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

Francisco Díaz-Ruiz 1 , 2 , Noelia de Diego 3 , Ana Eugenia Santamaría 2 , 3 , Julio C. Domínguez 2 , Alex Galgo 3 , Jesús T. García 2 , Pedro P. Olea 3 ,  and Javier Viñuela 2
  • 1 Biogeography, Diversity and Conservation Research Team, Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Malaga, E-29071, Malaga, Spain
  • 2 Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC; CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo, 12, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain
  • 3 Departamento de Ecología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Francisco Díaz-Ruiz
  • Corresponding author
  • Biogeography, Diversity and Conservation Research Team, Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Malaga, E-29071, Malaga, Spain
  • Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC; CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo, 12, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain
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, Noelia de Diego, Ana Eugenia Santamaría
  • Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC; CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo, 12, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain
  • Departamento de Ecología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
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, Julio C. Domínguez
  • Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC; CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo, 12, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain
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, Alex Galgo, Jesús T. García
  • Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC; CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo, 12, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain
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, Pedro P. Olea and Javier Viñuela
  • Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC; CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo, 12, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain
  • Search for other articles:
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Abstract

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.

    • Supplementary material
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Mammalia is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the inventory, analysis and interpretation of Mammalian diversity. It publishes original results on all aspects of systematics (comparative, functional and evolutionary morphology; morphometrics; phylogeny; biogeography; taxonomy and nomenclature), biology, ecology and conservation of mammals.

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