Accessing foods can exert multiple distinct, and potentially competing, selective pressures on feeding in common marmoset monkeys

Title

Accessing foods can exert multiple distinct, and potentially competing, selective pressures on feeding in common marmoset monkeys

Creator

Thompson C L; Valenca-Montenegro M M; Melo Lcdo; Valle Y B M; Oliveira Mabd; Lucas P W; Vinyard C J

Publisher

Journal of Zoology

Date

2014
2014-11

Description

Animals must overcome the physical properties protecting foods to obtain nutrition. While animals can experience selection for traits that facilitate resource exploitation, specific feeding behaviors may entail multiple, different mechanical challenges with each potentially eliciting distinct selection pressures. Tree gouging by common marmosets (Primates: Callithrix jacchus) provides an illustrative case for studying these distinct mechanical challenges and their correlated behaviors and morphologies. We test the hypothesis that marmosets respond differently to three sequential mechanical stages of bark removal: (1) indentation; (2) crack initiation; (3) crack propagation. By surveying trees gouged by free-ranging marmosets in Pernambuco, Brazil, we found that mechanical variables related to crack initiation (fracture toughness, critical strain energy release rate and elastic modulus) were inversely correlated with measures of gouging intensity, with less mechanically challenging trees being gouged more intensely. Because crack initiation is likely the most mechanically challenging aspect of tree gouging, behavioral preference for less challenging resources likely allows marmosets to reduce costs and potential risks associated with accessing exudates. Variables related to bark indentation (hardness and friction) showed no relationship to the intensity of gouging behavior. Contrary to our prediction, trees with greater mechanical challenges for crack propagation (work to peel) were gouged more intensely. We attribute this pattern of gouging trees requiring greater effort in crack propagation to an inverse correlation between work to peel and fracture toughness in our tree sample. Importantly, marmosets exhibit morphological specializations of the feeding apparatus that facilitate indentation and crack propagation, potentially mitigating the need for behavioral choice. Here we show that extracting a single food resource can exert a series of distinct, potentially competing, selective forces during resource acquisition. This study illustrates how animals combine behaviors and morphological specializations to competently overcome distinct mechanical challenges, emphasizing the need for holistic approaches in understanding feeding adaptations.

Subject

apparatus; behavior; Callithrix; callithrix-jacchus-jacchus; enamel thickness; evolution; feeding adaptations; food; food choice; Food mechanical properties; food selection; hardness; masticatory; mechanical defenses; morphology; prey size; processing; red deer; resource acquisition; tree gouging; Zoology

Identifier

Format

Journal Article

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Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

161-169

Issue

3

Volume

294

Citation

Thompson C L; Valenca-Montenegro M M; Melo Lcdo; Valle Y B M; Oliveira Mabd; Lucas P W; Vinyard C J, “Accessing foods can exert multiple distinct, and potentially competing, selective pressures on feeding in common marmoset monkeys,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed September 24, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/7341.

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