Characteristics and significance of the caches of eastern woodrats (Neotoma floridana )

TitleCharacteristics and significance of the caches of eastern woodrats (Neotoma floridana )
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsPost, DM, Reichman, OJ, Wooster, D
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Pagination688 -692
Accession NumberKNZ00423
Keywordscaching, dens, eastern woodrats, energy, food storage, Neotoma floridana

Caches from eastern woodrat (Neotoma floridana) dens were analyzed for plant-species composition, abundance, and energy content. Body mass and sex of den residents and the den volume were measured to determine correlations with energy content of caches. We found no difference between males and females in den volume or energy content of caches. However, a positive correlation existed between body mass of the cache owner and the amount of energy stored in the cache, such that larger individuals had a disproportionately greater reserve of energy stored in caches than did smaller individuals. The disparity suggests that small individuals are forced to forage outside the den more often than large individuals.