Factors in the waning of muricide in the rat. II. Digging behavior

M. Potegal, F. Gimino, R. Marotta, M. Glusman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


If each mouse killed by a rat is removed from the rat's home cage and replaced immediately by another, the decline in the rate of killing within the one‐hour sessions is accompanied by an increase in digging in the woodchip bedding material. Deprivation of the opportunity to dig by removal of the bedding material results in a statistically significant increase in kill rate. Since no other behaviors monitored showed a similar increase with this manipulation, it appears that digging may be a mechanism important in the waning of muricide. Furthermore, digging may be, in some sense, a functional equivalent of killing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-290
Number of pages8
JournalAggressive Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1979


  • displacement digging
  • habituation
  • muricide


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