Seasonal predation by migratory shorebirds recorded in shells of lingulid brachiopods from Baja California, Mexico
Abstract:Repair scars attributed to shorebirds are very frequent in intertidal populations of Glottidia palmeri (Lingulidae, Brachiopoda) from the Gulf of California. The multimodal distribution of the scars along the anterior-posterior axis of the brachiopod shells suggests the existence of strong temporal variation in the intensity of predation. Bootstrap analyses of the scar distributions, size-frequency population data, and growth ring data all indicate that the scars are seasonal and originated in the late fall and/or winter months. The scars record predation by migratory shorebirds that have wintering grounds in Baja California. The anterior-posterior distributions of scars can offer insights into seasonal variation in predation on marine benthos. Also, because seasonal repair scars represent a periodic signal, they may estimate the longevity and growth rates in prey and offer a "sclerochronological clock" analogous to oxygen isotopes or growth rings. The approach proposed here may be applicable also to the fossil record of some shelly organisms.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2000-03-01
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