Behavioral interactions between a coexisting rodent Micaelamys namaquensis and macroscelid Elephantulus myurus
【摘要】：正 A number of mechanisms are known to influence coexistence in small mammal communities. However, the role ofbehavioral interactions in promoting species coexistence is under-represented in the literature. We studied the behavioral interactionsof two coexisting small mammals, the Namaqua rock mouse Micaelamys namaquensis (Rodentia) and the Rock sengi Elephantulusmyurus (Macroscelidae), which have high dietary and microhabitat overlap. Using wild-caught individuals, intra- andinterspecific dyadic encounters were staged in tanks on a neutral rocky outcrop. Interspecific dyads displayed significantly moreactive avoidance behavior. There was no support for the prediction that the larger, more specialist species, E. myurus, is behaviorallydominant over M. namaquensis. Intraspecific encounters of E. myurus showed significantly more passive avoidance andamicable behavior, whereas the behavior of M. namaquensis did not differ between intra- and inter-specific encounters, both ofwhich were characterized by low levels of aggression and amicability. Thus, due to the lack of aggression, direct competition appearsweak and instead mutual avoidance may reduce or minimize interspecific interactions, potentially promoting coexistence.