Given a choice, male dyeing poison frogs snub empty pools in favor of ones in which their tiny tadpoles have to metamorphose into frogs in the company of larger, carnivorous ones of the same species. The frog fathers only choose to deposit their developing young in unoccupied pools when others are already filled with tadpoles of a similar size as their own. These are seemingly counterintuitive decisions, given how often cannibalism involving a large tadpole eating a smaller one takes place in natural pools, writes Bibiana Rojas of the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. Her findings are published in Springer’s journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. Leer más.
An international team of researchers has made important progress in understanding the distribution of the deadly amphibian chytrid pathogen. In some regions, the deadly impact of the pathogen appears to be hampered by small predators, naturally occurring in freshwater bodies. These micropredators may efficiently reduce the number of free-swimming infectious stages (zoospores) by consuming them. This natural behavior will reduce the infection pressure on potential amphibian hosts and a goes a long way towards explaining the occurrence of chytridiomycosis, at least in temporal climatic regions. Leer más.