Tropical biology and ships: Animal behavior research with background whistles


For this project, I set up to do fieldwork in Barro Colorado Island, Panama. I aimed to do field surveys in the tropical rainforest to explore the diversity of arachnids and to study their defensive mechanisms when trying to minimize the pressure exerted by predators. I did day and nighttime field surveys, behavioral experiments in the field, as well as laboratory trials studying the biomechanics of their locomotion. I built upon my previous experience and research in tropical rainforests of Central America –particularly Costa Rica– to gather enough data to understand how the ecological and behavioral defenses of a certain group of arachnids – daddy-long-legs– have been shaped by predation pressure throughout evolution. Those results will be included in my dissertation and consequently in peer-reviewed publications. Such outcomes will have broad evolutionary biology implications, and could also inform biomechanics and biomedical research. 

Ignacio Escalante
Publication date: 
August 27, 2016
Publication type: 
Student Research