Biologists have long believed that predators are more concerned about the quantity of their food than quality, but a recent study shows that nutritional value dictates how robber beetles choose their prey. An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of Exeter and Oxford, gathered more than 500 beetles in Denmark. A group of beetles was allowed to choose from different sources of fat and protein from food sources, while the other group received a fixed diet where their choice was limited. Beetles who could choose their food make adjustments to fat and protein intake. The success of their selection is obvious when they produce more eggs than the restricted diet group. The latest Bio Bulletin of the museum's scientific newsletter looks at the complex relationship between the hunter and wildlife hunters. Visitors to AMNH can see the video in the Biodiversity Hall by March 1, 2012
Research newsletters are produced by the National Center for Scientific Literacy, Education and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Natural History Museum. Learn more about the scientific bulletins at http://www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins/.
Royal Society Notifications B: Optimal Feeding for Specific Nutrients in Predatory Beetles
Research Council on Biotechnology and Biological Sciences (BBSRC)
Environmental Research Council