behaviours for the habitat and the particular challenges presented. One dog used waves in a beach environment, which aided concealment and increased its momentum when springing at gulls.The other dog followed a dry ephemeral stream relying on a combination of scent-tracking and speed to attack the scrubfowl. Both attacks were unsuccessful, although human intervention in the latter may have affected the outcome.The widely differing methods show that dogs are capable of adapting their hunting behaviour to suit particular situations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales
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