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Revista de Biología Tropical

On-line version ISSN 0034-7744Print version ISSN 0034-7744


COOK, William M.; TIMM, Robert M.  and  HYMAN, Dena E.. Swimming ability in three Costa Rican dry forest rodents. Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2001, vol.49, n.3-4, pp.1177-1181. ISSN 0034-7744.

We investigated the swimming abilities of three Costa Rican dry forest rodents (Coues’ rice rat, Oryzomys couesi, hispid cotton rat, Sigmodon hispidus, and spiny pocket mouse, Liomys salvini) associated with a large marsh, Laguna Palo Verde, using 90 s swim trials in a plastic container. Swimming ability was evaluated by observing the use of limbs and tail in the water, inclination to the surface, and diving and floating behavior. Rice rats could float, swim and dive, suggesting that they can exploit surface and underwater resources. Cotton rats swam at the water’s surface, but were less skilled swimmers than rice rats. Spiny pocket mice tired quickly and had difficulty staying at the water’s surface. Results suggest that differential swimming ability is related to the distribution of the three sympatric species within the marsh and adjacent forest habitats

Keywords : Dry forest; Liomys salvini; Oryzomys couesi; Sigmodon hispidus; swimming ability.

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