Navigation Links
Lizards change their diet to avoid predators
Date:12/2/2009

A scientist from the University of Salamanca and another from Yale University have shown that the presence of predators affects the behaviour of Acanthodactylus beershebensis, a lizard species from the Negev Desert in the Near East. According to the study, these reptiles move less and catch less mobile and different prey if they are under pressure from predators.

Many theoretical models had predicted this result, but until now there had been very few experimental trials and none in the case of saurians (reptiles). This experiment by Dror Hawlena, a researcher at Yale University in the United States, and Valentn Prez-Mellado, a researcher at the University of Salamanca, has shown that certain animals, such as the insectivore lizard Acanthodactylus beershebensis, can change their behaviour and diet to avoid being eaten.

"When there is greater pressure from predators, the individuals tend to move less and catch more mobile prey from somewhat different groups. The lizards' diet and food-seeking behaviour changed significantly when we experimentally increased the predation pressure on them", Prez-Mellado tells SINC.

The study, published recently in the journal Oecologia, shows that reptiles threatened by predators become less selective and eat a more diverse range of foods, according to Prez-Mellado, who was in charge of analysing their diet in Spain. The field work done over the summer months in 2000 and 2001 in the Negev Desert in Israel was carried out by Hawlena.

The scientists studied the species' diet data (trophic ecology) in two different situations with and without predators. The Spanish researcher analysed the contents of 327 faecal pellets taken from 291 different lizards in order to reconstruct their diet. Ants were the prey most commonly consumed by the lizards, both by those at risk (69.32%) and the controls (67.12%), followed by insects such as termites (19.14% and 19.17% respectively). The difference could be clearly seen in the consumption of seeds, because the lizards hardly consumed these (0.52%) when they were under threat from predators.

An ingenious experiment in the desert

In order to reach these conclusions, Hawlena, who is from the University of the Negev in Israel, designed an experiment that made it possible to prove that the presence of predators affects the behaviour and ecology of this endemic species. "A series of artificial perches were placed in a desert site, which made it easier for shrikes (small birds of prey that catch lizards) to make use of the area, since they could detect the lizards from raised perches such as trees and bushes. These perches were not placed in a similar site nearby, which was used as the control site", explains Prez-Mellado.


'/>"/>

Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Genetic study finds treasure trove of new lizards
2. How can scientists measure evolutionary responses to climate change?
3. International expedition investigates climate change, alternative fuels in Arctic
4. Saliva proteins change as women age
5. AAAS exhibit featuring photographs of climate change opens Nov. 18
6. Avoiding dangerous climate change: Is geo-engineering the answer?
7. Lifestyle changes may stave off diabetes for a decade
8. Changes in brain chemicals mark shifts in infant learning
9. Studies improve knowledge of underlying brain changes caused by addiction
10. Queens scientists on international team discover ecologically unique changes in Arctic lake
11. Arctic lake sediments show warming, unique ecological changes in recent decades
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Lizards change their diet to avoid predators
(Date:3/11/2016)... March 11, 2016 --> ... research report "Image Recognition Market by Technology (Pattern Recognition), ... Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises and Cloud), by Industry ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is expected to ... 29.98 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 19.1%. ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... March 10, 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: ... Protection (CBP) is testing its biometric identity solution at ... to help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving the ... test, designed to help determine the efficiency and accuracy of ... February and will run until May 2016. --> ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... 2016 Nigeria . ... than 23,000 public service employees either did not exist ... salary unlawfully.    --> Nigeria ... more than 23,000 public service employees either did not ... their salary unlawfully.    --> DERMALOG, the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Weeks after hosting a carpal tunnel syndrome workshop ... hand surgeon and founder of the Fitzmaurice Hand Institute, has announced the addition of ... a state-of-the-art technology and only 1 of about 3 currently available in the United ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... At present, the Biotech sphere is ... know that volatility is what makes this industry interesting to ... Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: SNTA ), CTI BioPharma Corp. ... LPTN ), and Heat Biologics Inc. (NASDAQ: HTBX ... alerts for these stocks at: http://www.activewallst.com/register/ ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , May 26, 2016 Despite the ... value in this space. Today,s pre-market research on ActiveWallSt.com directs ... Health Inc. (NASDAQ: RDUS ), Cerus Corp. (NASDAQ: ... ARWR ), and Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... briefings at: http://www.activewallst.com/ On ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... San Diego, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... San Diego area and has consistently been rated one of its top attractions. ... over the globe to participate in a unique and intimate team-building experience. , Each ...
Breaking Biology Technology: