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1 June 2014 Habitual Bark Gleaning by Cambodian Striped Squirrels Tamiops rodolphii (Rodentia: Sciuridae) in Cat Tien National Park, South Vietnam
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Abstract
Bark gleaning, habitual foraging over the bark of very wide vertical arboreal substrates by claw clinging and climbing with extremely abducted limbs, represents one of the most interesting squirrel adaptations and is associated with the morphologically specialized pygmy squirrels. However, this behavior may be also common in other small squirrels, such as Cambodian striped squirrels (Tamiops rodolphii) that lack similar apomorphies. In effect, field research and video analysis in southern Vietnam revealed that T. rodolphii is characterized by frequent use of large vertical substrates and engages in high percentages of clawed climbing and clawed clinging, comparable, albeit lower, to those of pygmy squirrels. Actually, this squirrel species, and its closest congener, T. macclellandi, may represent the early representatives of a small squirrel radiation that shifted to bark gleaning, taking advantage of their small size. Finally, the fact that bark gleaning squirrel species, with or without morphological specializations, are located in the forests of South America, Central Africa and South East Asia indicates the importance of bark foraging niche across tropical forests.
© The Mammal Society of Japan
Dionisios Youlatos and Aleksandra A. Panyutina "Habitual Bark Gleaning by Cambodian Striped Squirrels Tamiops rodolphii (Rodentia: Sciuridae) in Cat Tien National Park, South Vietnam," Mammal Study 39(2), (1 June 2014). https://doi.org/10.3106/041.039.0202
Received: 10 November 2013; Accepted: 28 December 2013; Published: 1 June 2014
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