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Studying mammals: The opportunists

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Many mammals are food specialists, with complex adaptations that gear them toward a particular food source. So how do the omnivores survive and prosper without these fancy evolutionary features? This free course, Studying mammals: The opportunists, examines the physiology, diet and strategies of some of these opportunistic feeders. It is the sixth course in the Studying mammals series.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • explain the concept of energy transfer between trophic levels
  • outline the usefulness and limitations of food chains and food webs
  • using examples, weigh up the value of dietary specialisation and of omnivory
  • summarise the physiological changes linked with ‘hibernation’ in grizzly bears
  • give examples of variations in diet and lifestyle among the bear family.

First Published: 09/08/2012

Updated: 16/03/2016

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