Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Science

First Committee Member

Robert Winokur

Number of Pages



Python regius is considered to be a sit-and-wait forager and has been reported to attempt capture of live and dead homeothermic prey. This preference for homeothermic prey may be innate and is not dependent on thermal cues. Chemosensory stimuli appear to be the only stimuli which may indicate to P. regius the metabolic group that a dead prey item at room temperature item may belong to. Snakes were exposed to novel odors from homeothermic and poikilothermic animals. Prey Searching Behavior (amount of locomotion) and Information Gathering Behavior (tongue flicking) were observed. Habituation to odors resulted in decreased behaviors. Odors of homeothermic animals elicited greater behavioral responses than did odors of poikilothermic animals. Particular characteristics of specific odor molecules may elicit neither, one, or both foraging behaviors. A relationship has been described here for the first time between Prey Searching Behavior and Information Gathering Behavior.


Animals; Chemosensory; Ecology; Foraging; Implications; Python; Regius; Responses; Stimuli

Controlled Subject

Ecology; Zoology

File Format


File Size

1638.4 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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