TITLE

Armed Rollers: Does Nestling’s Vomit Function as a Defence against Predators?

AUTHOR(S)
Parejo, Deseada; Avilés, Jesús M.; Peña, Aránzazu; Sánchez, Lourdes; Ruano, Francisca; Zamora-Muñoz, Carmen; Martín-Vivaldi, Manuel
PUB. DATE
July 2013
SOURCE
PLoS ONE;Jul2013, Vol. 8 Issue 7, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Chemical defences against predators are widespread in the animal kingdom although have been seldom reported in birds. Here, we investigate the possibility that the orange liquid that nestlings of an insectivorous bird, the Eurasian roller (Coracias garrulus), expel when scared at their nests acts as a chemical defence against predators. We studied the diet of nestling rollers and vomit origin, its chemical composition and deterrent effect on a mammal generalist predator. We also hypothesized that nestling rollers, as their main prey (i.e. grasshoppers) do from plants, could sequester chemicals from their prey for their use. Grasshoppers, that also regurgitate when facing to a threat, store the harmful substances used by plants to defend themselves against herbivores. We found that nestling rollers only vomit after being grasped and moved. The production of vomit depended on food consumption and the vomit contained two deterrent chemicals (hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acids) stored by grasshoppers and used by plants to diminish herbivory, suggesting that they originate from the rollers’ prey. Finally, we showed for the first time that the oral secretion of a vertebrate had a deterrent effect on a model predator because vomit of nestling rollers made meat distasteful to dogs. These results support the idea that the vomit of nestling rollers is a chemical defence against predators.
ACCESSION #
89627748

 

Related Articles

  • Search behavior of the checker-throated antwren foraging in aerial leaf litter. Gradwohl, Judy A.; Greenberg, Russell // Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology;Sep1984, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p281 

    Checker-throated antwrens (Formicariidae: Myrmotherula fulviventris) live in lowland neotropical forests and forage from dead curled leaves in the understory. Because they search each leaf individually they provide an opportunity to study the use of potential visual cues by an insectivorous...

  • Multi-Scale Effects of Nestling Diet on Breeding Performance in a Terrestrial Top Predator Inferred from Stable Isotope Analysis. Resano-Mayor, Jaime; Hernández-Matías, Antonio; Real, Joan; Moleón, Marcos; Parés, Francesc; Inger, Richard; Bearhop, Stuart // PLoS ONE;Apr2014, Vol. 9 Issue 4, p1 

    Inter-individual diet variation within populations is likely to have important ecological and evolutionary implications. The diet-fitness relationships at the individual level and the emerging population processes are, however, poorly understood for most avian predators inhabiting complex...

  • Correction: Multi-Scale Effects of Nestling Diet on Breeding Performance in a Terrestrial Top Predator Inferred from Stable Isotope Analysis.  // PLoS ONE;Jul2014, Vol. 9 Issue 7, p1 

    No abstract available.

  • Aching for food. Hecht, Jeff // New Scientist;07/01/2000, Vol. 167 Issue 2245, p18 

    Reports on a finding by zoologist Bruce Patterson that lions are most dangerous to humans when they are least dangerous to their usual prey. How this finding was hypothesized, but never proven, by Jim Corbett, a famous big-game hunter; Findings of an abscess in the base of the canine tooth of a...

  • Predator-induced defense in rotifers: developmental lags for morph transformations, and effect on population growth. Gilbert, John // Aquatic Ecology;Dec2012, Vol. 46 Issue 4, p475 

    This study examines two aspects of predator-induced, morphological defense in rotifers: developmental time lags for acquisition and loss of the defense, and cost of the defense. When the predator and its inducing kairomone disappear from a community, the extent to which prey population growth is...

  • bad rap. Carroll, Chris // National Geographic;Jun2005, Vol. 207 Issue 6, p50 

    Focuses on the African hyena. Undeserved reputation hyenas have as thieves and scavengers that subsist on the leavings of larger predators; How in reality larger predators often steal from the hyena; How predators like cheetahs often avoid confrontations with hyena.

  • Reform of the Zoological Nomenclature - Solution for the "Species Problem". Pfander, P. V. // Raptors Conservation;2012, Issue 24, p165 

    The main reason for the "species problem" is seen in the absence of basic below-species level categories within the nomenclature system as well as in the presence of parallel classifications - polytypic (superspecies) and spatial (allospecies). It is proposed to adhere to a single consistent...

  • CHAPTER 4: Daddy Longlegs. Lawlor, Elizabeth P. // Discover Nature Around the House;2003, p77 

    This chapter describes the characteristics of daddy longlegs. They belong to a very large group, the phylum Arthropoda. Arthropods are animals that have a hard external covering or skeleton that protects their soft internal body parts. Another characteristic of Arthropods is repeating pairs...

  • Localised control of an introduced predator: creating problems for the future? Bodey, Thomas; Bearhop, Stuart; McDonald, Robbie // Biological Invasions;Dec2011, Vol. 13 Issue 12, p2817 

    Introduced mammalian predators have had significant impacts on many native prey species. Although control of such predators for conservation management is becoming increasingly commonplace, it is often undertaken at a relatively small scale in relation to the overall predator population....

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics