Can it be concluded that the mammals have indentical feeding niches if two species of mammals living in the same habiat both eat insects?Based on this alone, can it be concluded that the mammals...

Can it be concluded that the mammals have indentical feeding niches if two species of mammals living in the same habiat both eat insects?

Based on this alone, can it be concluded that the mammals have indentical feeding niches?

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trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Absolutely not. Two species of mammals, while they are both occupying the same habitat, do not necessarily have to have identical niches. For example, one specie may occupy the top of a tree in a particular habitat, while the other specie may live at the base of the tree. While they are both eating insects, it does not mean they are eating the same type of insects. And, since one specie of mammal is living above and the other below, there will not be competition for the same food source. Also, two species may live in the same habitat, but one may be nocturnal, and hunt at night for its insect meal, while the other may hunt during the day. Although both live in the same habitat, there wouldn't be any competition for food because their niches would be vastly different. Gauses' famous experiment with Paramecia aurelia and Paramecia caudata illustrated that when two different species compete for  the same food source, in the same location at the same time, (in this case, they were both in a test tube with a food source) the one best adapted will survive and the other specie will perish. In nature, although many organisms share a habitat, by varying their niches, more  organisms will survive.

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