Eat your heart out: choice and handling of novel toxic prey by predatory water rats

Marissa L. Parrott*, J. Sean Doody, Colin McHenry, Simon Clulow

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We investigated predator-prey interactions between cane toads (Rhinella marina) and native water rats (Hydromys chrysogaster), where toads are novel prey. We show that wild water rats preferentially targeted larger toads, and consumed specific non-toxic organs only. Rats either rapidly learned these behaviours, or adapted them from hunting native frogs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)235-239
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralian Mammalogy
    Volume42
    Issue number2
    Early online date23 Sep 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Keywords

    • ancestral behavioural repertoire
    • heart
    • invasion
    • lethal toxic ingestion
    • liver
    • muscle
    • organ targeting
    • rapid learning

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