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A Report on the Foraging Behavior among the Chameleon Species - Research Paper Example

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Topic: A Report on the Foraging Behavior among the Chameleon Species Institution Date A Report on the Foraging Behavior among the Chameleon Species Species Report Proposal The report focuses on the foraging behavior of chameleons. Chameleons are interesting creatures due to their ability to camouflage, their variation in size, their bulging eyes and a long curled tail…
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A Report on the Foraging Behavior among the Chameleon Species
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"A Report on the Foraging Behavior among the Chameleon Species"

Download file to see previous pages Chameleons are predominantly omnivorous though some species exhibit more preference for carnivorous diet while others are more herbivorous. Some smaller species are preyed upon by some predators like birds and snake making them. Chameleons have a unique feeding strategy due to the wide variety of diets and foraging habit. Aerts Herrel, Meyers and Nishikawa observed that the retraction of the chameleon tongue pad creates suction on the prey and enhances adhesion of the tongue (3262). This report focuses on the foraging behavior of the chameleon. Objectives of the Report The specific objectives of this report are to; I. Provide an in-depth understanding of foraging mode exhibited by different chameleon species II. Examine the prey capturing mechanism in chameleons and how it is associated with the chameleon foraging mode III. Establish whether chameleons exhibit a unique prey capturing mechanism and foraging mode Characteristic Features of the Foraging Mode in Chameleons Foraging mode is one of the most crucial aspects in animal life. Foraging mode is used to describe the manner in which animals obtain food within its ecological habitat. Foraging is usually associated with other natural and behavioral traits like locomotive ability, energy utilization and reproduction among others. More importantly, foraging mode plays a critical role in determining prey-predator interactions among animal species. The chameleon’s feeding behavior is often defined in terms of foraging mode which has been mainly classified as either active or ambush (sit-and-wait) type (Hagey, Harmon and Losos 1). With regards to behavior, there are observable differences between active and ambush foragers. Active foragers exhibit a high frequency of movement, tend to prey on sedentary prey, use more energy and possess small clutch size (Butler 797). As a result of their highly motile behavior, active foraging chameleon species are likely to obtain their prey through encounter. On the other hand, the sit-and-wait foraging chameleons exhibit less movements, tend to remain still for longer periods and often run to the prey as they spot it. Active and ambush foraging is largely determined by other factors including morphological and behavioral characteristics, the type of prey and habitat use among others. It has been found that variations exist among active and ambush foragers in terms of activity levels, body temperatures and intake of calories. Most active foragers have higher levels of activity, high caloric intakes and higher body temperatures than their ambush counterparts (Hagey, Harmon and Losos 1-2). This phenomenon is true for chameleons as such differences have been observed among different chameleon species. Chameleons have unique morphological and behavioral characteristics which influences their foraging behavior. In a study aimed at investigating chameleon foraging mode in the dwarf chameleon (Bradypodium pumilum), Butler suggested that in addition to the usual active versus ambush foraging strategy in chameleons, some species have adapted an alternative cruise mode ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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