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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 27, 2017

Direct evidence of scavenging behaviour in the garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus)

Francisco Díaz-Ruiz, Noelia de Diego, Ana Eugenia Santamaría, Julio C. Domínguez, Alex Galgo, Jesús T. García, Pedro P. Olea and Javier Viñuela
From the journal Mammalia


It is known that the garden dormouse Eliomys quercinus includes meat in its diet, however, it is unclear if scavenging is a widespread behaviour, as it is difficult to observe in the wild. Here, we document scavenging behaviour for the species based on direct evidence. We captured five garden dormice with live traps using dead baits, which were partially or totally consumed. Additionally, a camera-trap recorded how at least one garden dormouse visited and actively consumed the bait on 12 occasions during the study. These observations suggest that carrion may play an important role in the garden dormouse’s diet, opening a new ecological unexplored topic for this species.


This study was funded by projects TOPIGEPLA (Fundación BBVA Research Projects, 2014 call) and Movi-Topi (I+D National Plan Project, CGL2015-71255-P). F. Díaz-Ruiz was supported by a “Juan de la Cierva” research contract (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Funder Id: 10.13039/501100004837, FJCI-2015-24949) from the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness. Dr. Kryštufek and two anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on a previous version of the manuscript. Dr. C. Ferreira (Trent University, Canada) carefully revised the English text.


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Received: 2017-07-03
Accepted: 2017-10-26
Published Online: 2017-11-27
Published in Print: 2018-09-25

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