Building a home from foam - tungara frog foam nest architecture and three-phase construction process

Dalgetty, L. and Kennedy, M.W. (2010) Building a home from foam - tungara frog foam nest architecture and three-phase construction process. Biology Letters, 6(3), pp. 293-296. (doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0934)

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Frogs that build foam nests floating on water face the problems of over-dispersion of the secretions used and eggs being dangerously exposed at the foam : air interface. Nest construction behaviour of t+¦ngara frogs, , has features that may circumvent these problems. Pairs build nests in periodic bursts of foam production and egg deposition, three discrete phases being discernible. The first is characterized by a bubble raft without egg deposition and an approximately linear increase in duration of mixing events with time. This phase may reduce initial over-dispersion of foam precursor materials until a critical concentration is achieved. The main building phase is marked by mixing events and start-to-start intervals being nearly constant in duration. During the final phase, mixing events do not change in duration but intervals between them increase in an exponential-like fashion. Pairs joining a colonial nesting abbreviate their initial phase, presumably by exploiting a pioneer pair's bubble raft, thereby reducing energy and material expenditure, and time exposed to predators. Finally, eggs are deposited only in the centre of nests with a continuously produced, approximately 1 cm deep egg-free cortex that protectively encloses hatched larvae in stranded nests.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kennedy, Professor Malcolm
Authors: Dalgetty, L., and Kennedy, M.W.
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Biology Letters
ISSN (Online):1744-957X
Published Online:27 January 2010

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
340311Foam nests of the frog Leptodactylus fucusMalcolm KennedyCarnegie UK Trust (CARNEGIE)UNSPECIFIEDLife Sciences Animal Biology
240511Froth, Foam and Bubble 2: The Biochemistry and Biophysical Behaviour of Native and Recombinant Foam-Forming ProteinsMalcolm KennedyWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)048747/Z/96/BLife Sciences Animal Biology