Reproductive state does not influence activity budgets of eusocial Ansell's mole-rats, Fukomys anselli (Rodentia, Bathyergidae): A study of locomotor activity by means of RFID.
Ansell’s mole-rats (Fukomys anselli) live in families of a breeding pair and several overlapping generations of their non-breeding offspring. Locomotor activity of 47 Ansell’s mole-rats from six laboratory families was recorded for a week using radio frequency identification (RFID). This technique allowed monitoring each animal’s activity without isolating them from other members of their family. Animals were active about 17% of the recording time, and older animals were significantly less active than younger ones. Females tended to be slightly more active than males. There was no significant difference in the amount of activity between breeding and non-breeding individuals. Consequently, the activity pattern does not seem to account for previously reported differences in longevity between breeding and non-breeding animals.
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