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Evolution ; 74(12): 2681-2702, 2020 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33085081


The skeleton is a complex arrangement of anatomical structures that covary to various degrees depending on both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Among the Feliformia, many species are characterized by predator lifestyles providing a unique opportunity to investigate the impact of highly specialized hypercarnivorous diet on phenotypic integration and shape diversity. To do so, we compared the shape of the skull, mandible, humerus, and femur of species in relation to their feeding strategies (hypercarnivorous vs. generalist species) and prey preference (predators of small vs. large prey) using three-dimensional geometric morphometric techniques. Our results highlight different degrees of morphological integration in the Feliformia depending on the functional implication of the anatomical structure, with an overall higher covariation of structures in hypercarnivorous species. The skull and the forelimb are not integrated in generalist species, whereas they are integrated in hypercarnivores. These results can potentially be explained by the different feeding strategies of these species. Contrary to our expectations, hypercarnivores display a higher disparity for the skull than generalist species. This is probably due to the fact that a specialization toward high-meat diet could be achieved through various phenotypes. Finally, humeri and femora display shape variations depending on relative prey size preference. Large species feeding on large prey tend to have robust long bones due to higher biomechanical constraints.

Adaptação Biológica , Evolução Biológica , Carnivoridade/fisiologia , Feliformes/anatomia & histologia , Fenótipo , Esqueleto/anatomia & histologia , Animais , Dieta
Sci Total Environ ; 666: 581-590, 2019 May 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30807948


Anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) are used worldwide to control rodent populations. ARs bioaccumulate across trophic levels and threaten non-target wildlife. We investigated the prevalence of AR exposure in seven predator species in the rapidly developing Greater Cape Town region of South Africa - a mosaic of natural, urban, and agricultural areas within a global biodiversity hotspot. We focused sampling on caracals (Caracal caracal, n = 28) as part of a larger caracal ecology study, but also opportunistically sampled Cape Clawless otters (Aonyx capensis, n = 9), large-spotted genets (Genetta tigrina, n = 4), honey badger (Mellivora capensis, n = 1), water mongoose (Atilax paludinosus, n = 1), small gray mongoose (Galerella pulverulenta, n = 1), and Cape Eagle owl (Bubo capensis, n = 1). We tested livers from all species, and blood from ten caracals, for eight AR compounds to assess prevalence and amount of exposure for each compound. We used generalized linear models to test spatial, demographic, and seasonal risk factors for ten measures of AR exposure in caracals. We detected at least one of the four most toxic AR compounds in six species. Exposure was high for caracals (92%) and all species combined (81%). For caracals, proximity to vineyards was the most important AR exposure risk factor. Vineyards in Cape Town do not use ARs to protect their vines but do host commercial hospitality structures where ARs are used. Vineyards may thus link caracals that forage within vineyards to the rat poisons used in and around their commercial structures. Residue levels were unexpected in large-spotted genets and Cape Clawless otters, suggesting invertebrate vectors. ARs may present a cryptic threat to populations already vulnerable to increasing habitat loss, vehicle collisions, poachers and fire. Targeted mitigation should include a mix of environmentally responsible policies that reduce AR use, particularly in areas near wildlife habitat.

Anticoagulantes/metabolismo , Exposição Ambiental/análise , Felidae/metabolismo , Rodenticidas/metabolismo , Animais , Anticoagulantes/sangue , Cidades , Monitoramento Ambiental , Feliformes/metabolismo , Rodenticidas/sangue , África do Sul , Estrigiformes/metabolismo