Age group differences in bovine investigatory behavior



The general relationship between age and investigatory behavior in mammals, and perhaps other taxa, is probably an inverted U-shaped function, but is said to be a negative correlation in bovines. In Observation Set 1,5 developmental levels of domestic cattle were compared in their responsiveness to a novel stimulus in the form of a person lying on the ground. The age group-behavior relationship approximated an inverted U. In Observation Set II, 3 developmental levels were compared and the animals' responses to a ball and to the reclined figure of a person were studied. Qualitatively, the cattle reacted similarly to both the inanimate and the human objects; again, the relationship between age and investigatory tendencies appeared to be an inverted U-shaped function for both stimuli.