Small gas stick Pad In Australia, this is not an opportunity against the most dangerous predators: cannibalistic hedgehogs that overeat their young as if they were in an open buffet. But now the little ones are fighting back.
A new study finds they grow faster and give hungry flatworms less time to swallow.
“When cannibals are looking for you, it’s best to spend the time you lay eggs or hatch,” said Gina Devor, a leading researcher who conducted the study as a postgraduate research partner at the University of Sydney. Tetiaro Society, a non-profit environmental organization in French Polynesia.
However, rapid growth has its drawbacks. The researchers found that faster-growing chicks did worse when they reached the latch life stage, compared to normal-growing chicks. So it is not worth protecting yourself in this way unless the cannibals definitely come to you.
Related: Photo Gallery: Invasive Species
Reed toad (Rinella Marina) A baby poster Invasive creature. A poisonous frog like warts, native to South America, known to swallow anything that fits in its wide mouth. In the 1930s, farmers in Queensland, Australia, believed that the frog was the perfect prey for beetles to destroy sugarcane fields. But in the absence of natural enemies below, the frog population has increased from just 102 individuals to 200 million. According to WWF Australia.
Another reason for their high numbers is that female frogs lay more than 10,000 eggs at a time in small ponds. “When these eggs first hatch, the chicks can no longer swim or eat, so they can lie at the bottom of the pond until they grow short,” Devor said.
Hungry hedgehogs attack during this awkward breeding season. “Once the chicks have grown into tiny sprouts, they will be too big and mobile to be eaten by other large frogs, so the cannibals will have to work quickly if they want to eat them all,” Devor said.
Chicks that feed on the younger generation do themselves great favors. They receive nutrients and eliminate subsequent competition for resources. “When I first saw this behavior in the wild, I was amazed to see cane mushrooms hunting and eating their chicks,” Devor said. To determine whether this behavior was “natural” or an adaptation to intense competition between aggressive reed frogs, Divor and colleagues compared aggressive reed frogs in Australia to those in their own range or to reed frogs within their own range.
Wardi Frog Arms Competition
Numerous experiments have shown that invasive frogs – both young chicks and chicks – are cannibals To create very fast.
In an experiment conducted more than 500 times with different individuals, Devor and her colleagues placed a dotball in 10 frying containers. Although the dotpoles from the Native range show some cannibalism, “We found that the dotpoles would melt 2.6 times more if they came from Australia.
In addition, the chicks were more attracted to the chicks than the original chicks. In another experiment, the team placed sticks in a pool with two traps. One of the traps carried the boy and the other was empty. “In Australia, cannibal hedgehogs are attracted to young chicks; the chances of an Australian dotball entering a trap with young chicks are 30 times higher than an empty trap,” Devor said.
On the contrary, “chicks do not attract chicks, they are more likely to be in an empty trap like a frying pan,” he said. “It’s this strong attraction to the vulnerable breeding ground that helps cannibal dodgers find and find their victims in Australia, which is not within its own range.”
To fight back, the aggressive little ones have developed an escape strategy. When the researchers compared the growing time of eggs and chicks, they found that invasive frogs evolved faster than their own range.
In both groups: “We saw the claws of sugarcane frogs evolving rapidly from Australia; They reached the bush in about four days, while the nails of the original range lasted about five days, ”Devor said.
In addition, invasive chicks had a more active response than a “plastic” or small, normal chick. Devor noted that young birds in Australia “smell better when eaten cannibalism and accelerate their growth in response”.
These strategies helped the little ones survive, and they later paid for them. The researchers tested 1,190 dotpoles for survival, growth, development and resilience, and found that eggs and juveniles that escaped the cannibalism were worse off and grew slower than dotpoles from the native range.
Will cannibalism lead to destruction?
Can reed frogs feed on themselves until they are extinct? Probably not, Devor said.
“Australian frogs may be their worst enemy, but I don’t expect them to become extinct anytime soon,” he said. This is because cannibals get a lot of benefit from eating their species. He said that after getting the nutrients and reducing the competition, cannibalistic hedgehogs will become “faster and bigger frogs”. It is even possible that these “successful” frogs will occupy new places in Australia very quickly.
“The good news is that cannibalism can control population growth,” Devor said. “So while reed frogs are unlikely to lead themselves to extinction, these cannibalistic behaviors will help control their abundance after the invasion.”
The study was published in the August 31 issue of the journal Processes Van de National Academy of Sciences.
First published in Live Science.
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