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Gordon Burghardt: Probing the Umwelt of Reptiles

11:00 AM, Tuesday 26 Jun 2018 (1 hour 30 minutes)


The perceptual worlds of non-avian reptiles differ significantly from our own. They are a diverse group living in many different habitats with diverse life styles, diets, predators, sociality, and modes of communication. Having worked with many species over many decades I have developed and used several methods to try to understand their Umwelt and how they negotiate their environments, from birth and hatching to adulthood. Many other labs have contributed to our understanding in recent years as well, with new and unexpected findings. This presentation will overview our knowledge of reptile perception across all the major groups.

Burghardt, G. M. (1998).Snake stories: from the additive model to ethology’s fifth aim. Responsible conduct with animals in research. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 77-95.

Rivas, J. A., & Burghardt, G. M. (2001). Understanding sexual size dimorphism in snakes: wearing the snake's shoes. Animal Behaviour, 62(3), F1-F6.

Burghardt, G. M. (2017). Anthropomorphism. Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior, 1-4.

University of Tennessee
Alumni Distinguished Service Professor
Professor of Biology, McGill University
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