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 journalArticle

2 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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