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Sexual-size dimorphism modulates the trade-off between exploiting food and wind resources in a large avian scavenger

AutorAlarcón. Pablo A.E.; Morales, Juan M.; Donázar, José A. ; Sánchez-Zapata, José A.; Hiraldo, F. ; Lambertucci, Sergio A.
Fecha de publicación2017
EditorNature Publishing Group
CitaciónScientific Reports, 7 : 11461 (2017)
ResumenAnimals are expected to synchronize activity routines with the temporal patterns at which resources appear in nature. Accordingly, species that depend on resources showing temporally mismatched patterns should be expected to schedule routines that balance the chances of exploiting each of them. Large avian scavengers depend on carcasses which are more likely available early in the morning, but they also depend on wind resources (i.e. uplifts) to subside flight which are stronger in afternoon hours. To understand how these birds deal with this potential trade-off, we studied the daily routines of GPS-tagged individuals of the world’s largest terrestrial soaring scavenger, the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus). Andean condors vary largely in weight and show a huge sexual dimorphism that allowed us to evaluate the effect of sex and body size on their daily routines. We found that condors use an intermediate solution strategy between the best times to exploit carcasses and uplifts, with this strategy changing over the year. Bigger males scheduled earlier routines that aligned more closely with uplift availability compared to smaller females, resulting in a partial temporal segregation between sexes. Condors’ routines reflect a sexual-size dependent trade-off that may underpin ecological and sociobiological traits of the studied population.
Versión del editorhtpp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-11855-0
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