A sharp incisor tool for predator house mice back to the wild

Authors: Renaud, S., Delepine, C., Ledevin, R., Pisanu, B., Quere, J.-P. and Hardouin, E.

Journal: Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

ISSN: 0947-5745

DOI: 10.1111/jzs.12292

Abstract:

The house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus), as a successful invasive species worldwide, has to forage a variety of resources. Subantarctic mice display among the most notable diet shift from the usual omnivorous–granivorous diet, relying on a larger proportion of terrestrial animal prey. In agreement, a recent study of their mandible morphology evidenced an evolution of their mandible shape to optimize incisor biting and hence seize preys. Here, the incisors themselves are the focus of a morphometric analysis combined with a 3D study of their internal structure, aiming at a comparison between subantarctic populations (Guillou island, Kerguelen archipelago) with a range of western European continental, commensal mice. The predatory foraging behavior of Guillou mice was indeed associated with a sharper bevel of the lower incisor, which appears as an efficient morphology for piercing prey. The incisor of these mice also displays a reduced pulp cavity, suggesting slower eruption counterbalancing a reduced abrasion on such soft food material. The dynamics of the ever‐growing incisor may thus allow adaptive incisor sculpting and participate to the success of mice in foraging diverse resources.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/32349/

Source: Manual

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