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Chemoreception in Two Further Calidris Species (C. Maritima and C. Canutus) With a Comparison of the Relative Importance of Chemoreception During Foraging in Calidris Species

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Calidris canutus and C. maritima were shown to be able to use taste to locate food when probing in wet sandy substrates. However, the behaviour of C. canutus and the results obtained with hard-shelled prey suggested that taste normally does not play a role while probing, resulting in a more prominent role for (individual) touch- and (social) flock-information. C. maritima's potential turned out to be of the same useful level as that for C. alpina and C. alba which were investigated by VAN HEEZIK et al. (1983). The relative importance of taste during probing is compared with other senses and is discussed for these four species in relation to their customary foraging behaviour while at wintering quarters. Current approaches in wader foraging studies should have included the use of taste for enhanced prey detection as a tenable possibility. Furthermore it is concluded that tastebuds must occur in the tip of the beak of the four Calidris species tested.

Affiliations: 1: Researchgroup Ethological Morphology, Zoölogisch Laboratorium, Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, P.O. Box 9516, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands; 2: Department Zoology, University of Otago, P. O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand; 3: Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, P.O. Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg Texel, The Netherlands


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