Title

Kinematic Analysis of Prey Capture in Coastal Giant Salamanders (Dicamptodon tenebrosus)

Presenter Information

Laura Westervelt

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

Salamanders use a variety of techniques to capture prey that involves a combination of lingual and jaw prehension. For example, some plethodontid salamanders often use ballistic tongue projection to capture prey. Salamanders of the family Dicamptodontidae are the largest sized terrestrial salamanders in the world and feed on a diverse array of prey items (arthropods, annelids, small mammals, and reptiles). The objectives of our study were to describe and quantify the behavior of terrestrial adult Coastal Giant Salamanders (D. tenebrosus). Feeding bouts of three distinct prey types (e.g., crickets, earthworms, and slugs) were recorded using high-speed video (420-1,000 frames/second) with a Casio Exlim EX-ZR100 digital camera. For a feeding trial, salamanders were placed in a clear viewing tank with five millimeter graph paper behind them and offered a single prey items with forceps. Trials were repeated on separated days with each salamander (N = 12) being exposed to three crickets, two earthworms, and one slug for a total of 144 trials. Videos were analyzed for velocity of initial strike, lingual projection, lower and upper jaw prehension, and feeding success. Non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis indicated significant differences in feeding patterns among prey types. Lingual prehension was the prominent method of ingestion when a small prey item was offered (crickets) and the use of upper and lower mandible were used in a snapping motion with larger prey items (earthworms). Future work will incorporate different prey items, as well as examine prey preference and foraging behaviors of D. tenebrosus.

Poster Number

19

Faculty Mentor(s)

Steven Wagner

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

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Kinematic Analysis of Prey Capture in Coastal Giant Salamanders (Dicamptodon tenebrosus)

SURC Ballroom C/D

Salamanders use a variety of techniques to capture prey that involves a combination of lingual and jaw prehension. For example, some plethodontid salamanders often use ballistic tongue projection to capture prey. Salamanders of the family Dicamptodontidae are the largest sized terrestrial salamanders in the world and feed on a diverse array of prey items (arthropods, annelids, small mammals, and reptiles). The objectives of our study were to describe and quantify the behavior of terrestrial adult Coastal Giant Salamanders (D. tenebrosus). Feeding bouts of three distinct prey types (e.g., crickets, earthworms, and slugs) were recorded using high-speed video (420-1,000 frames/second) with a Casio Exlim EX-ZR100 digital camera. For a feeding trial, salamanders were placed in a clear viewing tank with five millimeter graph paper behind them and offered a single prey items with forceps. Trials were repeated on separated days with each salamander (N = 12) being exposed to three crickets, two earthworms, and one slug for a total of 144 trials. Videos were analyzed for velocity of initial strike, lingual projection, lower and upper jaw prehension, and feeding success. Non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis indicated significant differences in feeding patterns among prey types. Lingual prehension was the prominent method of ingestion when a small prey item was offered (crickets) and the use of upper and lower mandible were used in a snapping motion with larger prey items (earthworms). Future work will incorporate different prey items, as well as examine prey preference and foraging behaviors of D. tenebrosus.