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Owl Predation on Two Sympatric Species of Tuco-Tucos (Rodentia: Octodontidae)

Aldo I. Vassallo, Marcelo J. Kittlein and Cristina Busch
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 75, No. 3 (Aug., 1994), pp. 725-732
DOI: 10.2307/1382522
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1382522
Page Count: 8
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Owl Predation on Two Sympatric Species of Tuco-Tucos (Rodentia: Octodontidae)
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Abstract

Predation by owls upon two sympatric species of subterranean rodents of the genus Ctenomys was studied by comparing characteristics of individuals that were field-trapped and preyed upon. Predators took a greater proportion of the smaller C. talarum than of the larger C. australis in comparison to that estimated from their respective field densities. Only subadult individuals of C. australis were found among pellets. For C. talarum, a greater proportion of subadults than of adults was observed in pellets. We suggest that this pattern is determined both by constraints imposed by size of prey on the ability of a predator to handle large prey and by greater exposure of dispersing subadults to predation. Differential predation possibly maintains the habitat segregation observed between C. talarum and C. australis.

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