Closely related lacertid lizards (Eremias, Nucras) in the Kalahari desert differ in patterns of foraging behaviour. Some species are relatively sedentary ('sit-and-wait') whereas others are more active ('widely-foraging') predators. We determined whether whole-animal locomotor capacities (cruising endurance on a treadmill, initial speed and maximum burst speed in a racetrack, and sprint endurance in a torus-shaped track) correlated with interspecific differences in foraging behaviour. Two of three widely-foraging species had greater cruising endurance, graater sprint endurance, but lower burst speed than did a sit-and-wait species. However, the two species that sprinted quickly also had limited endurance, and vice versa. Pre-feeding negatively influenced endurance but not sprint capacity. Theoretical models of foraging behaviour should recognize that ectotherms have limited endurance, that there can be a trade-off between speed and endurance, and that pre-feeding can reduce some aspects of locomotor capacity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology