Alarm calls affect foraging behavior in eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus, Rodentia : Sciuridae)

Citation
Jk. Baack et Pv. Switzer, Alarm calls affect foraging behavior in eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus, Rodentia : Sciuridae), ETHOLOGY, 106(12), 2000, pp. 1057-1066
Citations number
51
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
106
Issue
12
Year of publication
2000
Pages
1057 - 1066
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(200012)106:12<1057:ACAFBI>2.0.ZU;2-B
Abstract
We used playback experiments to test whether alarm calls affected the forag ing behavior of eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus). We subjected chipmunks , foraging at artificial feeding stations, to three playback treatments (si lent, control noise, and alarm call) and examined changes in vigilant and f oraging behavior. Chipmunks responded to alarm calls with a greater degree and duration of vigilant behavior, such as look-ups and alert postures. Chi pmunks also ran a shorter distance to cover and took longer to re-emerge fr om the burrow after hearing an alarm call. Alarm calls caused individuals t o spend more time exposed at the feeding stations; however, individuals als o took significantly fewer seeds after hearing an alarm call. This was not due to a difference in the time spent handling food, but rather to a slower rate of loading. Chipmunks appear to sacrifice energy gain by increasing v igilance after hearing an alarm call. This study suggests that to avoid the costs of unnecessary escape behavior, individuals directly assess their ow n risk rather than relying only on indirect cues such as alarm calls.