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January 3 - Febuary 28, 2021

Meeting Abstract

P37-6  Sat Jan 2  3D-motion capture to analyse a complex courtship display Janisch, J*; Quigley, C; Perinot, E; Fusani, L; University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna; University of Vienna; University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna; University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna

Recently, several studies focused on the analysis of animal movements in three dimensions for a better understanding of behaviour or biomechanics using 3D motion capture systems. In laboratory settings, with standardized procedures and fixed lighting sources this works very well by now. In contrast, 3D field recordings are still very challenging due to constant environmental changes or the inability to use markers on the focal individuals. Amongst the most complex behaviours is the elaborate courtship dance of golden-collared manakins Manacus vitellinus. In their lek mating system, males compete over females in so-called courtship arenas located on the forest ground to perform their dances. As their courtship display can only be recorded in their natural habitat and happens on a short time-scale, researchers only recently started to understand and describe their behaviour in more detail thanks to advances in video recording technology. With a newly developed 3D-high speed recording system for the field and an image processing system including automated tracking software we acquired the 3D coordinates of our birds’ movements. Through further analysis of these 3D coordinates we obtained better knowledge about the differences between males’ performances also related to the spatial arrangement of their arenas, their dance choreographies and their courtship success. The successive analysis allows us to get closer to the goal of our research, which is the understanding of the mechanisms underlying female choice and to see if there is an overall integrative value of all components of male dances used by females to evaluate a mate.