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Long-nosed potoroo (Potorous tridactylus) behaviour and handling times when foraging for buried truffles


Vernes, K and Jarman, P, Long-nosed potoroo (Potorous tridactylus) behaviour and handling times when foraging for buried truffles, Australian Mammalogy, 36, (1) pp. 128-130. ISSN 0310-0049 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Australian Mammal Society

DOI: doi:10.1071/AM13037


Truffles represent an important food resource for many small mammals, but because most mycophagous mammals are difficult to observe in the wild, behavioural observations of mammals handling and consuming truffles are almost non-existent. Using camera traps, we observed the behaviour of long-nosed potoroos (Potorous tridactylus) foraging for buried truffles, and recorded the rate at which truffles were excavated and consumed. Potoroos excavated buried truffles rapidly (2.4  0.2 s) with synchronous drawing strokes of their forepaws, then gathered the excavated truffles with forepaws and/or mouth and cleaned away adherent debris before consuming the truffle. When potoroos were unsuccessful at recovering a truffle, they spent significantly more time digging (4.8  0.6 s) before giving up. Potoroos were successful at recovering a truffle in 76% of digging attempts, and once they had located a cache of buried truffles, achieved a rate of recovery of ~2.4 truffles per minute.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:hypogeous, marsupial, mycophagy, potoroid, sporocarp, Tasmania
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Behavioural ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Jarman, P (Professor Peter Jarman)
ID Code:98504
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2015-02-18
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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