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Carl Erickson, Professor Emeritus

Carl Erickson

Research Summary:
The aye-aye is one of the world's most endangered animals Its unusual foraging behavior presents a provocative challenge to those interested in the evolution, development and sensory-motor coordination of complex behavior as well as to those concerned wi th the captive breeding of endangered species. The aye-aye hunts for woodboring insect larvae by tapping its middle finger on the surface of dead trees. When a cavity is detected, it uses its razor-sharp incisors to gnaw away the wood. Our studies have focused on the aye-aye's capacity to form representations of the subsurface cavities and to exploit them most efficiently. Because of our successful breeding program, Duke has the largest colony of captive-bred aye-ayes in the world. This program has allowed us a unique opportunity to study the early development of the aye-aye's complex behavior patterns. Ultimately, this research is critical to the reintroduction of this species to protected areas of Madagascar.

Representative Publications:   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. C. Erickson (1998). Cues for Prey Location by Aye-Aye. Daubentonia Madagascariensis, Folia Pimatologica, 69 (suppl), 35-40.
  2. C. Erickson, Nowicki, S., Dollar, L. & Goehring, N. (1998). Percussive Foraging: Stimuli for Prey Location by Aye-Ayes. (Daubentonia madagascariensis) International Journal of Primatology, 19, 111-122.
  3. Erickson, C.J., Nowicki, S., Dollar, L. & Goehring, N. (1998). Percussive foraging: Stimuli for prey location by aye-ayes, (Daubentonia madagascariensis). International Journal of Primatology, 19, 111-122.
  4. C. Erickson (1998). Cues for prey location by aye-ayes, (Daubentonia madagascariensis). Folia Primatologica, 69 (suppl), 35-40.
  5. C. Erickson (1995). Sociopathy and Sociobiology: Biological Units and Behavioral Units. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 18, 555-556. (A commentary on L. Mealey's "The Sociobiology of Sociopathy: An Integrated Evolutionary Model").

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