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Experimental analysis of lizard pause-travel movement: pauses increase probability of prey capture

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The probability that common lizards (Lacerta vivipara), which have a pause-travel locomotor pattern, would detect and capture living crickets (Acheta domestica) dropped into their immediate environment was determined for five conditions. These were when a lizard was basking (stationary for >30 s), pausing during locomotion (stationary for <0.8 s), or moving at one of three speed ranges defined as searching, standard or fleeing, at the moment when the cricket reached the substrate. The probability that prey would be captured was greatest in basking lizards, and decreased progressively through pausing, searching movement and standard movement to fleeing movement during which no prey were ever captured.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, Bristol University, Bristol BS8 IUG, UK


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