Homing Behavior, Orientation, and Home Range of Salamanders Tagged with Tantalum-182

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Science  19 Jun 1970:
Vol. 168, Issue 3938, pp. 1484-1487
DOI: 10.1126/science.168.3938.1484


Using radioactive tags, we recorded movements of salamanders (Plethodon jordani) in their home areas and during homing. Males occupied home areas about three times larger than those of females and made occasional excursions into outlying regions. Homing after 22-to 60-meter displacements was direct and rapid, once initiated. Course headings at 1 meter from release were random; those at 2 meters and more were home-oriented. Males initiated homing movements sooner than females, although both sexes traveled at similar rates. Increased incidence of climbing on vegetation after displacement suggests olfactory mechanisms of orientation. These observations give direct evidence of homing orientation in caudate amphibians.

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