by John Koprowski, University of Arizona's Wildlife and Fisheries Science Program, and Linda Maddux, Willamette University's Hatfield Library
Scientific writing is a skill that must be honed and this only occurs through experience and thoughtful review of one's writing and the writing of others. The purpose of this mildly interactive exercise is to enable you to explore scientific writing and to obtain hints on improving your writing style. The manuscript below is fabricated and contains a number of rough spots from a stylistic standpoint. Read the text and attempt to guess what might be wrong with highlighted text and then click on the link. This will reveal wisdom far beyond your expectations...well maybe not this grand but you will receive a number of hints and links to assist with improving the quality of your manuscript. Good luck!
John L. Koprowski, Wildlife and Fisheries Science, School of Renewable Natural Resources,
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 85721
Submitted: 21 August 2000
Abstract: Lawn deer (Odocoileus ornamentis) are commensal mammals that have adapted well to
urban life; however, the data are scant on the ecology of the species. I used detailed scan and focal
animal sampling in addition to radiotelemetry to elucidate the home range size of lawn deer in
small and did not differ between the sexes. This extensive spatial analysis suggests that lawn deer
represent the first occurrence of a sessile mammal.
Key Words: Lawn deer, Odocoileus, space use, home range, sessile
The social organization of animals is an important consideration in the conservation of species and
Unfortunately, the social organization of many species is poorly known. Most mammals are
solitary; however, some do form elaborate social groupings such as in primates, ungulates,
cetaceans, and carnivores (Hanna 1989). It is known that among deer sociality varies
considerably from solitary species that can never join in any deer games to more social species
Nose Reindeer 1967). In many species of deer, male home ranges are greater than those of
females likely related to the mating strategy of males (Bambi et al.1945, Clarisse 1979). The
lawn deer (O. ornamentis) is a common species found in association with anthropogenically
Lawn deer were surveyed in Marion, Polk, Lane, Linn, Benton, and Multnomah counties,
Oregon, USA, during June and December 1999. Groups and individuals were observed with
binoculars from distances of >10 m. Unique markings enabled identification of individuals. Scan
sampling at 15 min intervals and focal animal sampling at 1 min intervals were conducted to
estimate distance moved by individuals. Additionally, I radiocollared 30 individuals (15 males, 15
females) by carefully approaching an individual and quickly securing the radiocollar to the
individual; individuals appeared indifferent to the handling procedure and the affect of
handling is believed negligible. Ranges V (Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Wareham, England)
was used to calculate minimum convex polygon estimates of home range size. Two-sample
(mean = 0.01 + 0.01 ha, t=0.02, df=29, p>0.99) and females (mean = 0.01 + 0.01 ha, t=0.02,
df=16, p>0.99) as determined from observational data were small and didn't differ from 0 ha.
deer occurred during following disturbance by teenaged humans when deer were uprooted
and fell into an apparent defensive prostrate posture. See Table 1 for information on home
ranges of males and females. Home ranges of the sexes did not differ (t=0.02, df=28, 16,
p>0.99, Table 1).
Table 1. Home ranges of male and female lawn deer (Odocoileus ornamentis) in Oregon
Mean Home Range Size + SE (Ha)
Male 0.01 + 0.01
0.01 + 0.01
Lawn deer are remarkably sedentary in their movements. Mammals are typically quite vagile in
that a few college aged humans (Homo sapiens couchpotatensis) have been reported to have
nearly sessile habits (Hawke 1979, pers. comm.), lawn deer appear to represent the first example
reported significant sexual dimorphism in other species of deer. Although the sex differences
in home range size may be due to avoidance of predators such as Bumbles (Red Nose
Reindeer 1967) and fire (Bambi et al. 1945) in other deer species, lawn deer do not
demonstrate sexual dimorphism in space use. The sessile space use patterns of lawn deer
are intriguing and suggest a divergent evolutionary pathway. More studies must elucidate
factors that influence the ecology of lawn deer by investigating foraging and mating habits.
By understanding the constraints on lawn deer, insight will be gained on the evolution of space
use patterns in mammals.
Bambi, GR, TG Thumper and IM Owl. 1945. A review of the social and mating systems of
deer. Science Today, 16:209-304.
Clarisse, AF. 1979. Mating tactics of male reindeer. Journal of Animal Biology, 12:341-350.
Dytham, C. 1999. Choosing and using statistics: a biologistís guide. Blackwell Science, Malden
Massachusetts, 218 pp.
Hanna, J. 1989. Social organization in animals. Buckeye Press, Columbus, 345 pp.
Hawke, SD. 1979. A new subspecies of studentóthe couch potato. Journal of College Zoology,
Leopold, A. 1948. Game management. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. 481 pp.
Red Nose Reindeer, R. 1967. Sociality in deer: the story of my life. Claus Press, Nome. 265 pp.
Smith, MT. 1996. Mammalian social organization: the definitive work. Pp. 42-59, in Mammalian
ecology (JL Koprowski and B Stebbins-Boaz, eds.). University of the Yukon Press,
sugar on it. Biennial Review of Biology, 45:23-79.
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