We cannot stay behind when it comes to the end-of-year lists, so here is a top 14 of 2014’s most popular animal behavior posts on our Noldus behavioral research blog. (For a top 3 on human behavior research, see this post) As expected, the list is dominated by zebrafish research, but it’s not the topic of our most read post!
Let’s get right into it. At 14, there they are already: zebrafish. This post is about how to mark them without compromising their behavior: using a subcutaneous injection with color pigment. A study by Eugene Cheung and colleagues.
Walking the ladder
At 13 we find a pretty recent guest blog post from Jan-Willem Potters in which he explains how he could accurately test and challenge mice cerebellar plasticity using the ErasmusLadder in his research at the Erasmus MC Rotterdam (The Netherlands). Followed up at 12 by another post about walking this ladder: testing the cellular source of motor functioning.
Then finally rats and mice come to the scene in this post on how to easily automate the elevated plus maze at 11.
Entering the top 10, we encounter an interesting post on anxiety. Anxiety related disorders affect many humans, but are also studied a lot in mice, rats, and – more recently – zebrafish. But this post is not about any of these species – it is about crayfish.
Then some posts about social behavior. At 9: wolves that cry out for their friends, more so than over their pack leaders. Rats seem to value their friends, too, as we see at the 8th most popular post. Rats help other rats, but they are picky about it and only do so if they know them or if they seem familiar.
Open field tips
If you are (planning on) working with the open field, this post at 7 (or rather the publication it refers to) is a must-read. Some do’s and don’ts in this post.
From horses to caterpillars
Hold your horses at number 6. This post is actually a bit of a cheat, as it is a summary of four posts on horse behavior. From dietary preferences to training methods, read about it here.
Zoom into the post at 5, because these creatures are a lot smaller than horses. This post highlights research on caterpillars and how their damage to plant leaves affects the reproductive strategy of those plants.
Zebrafish, zebrafish, and… more zebrafish
At 4 and 3: some more zebrafish. First, a nice overview on how zebrafish are changing the world of neuroscience, followed by a post on the regenerative abilities of zebrafish. These little fish never seize to amaze me.
At 2, another guest blog post, this time from Remy Manuel, Marnix Gorissen, and Ruud van den Bos from the Radboud University in Nijmegen (The Netherlands). It is about inhibitory avoidance learning in zebrafish, a good read that I definitely recommend.
And now, at first place, a blog about… dogs! Who expected that? This post highlights an interesting question: how are shelter dogs affected by visitors? If you have ever been to a shelter, and saw how excited (or stressed?) dogs get when they get visitors, you might have wondered about this yourself. Read the post and scientific publication to find the answer.
We hope everybody had a great 2014 and we wish you all the best for the New Year!