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Giant anteater diet analysis: which percentage of scats must be analyzed?

Grant number: 17/26696-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2018
Effective date (End): November 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Applied Zoology
Principal researcher:Rita de Cassia Bianchi
Grantee:Daiana Jeronimo Polli
Supervisor abroad: Matthew E. Gompper
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Missouri, Columbia (UM), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:16/22289-0 - Food habits of anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla Linnaeus, 1758) in Cerrado remaining in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, BP.IC


Although many mammal species have their dietary habits already described, sometimes with adequate sample sizes, there are few on the diet of the giant-anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), a species of great threatened species of extinction. This study aims to describe, through fecal analyzes, the diet of the anteater and improve the basic knowledge about the biology of this species. The adequate application of statistical analysis will allow, in addition to the description of the diet, the elaboration of an adequate protocol for the species through statistical analysis of the data. The completion of the research internship with Professor Matthew Gompper of the University of Missouri in the United States will allow further analysis to be made and therefore the project becomes innovative. Professor Gompper is a renowned researcher in the field of mammalian ecology and conducts relevant research whose results are published in high impact journals. In this way, the student will be able to improve her knowledge in the studies of wild animals, knowing field methodologies, laboratory practices and new statistical analyzes. The analyzes of this project will be based on the data obtained in the diet of the anteater, tests will be carried out to identify the best richness estimator, frequency / absence and biomass comparison and rarefaction curves and multivariate analyzes, such as NMDS and PCAs for the description of the diet. If approved, the student will participate actively in the accomplishment of the proposed analyzes and in the improvement of her knowledge with the participation in other projects developed by the research group allowing the qualification and improvement of the student. It will also strengthen the partnership between the research group that the student is part of and the group of Professor Gompper. (AU)

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