Costs of reproduction in lizards: escape tactics and susceptibility to predation

Schwarzkopf, Lin, and Shine, Richard (1992) Costs of reproduction in lizards: escape tactics and susceptibility to predation. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 31 (1). pp. 17-25.

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Abstract

Increased basking and reduced agility in gravid female southern water skinks (Eulamprus tympanum) suggest that they will be more vulnerable to predators. However, gravid females shift their anti-predator tactics towards crypsis, by allowing potential predators (such as a human observer) to approach more closely than do males and non-gravid females. Gravid females were taken no more frequently than were non-gravid females or males when exposed to two types of natural predators, birds (kookaburra, Dacelo gigas) or snakes (common blacksnakes, Pseudechis porphyriacus) in field enclosures. Both these results suggest that the vulnerability of potential prey in this system is determined by the predator's probability of detecting a potential prey item, not its probability of capturing the prey item after detection. Hence, laboratory-based measures of performance demonstrating reduced escape speed may sometimes have little relevance to actual fitness under field conditions, if the probability that an animal will be taken by a predator depends primarily on whether or not it is seen, rather than on how quickly it can escape.

Item ID: 36421
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0762
Funders: School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney (SBS-US), Peter Rankin Trust Fund (PRTF), Australian Museum (AM), Linnean Society of New South Wales (LS-NSW), Royal Zoological Society of NSW (RZS-NSW), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Queensland Federation of University Women Fellowship (QFUWF)
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2016 02:06
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960810 Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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