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Data from: Failed predator attacks have detrimental effects on antipredatory capabilities through developmental plasticity in Pelobates cultripes toads

Citation

Zamora-Camacho, Francisco Javier; Aragón, Pedro (2019), Data from: Failed predator attacks have detrimental effects on antipredatory capabilities through developmental plasticity in Pelobates cultripes toads, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3047r3f

Abstract

1. How predation events experienced by preys can shape phenotypic traits through the ontogenetic development of the interacting species should be a key issue in Evolutionary and Conservation Biology. 2. Locomotor performance plays a fundamental role on the fitness of many animals, mainly because it enhances ability to fleeing from predators. Predators represent indeed a capital selective force on prey, mainly because they end prey life. However, predators may also damage prey by other means, such as injuries caused by failed attacks. This damage can severely affect locomotion, among several other aspects of prey fitness. In the case of anuran tadpoles, failed predator attacks often result in injured tails, which reduces swimming performance. However, little is known about lasting effects of those failed attacks on fleeing capabilities after metamorphosis. 3. In this work, we clipped 55% tail length of pre-tail-resorption stage anaesthetized larval Pelobates cultripes toads, and compared metamorph hindlimb length and jump distance with metamorphs resulting from anaesthetized and non-anaesthetized non-clipped controls. Previous findings showed that this treatment produced metamorphs with reduced body condition. 4. Results herein suggest that partial tail loss in tadpoles diminishes jumping performance of resultant metamorphs. This effect is likely a consequence of tail-clipped tadpoles developing shorter hindlimbs as metamorphs, which is parallel to their reduced body condition. 5. Therefore, predator attacks in the tail may be less potentially mortal than those in the head and body, but have costs in terms of an efficient antipredatory response that persist in post-metamorphic stage. This effect might compromise metamorph ability to survive subsequent predator attacks.

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