MUSEO ARGENTINO DE CIENCIAS NATURALES "BERNARDINO RIVADAVIA"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
TROPHIC SEGREGATION OF SMALL CARNIVORES (CARNIVORA: MUSTELIDAE AND MEPHITIDAE) FROM THE SOUTHERN CONE OF SOUTH AMERICA
MAURO SCHIAFFINI; FRANCISCO J. PREVOSTI
JOURNAL OF MAMMALIAN EVOLUTION
Lugar: Berlin; Año: 2014 vol. 21 p. 407 - 407
Remarkable adaptations in the Carnivora haveevolved as a way of dealing with feeding competition, accentuatinghypocarnivorous or hypercarnivorous morphotypes.The Carnivora is a highly successful order with 47 livingspecies in South America. Their history in South America isrecent, and includes few lineages that arrived before the Panamanianbridge was completed (procyonids), and others thatarrived later (felids, mephitids).Here, we evaluated the trophicsegregation of small carnivorans (Conepatus chinga, Galictuscuja, Lontra provocax, Lyncodon patagonicus, and the introducedNeovison vison) from southern South America, using ageometric morphometric approach, i.e., Principal Componentand Canonical Variate Analysis, to study shape variations andt -tests to study size variation. We also performed CanonicalPhylogenetic Ordination to study the association betweenshape, size, diet, and phylogeny. We identified C. chinga asthe most hypocarnivorous member of the guild, G. cuja, L.patagonicus, and N. vison as hypercarnivores, with L.provocax in an intermediate position. Semiaquatic habits segregateLontra provocax, and partially N. vison, from otherspecies. Significant differences in size were observed betweenall species pairs, except C. chinga and N. vison. Phylogenyaccounts for a very important part of morphological variance,with cladogenetic events between mustelids and mephitidsresponsible for almost 55 % of it. The small carnivoran guildof southern South America is represented by species adaptedto different feeding strategies, with C. chinga and L. provocaxpreying mainly on invertebrates, G. cuja and L. patagonicusspecifically on small vertebrates, and the non-native N. visonwith a highly diverse diet.