food selection

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food selection

Food Selection

food selection

Agricultural Prices, Selection, and the Evolution of the Food Industry

Influence of food quality on depth selection of Daphnia pulicaria

Criteria for validation and selection of cognitive tests for investigating the effects of foods and nutrients

Model Selection and Forecasting Ability of Theory-Constrained Food Demand Systems

Diet Selection by the Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor): Feeding Strategies under Conditions of Changed Food Availability

Use of phytoplankton pigments in estimating food selection of three marine copepods

Measurement of Exposure to Nutrients: An Approach to the Selection of Informative Foods

The Relationship Between Lipid Peroxidation, Hibernation, and Food Selection in Mammals1

Behavioral Disturbances, Not Cognitive Deterioration, Are Associated With Altered Food Selection in Seniors With Alzheimer's Disease

Food selection by bacterivorous protists: insight from the analysis of the food vacuole content by means of fluorescence in situ hybridization

Oviposition Site Selection in Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae): Are the Effects of Predation Risk and Food Level Independent?

Effect of Protein and Birch-Bark Powder on Selection of Food by Root Voles (Microtus oeconomus)

Production of phenyllactic acid by lactic acid bacteria: an approach to the selection of strains contributing to food quality and preservation

Effects of Sugar Composition and Concentration on Food Selection by Saussure's Long-Nosed Bat (Leptonycteris curasoae) and the Long-Tongued Bat (Glossophaga soricina)

Nutritive Value and Selection of Food Particles by Copepods During a Spring Bloom of Phaeocystis sp. in the English Channel, as Determined by Pigment and Fatty Acid Analyses


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The ability to select beneficial food. Many animals are able to select the right kind of food as a result of their innate preferences. Others are able to learn rapidly what kinds of food are good for them and what bad.

Feeding specialists consume only one or a few kinds of food. The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) eats only milkweed. The koala bear (Phascolarctos cinereus) eats eucalyptus leaves. As their food is homogeneous, such animals require a single hunger detection system, and a simple food-recognition system. Feeding generalists, on the other hand, have a heterogeneous diet, and must distinguish among a variety of specific hungers or nutritional deficits, and require a complex food recognition system. Poison avoidance is particularly important for omnivores.

Omnivores can easily become deficient in certain nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. They may consume too much of a particular food, so obtaining an imbalance of nutrients, and they are in danger of consuming poisonous substances. Omnivores usually rely on learning to select a balanced diet and avoid harmful substances. Rats (Rattus norvegicus), for example, sample novel food substances with caution, eating only a little. If the rat becomes ill after sampling a new food, then it quickly learns to avoid that food in future. This type of learning is an important feature of poison avoidance. Moreover, the rat can learn rapidly which foods are nutritionally beneficial. When a rat suffers a deficit of some essential vitamin or mineral, it takes more interest in novel food substances and samples them more than it otherwise would. If, as a result, it eats food containing vitamins or minerals capable of rectifying its deficiency, then it quickly learns to eat more of that food. Usually, the rat is unable to detect, by smell or taste, the presence of vitamins and minerals in the food. It learns to select the beneficial food on the basis of the post-ingestive consequences of eating it. In other words, the rat can learn to select those foods that make it feel better, and avoid those that make it feel ill.

Many species of omnivorous mammals and birds have been shown to have the ability to learn rapidly to avoid noxious foods and select beneficial foods. Amongst mammals, the ability to recognize different foods is based primarily on olfaction and taste, whereas in birds it is based primarily on vision. However, the principle of food selection based upon post-ingestive consequences remains the same.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.

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