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Comparative study of antipredator behaviour and locomotor performance in Australian anurans that differ in morphology and habit

Grant number: 14/04324-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2014
Effective date (End): February 28, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Compared Physiology
Principal researcher:Fernando Ribeiro Gomes
Grantee:Jessyca Michele Citadini
Supervisor abroad: Craig R. Williams
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of South Australia (UniSA), Australia  
Associated to the scholarship:13/04418-0 - Coevolution of antipredator behavior, locomotor performance and body proportions of Mata Atlântica rainforest anuran frogs, BP.DR


Theoretical models and empirical evidence suggest that prey should not flee immediately upon detecting an approaching predator, but instead should adjust their escape response to minimize the costs of flight. Similarly, after deciding to escape, animals should tend to adjust the magnitude and characteristics of their escape response according to the perceived level of predation risk. Although these hypotheses have been tested in some prey types, it remains for their applicability to a wider range of taxa. Anuran amphibians represent a group of vertebrates whose body plan presents a series of changes associated with their jumping locomotor performance; these specializations of the body plan in anuran are very old and phylogenetically conserved. Studies have associated the origin and diversity of adaptations for jumping performance in anurans with selective pressures related to the capture of food and escape from predators; the antipredator behavior is also strikingly diverse in anurans, with dozens of patterns of alternative antipredator behavior to escape through jumps, which are used in diverse behavioral contexts. However, the relationship between locomotor performance and antipredator behavior within the context of diversification of habits and habitat remain unexplored for this group. The present study aims to compare the antipredator behaviour and locomotor performance in Australian anuran species that differ in morphology and habit, and to interpret those differences in an evolutionary context. The hypotheses will be tested in intra-and interspecific levels through: (a) tests that simulate predation events with a snake in laboratory; (b) tests of locomotor performance and (c) morphometric data collection of the individuals tested for behavior, as well as specimens preserved in museums. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CITADINI, J. M.; BRANDT, R.; WILLIAMS, C. R.; GOMES, F. R.. Evolution of morphology and locomotor performance in anurans: relationships with microhabitat diversification. JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, v. 31, n. 3, p. 371-381, . (14/04324-8, 13/04418-0, 13/14125-0, 16/01558-3)

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