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Sun-Compass Orientation of Bullfrogs

Denzel E. Ferguson, James P. McKeown, O. Stuart Bosarge and Hobart F. Landreth
Copeia
Vol. 1968, No. 2 (Jun. 5, 1968), pp. 230-235
DOI: 10.2307/1441746
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1441746
Page Count: 6
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Sun-Compass Orientation of Bullfrogs
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Abstract

Orientational responses of bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) were determined on land in a circular arena (50 ft diameter, 6 ft height). During the spring, field-collected frogs used celestial cues to orient on the compass course that intersects the home shoreline at right angles (Y-axis). Bullfrogs exhibited oriented behavior in both daytime and night-time tests, but not under complete cloud cover. Orientation on the Y-axis ceased in summer tests, but reappeared in the fall. Bullfrogs caged on various natural shores oriented to the Y-axes of their new surroundings in the spring, but failed to do so during the summer. Frogs in captivity and in tests exhibited seasonal variations in behavior that seemed correlated to seasonal changes in Y-axis response. Individuals kept in pens with small artificial pools at one end oriented in the direction of the pools in tests. Although frogs normally moved toward water on the Y-axis, subadults moved in an opposite direction when tested at night.

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