Behavior Studies by Capacitance Sensing

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  15 Sep 1961:
Vol. 134, Issue 3481, pp. 730-732
DOI: 10.1126/science.134.3481.730


The movements of small burrowing animals submerged in sand are monitored through capacitance changes which detune radio-frequency oscillators. A new dimension of reptilian activity studies is possible by using this technique. Some early observations of several reptile species maintained in darkness in isothermal sand are given. Patterns of behavior during active phases, depth and rate of diving, and duration of quiescent periods are being revealed in detail for the first time.