Deborah Waller, Old Dominion University.
This report discusses the food preparation hypothesis, one of several proposed hypotheses to explain anting behavior in birds. A brief review of the theory’s history and development, as well as an assessment of evidence for and against such a function of anting, is provided. Although there are indeed experimental data supporting food preparation as the purpose of anting behavior, there is also conflicting evidence which complicates the theory. Ultimately, it is suggested that food preparation is a secondary function of anting – a pleasant but latent “side effect” achieved alongside the behavior’s primary purpose, which is still unknown.
Brady, Ella, "Can the Food Preparation Hypothesis Account for Anting Behavior in Birds?" (2023). 2023 REYES Proceedings. 8.