Areas with denser vegetation and thus lower visibility (left) are more likely to be frequented by larger animals—which have less to fear from predators—than by smaller animals, according to a recent study. Compared with smaller herbivores such as impala, large herbivores such as elephants and rhinos produce dung with relatively lower phosphorus content. These differences in dung are associated with variable availability of nutrients for plants growing in the savanna, the researchers found, suggesting that the animals’ body sizes could influence ecosystem functioning.

© Melanie Lee

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