Hoarding strategies range between scatterhoarding (small multiple hoards) and larderhoarding (large single hoard). We hypothesized that spatial distribution of food affects hoarding strategy of 2 nocturnal psammophilic rodents, Gerbillus pyramidum and G. allenbyi. We used a modular arena to test the prediction that hoarding strategy would tend toward scatterhoarding as travel distance during foraging increases. We manipulated travel distance and studied its effect on hoarding behavior. G. allenbyi, as predicted, tended to scatterhoard as travel distance increased. G. pyramidum, however, reacted to changes in travel distance by moving the location of its larderhoard but did not scatterhoard. We suggest that hoarding strategy may be scale dependent and that gerbils will increase their number of hoards when energy costs of travel are sufficiently high.
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