A recipe for scavenging in vertebrates - the natural history of a behaviour
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Despite its prevalence, the importance of scavenging to carnivores is difficult to ascertain in modern day forms and impossible to study directly in extinct species. Yet, there are certain intrinsic and environmental features of a species that push it towards a scavenging lifestyle. These can be thought of as some of the principal parameters in optimal foraging theory namely, encounter rate and handling time. We use these components to highlight the morphologies and environments that would have been conducive to scavenging over geological time by focusing on the dominant vertebrate groups of the land, sea and air. The result is a synthesis on the natural history of scavenging. The features that make up our qualitative scale of scavenging can be applied to any given species and allow us to judge the likely importance of this foraging behaviour.
Kane , A , Healy , K , Guillerme , T , Ruxton , G D & Jackson , A L 2017 , ' A recipe for scavenging in vertebrates - the natural history of a behaviour ' Ecography , vol 40 , no. 2 , pp. 324-334 . DOI: 10.1111/ecog.02817
© 2016, Nordic Society Oikos. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at onlinelibrary.wiley.com / https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.02817
AK was funded by the Irish Research Council GOIP/2015/81, KH was funding by Science Foundation Ireland. T.G. acknowledges support from European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013)/ERC Grant Agreement number 311092 awarded to Martin D. Brazeau.
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