Assessment of leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis) scent preference


Douglass KR, Lockhart CR, Edwards MS. 2009. Assessment of leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis) scent preference. In Ward A, Treiber K, Schmidt D, Coslik A, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Eighth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Tulsa, OK.


It is suggested tortoises are attracted to certain ingredient scents. The preference for scent of ginger, anise, rose, and a control (water) among leopard tortoises was evaluated. Sixteen leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis) participated in a series of trials exposing them to pair-wise combinations of the three scents and control. Response criteria evaluated include position (left, right, no decision) and scent selection. Tortoises selected all scents, including the control, in the right position more than making no decision (P < 0.05). There was a trend for individuals to select all scents, including the control, in the left position more than no decision (P = 0.0592). This suggests animal movement was not random. There was no significant difference between selections made in left and right positions (P > 0.05). The percentage of times each scent was chosen across all treatment combinations did not differ significantly from fifty percent (P < 0.05). These results suggest there is no preference for ginger, anise, rose scents over each other or a control (water) among leopard tortoises.

30_DouglassTortoiseScent.pdf     2 MB

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