If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Seasonal Differences in Onset of Surface Activity of Ord's Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys ordii)

Jeremy A. White and Keith Geluso
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 88, No. 1 (Feb., 2007), pp. 234-240
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4126871
Page Count: 7
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Seasonal Differences in Onset of Surface Activity of Ord's Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys ordii)
Preview not available

Abstract

Activity patterns of many nocturnal mammals are synchronized to daily cycles of light and dark. Light intensity is an important cue for nocturnal mammals because of the interplay between illumination and risk from visual predators. Studies suggest that nocturnal rodents are at greater risk from visually oriented predators before full darkness than after full darkness. We examined onset of surface activity of Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii) over 3 seasons in central Nebraska. To determine surface activity, we used a nonobtrusive procedure-buried timers near burrows. Although initiation of aboveground activity was significantly correlated with sunset from season to season, mean onset of surface activity differed among seasons: 1 min before the start of full darkness in summer, 4 min before full darkness in autumn, and 15 min after full darkness in winter. Despite apparent costs of emerging before darkness, 61% of kangaroo rats in summer and 63% in autumn emerged before full darkness. In winter, however, only 19% of kangaroo rats began surface activity before full darkness. We suggest that emergence behaviors of nocturnal rodents from daytime shelters are plastic and probably linked to seasonal trade-offs between costs of predation and benefits of reproduction and food abundance.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
234
    234
  • Thumbnail: Page 
235
    235
  • Thumbnail: Page 
236
    236
  • Thumbnail: Page 
237
    237
  • Thumbnail: Page 
238
    238
  • Thumbnail: Page 
239
    239
  • Thumbnail: Page 
240
    240