Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Crittercam captures crocodilian foraging behaviors; Video footage reveals novel insights into alligator's cryptic foraging behaviors

Date:
January 15, 2014
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Animal-borne camera reveals that alligators may attempt to capture prey most often at night, even though the calculated probability of catching prey is highest in the morning.

This is a crittercam unit attached to a 2.6 meter male American alligator.
Credit: J.C. Nifong; CC-BY

Animal-borne camera reveals that alligators may attempt to capture prey most often at night, even though the calculated probability of catching prey is highest in the morning, according to a study published in PLOS ONE on January 15, 2014 by James Nifong from the University of Florida and colleagues from other institutions.

Observing the behaviors of dangerous and cryptic predators like alligators is no easy task, so scientists used animal-borne cameras to monitor alligators capturing prey and their other activities. A total of fifteen adult alligators from Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Guana River in coastal Florida were equipped with Crittercam. Afterward, scientists retrieved the video data to determine the frequency and successes rates of alligator foraging behaviors throughout the day.

The video footage revealed that time of day significantly affected the frequency of attacks on prey, as well as the probability of capturing prey. Alligators most often attempted to capture prey during the night, but the researchers' calculated probability of successful capture was highest in the morning and sequentially lower during day, evening, and night, respectively. Position in the water -- submerged versus at the surface -- also significantly affected prey-capture success, with two-fold greater capture rate when submerged while attacking prey. These estimates are the first for the wild adult American alligator and may provide rare insight into crocodilian foraging behaviors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. James C. Nifong, Rachel L. Nifong, Brian R. Silliman, Russell H. Lowers, Louis J. Guillette, Jake M. Ferguson, Matthew Welsh, Kyler Abernathy, Greg Marshall. Animal-Borne Imaging Reveals Novel Insights into the Foraging Behaviors and Diel Activity of a Large-Bodied Apex Predator, the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (1): e83953 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083953

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Crittercam captures crocodilian foraging behaviors; Video footage reveals novel insights into alligator's cryptic foraging behaviors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115172830.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2014, January 15). Crittercam captures crocodilian foraging behaviors; Video footage reveals novel insights into alligator's cryptic foraging behaviors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115172830.htm
Public Library of Science. "Crittercam captures crocodilian foraging behaviors; Video footage reveals novel insights into alligator's cryptic foraging behaviors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115172830.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) A collection of dinosaur bones reveal a creature that is far more weird and goofy-looking than scientists originally thought when they found just the arm bones nearly 50 years ago, according to a new report in the journal Nature. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins