Mar 24, 2010

Prey capture in frogs: alternative strategies, biomechanical trade-offs, and hierarchical decision making

Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part A, Ecological Genetics and Physiology
Jenna A Monroy, K C Nishikawa


Frogs exhibit flexible repertoires of prey-capture behavior, which depend primarily on visual analysis of prey attributes. We review three examples of how visual cues are used to modulate prey-capture strategies. (1) Dyscophus guineti modulates tongue aiming in response to prey location. These frogs turn only their heads to apprehend prey located at azimuths <40°. At azimuths >40°, the frogs switch from this strategy to one in which both head and tongue are aimed toward prey. (2) Rana pipiens modulates its feeding behavior in response to prey size, using tongue prehension for capturing small prey but switching to jaw prehension to capture large prey. (3) In Cyclorana novaehollandiae, visual processing of prey attributes involves hierarchical decision making. These frogs first assess prey size. For large prey, they ignore velocity but not shape. For small prey, they ignore shape but not velocity. Alternative prey-capture strategies are associated with biomechanical trade-offs that result from the interaction between the feeding apparatus and varying attributes of prey. Alternative strategies likely exist because biomechanical constraints prevent any one strategy from being effective over a range of prey attributes. Taken togethe...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Rana pipiens
Cyclorana novaehollandiae
Dyscophus guineti
Benign Neoplasm of Tongue
Predatory Behavior
PYURF gene

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