During our 2009 field season, Tanya Jones (my field assitant in 2009-2010) was drying some Astrocaryum seeds to take as samples on a shelf in our carbet. The problem was, they kept disappearing. Tanya thought I had been taking them*, but I had done no such thing.
So we set up a video trap to catch the culprit:
Mystery solved! So the lesson is, when you need to dry Astrocaryum, make sure they are in a protected location.
*I admit, I did like smashing them and trying to eat the flesh…don’t bother, it is very hard!
Update! Pierre-Michel Forget (the king of tropical forest seed dispersal specialists!) has directed my attention to a cool paper that describes the phenomenon we are seeing here, namely scatterhoarding by a Spiny Rat (Proechimys spp.). Check it out here!
Wait….I see nothing but a dark screen. Who did it???
You have to press play.
Sean. Great video. Didn’t you ever read my 1991 paper in Tropical Ecology ?Forget, P.-M. 1991b. Scatterhoarding of Astrocaryum paramaca by Proechimys in French Guiana: comparison with Myoprocta exilis. Tropical Ecology 32: 155-167. http://carapa.org/data/File/References/1991Forget_TropEcol_Astrocaryum_PAR.pdf
No, but it is very applicable here, and I will read it! Thanks Pierre-Michel!