Saturday, February 04, 2017

It Appears That Mice, Shrews, Rats And Even Some Frogs May Have Been Born To Run

Researchers in the Netherlands placed a running wheel in wild settings and monitored its use over three years to see whether whether running wheel activity is a pathological phenomenon that develops only in captivity.
"If wheel running is indeed caused by captive housing, wild mice are not expected to use a running wheel in nature... Here, we show that when running wheels are placed in nature, they are frequently used by wild mice, also when no extrinsic reward is provided. Bout lengths of running wheel behaviour in the wild match those for captive mice."

Mice, and even some shrews, rats and frogs, were seen to leave the wheel and then enter it again within minutes in order to continue wheel running.The study concludes that running in wheels can be a voluntary behaviour for feral animals in nature.

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