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Fearless tadpoles give invaders the edge

Clueless larvae don’t shrink from nonnative turtles, study suggests

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5:24pm, July 21, 2010

Foreign turtles may do so well at invading Europe in part because they get the drop on tadpoles more readily than their native counterparts.

Several kinds of Spanish tadpoles were less likely to grow wary at the presence of newly arrived turtle species compared with their longtime native predators, according to a study by Nuria Polo-Cavia of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and her colleagues.

The invaders could thus be gaining an advantage over natives in competing for food, Polo-Cavia and her colleagues suggest in a paper to appear in Animal Behaviour.

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