A different kind of ecological modelling: the use of clay model organisms to explore predator–prey interactions in vertebrates
MetadataShow full item record
We review the use of clay models to explore questions about predation rates on small vertebrate taxa that are typically difficult to observe directly. The use of models has a relatively long history and we examine the range of taxa studied, which includes squamate reptiles, amphibians, mammals and birds. Within this review, we have also included studies of model eggs, which are used in nest predation studies. We review the questions that have been asked and the interpretations arising from the data. The use of clay model animals has provided us with insights into how differences in prey morphology, size, and colour influence the rate at which they are attacked by predators. This allows us insights into the ecological, behavioural and evolutionary selective pressures of different predators on small vertebrate prey, including analysis of what characteristics predators target and how predators approach their prey (e.g. which part of the body is attacked). Further available interpretations include how regional and habitat variation influences predation events on models. We also briefly discuss the potential for clay models to study interspecific sociality and competition. Finally, we review the problems and limitations with the method and make some suggestions for further studies and amendments to help standardize this creative tool for ecological research.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Physiological and behavioural responses of Australian and exotic prey to the scent of native and introduced predatorsMella, Valentina S. A. (2009)This study examined the physiological and behavioural effects of a stress-inducing stimulus (predator odour) on potential prey species (Australian native and exotic). The aim was to determine if differences in the response ...
Redd, K.; Ling, S.; Frusher, S.; Jarman, Simon; Johnson, C. (2014)We apply qPCR molecular techniques to detect in situ rates of consumption of sea urchins (Centrostephanus rodgersii and Heliocidaris erythrogramma) by rock lobsters (Jasus edwardsii). A non-lethal method was used to source ...
Fleming, P.; Bateman, Bill (2018)Novel ecosystems (â€˜emerging ecosystemsâ€™) result when species occur in combinations and relative abundances that have not occurred previously within a given biome, due to deliberate or inadvertent human agency. Humans ...