The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 01. Nest attendance influences the diet of nesting female spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) in Central Amazonia, Brazil

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pp. 65- 71

Authors: José António Lemos Barão-Nóbrega, Boris Marioni, Diogo Dutra-Araújo, Robinson Botero-Arias, António J.A. Nogueira, William E. Magnusson & Ronis Da Silveira

Abstract: Although nesting ecology is well studied in crocodilians, there is little information on the diet and feeding habits of nesting females. During the annual dry season (November–December) of 2012, we studied the diet of female spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) attending nests (n=33) and far from nests (n=16) in Piagaçu-Purus Sustainable Development Reserve (PPSDR), Central Amazonia, Brazil. The proportion of empty stomachs in nest-attending females was larger, and the occurrence of fresh food items was lower when compared to females not attending nests. Fish was the most frequent prey item for non-nesting females, while terrestrial invertebrates and snail operculae were the prey items most commonly recovered from stomachs of nesting females. Our study demonstrates that, despite enduring periods of food deprivation associated with nest attendance, nesting females of C. crocodilus still consume nearby available prey, possibly leaving their nest temporarily unattended.

Key words: Amazonia, diet, feeding, nest, parental care, spectacled caiman

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