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Foraging behavior and microhabitat use by spiny mice, Acomys cahirinus and A. russatus, in the presence of Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana) odor

Citation

Jones, ME and Dayan, T, Foraging behavior and microhabitat use by spiny mice, Acomys cahirinus and A. russatus, in the presence of Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana) odor, Journal of Chemical Ecology, 26, (2) pp. 455-469. ISSN 0098-0331 (2000) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1023/A:1005417707588

Abstract

We investigated the responses of common and golden spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus and A. russatus, respectively) to the fecal odor of Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana), a predator of Acomys, which overlaps in habitat use with the mice. Neither species of mouse showed a significant response to the presence of fox odor compared with the presence of the fecal odor of a local herbivore (Nubian ibex, Capra ibex nubia). One explanation is that the impact of predation from V. cana may be sufficiently low that the cost of avoidance, in terms of missed feeding opportunities, conveys little selective advantage. Alternatively, fecal odor may not provide a focused cue of immediate danger for spiny mice. The diurnal A. russatus showed a stronger (near significant) response than the nocturnal A. cahirinus to fecal odor of this nocturnal predator. This may be a legacy of the underlying nocturnal activity rhythm of A. russatus or may indicate a generally more cautious response to predator odors, as A. russatus has a much stronger preference for sheltered microhabitats than A. cahirinus.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial Ecology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
Author:Jones, ME (Associate Professor Menna Jones)
ID Code:35046
Year Published:2000
Web of Science® Times Cited:43
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2005-08-01
Downloads:0

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