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1 April 2014 Seed preparation diminishes cache loss in least chipmunks
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Abstract

Recent work with least chipmunks, Neotamias minimus, has identified a novel seed preparation process. N. minimus begins by hulling seeds and then creating a thick saliva-coated cluster that hardens once expelled. Scattered and undefended, these “bolus” caches are at risk for theft. However, the behaviors involved in the creation of a bolus may confer protection against such pilferage. In a series of laboratory experiments with sunflower seeds, we found that both the hulling and saliva-clumping processes significantly reduced pilfering of these caches by conspecifics and a competitor, Tamias striatus, under 3 cache depth conditions.

Jarred R. Jenkins and Lynn D. Devenport "Seed preparation diminishes cache loss in least chipmunks," Journal of Mammalogy 95(2), 276-283, (1 April 2014). https://doi.org/10.1644/13-MAMM-A-123
Received: 17 May 2013; Accepted: 1 October 2013; Published: 1 April 2014
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