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antipredator behaviour.docx

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Brett Beston

March 25 , 2013 Psych 2TT3: Animal Behaviour Antipredator Behaviour Tradeoffs Associated with Predation - ethologist who study predator tactics focus on tradeoffs more than on any specific behaviour - value of fighting in terms of animal behaviour Predation - the central challenge for most animals: staying alive - grow until they can reproduce - example: sea turtles - small proportion of animals that reach sexual maturity - how fleeing predators is beneficial Antipredatory Behaviour in Humans? - few large predators - large animals - poisonous spp Anti-Car Accident Behaviour in Humans - exercise: list at least three adaptations by pedestrians that reduce their probability of being hit by cars  look both ways  use crosswalks  follow the lights  walking on sidewalks or left side of road (avoid car habitat = avoidance in space_  cross roads at green peds light (avoidance in time)  watch both sides before and during crossing (visual inspection) Antipredatory Behaviour - evolutionary biology of antipredatory behaviour - antipredatory behaviour and learning - antipredatory behaviour and social learning - schools of fish: confuses the behaviour, increases the survival of individuals if they are in a group Antipredator Behaviour in Animals: What Does it Look Life - in poorly light environments (ocean) ink can distract predators - ink serves as an alarm signal (chemical cues) - snakes rely heavily on ground squirrels for a source of food: ground squirrels have developed strategies to deal with presence of snakes - mob, bight and harass snakes, through dirt and sticks, emit alarm calls as snakes rely on being sneaky - serum-to-venom binding levels: measure of immunological defense against snake bites - rapid rise until 30 days of age - corresponds to leaving their burrows - serum-to-venom increases from 18 days of age to 30n days - spike happens when the squirrels emerge from the nest: natural history of when they start to face the risk of predators Prey Approaching their Predators - this paradoxical behaviour does have its advantages - only approach lions and cheetahs, but never approach wild dogs and hyenas - gazelle approach and entice the cheetah:  prey retreats  escalade into prey attacking predator  predator attacking prey  predator harassment to a certain degree  adopt different tactics depending on predators - there are some advantages depending on the type of predator they actually face - cheetahs and lions rely on the element of surprise: effective at short and fast chases, hyenas and dogs are marathon runners - cheetahs can only run for a very limited period of time as a result if you break the element of surprise you break one of their advantages of capturing a prey; this tactic does not work as well in hyenas and wild dogs - hyenas work in organized groups and operate as in a strategized fight - gazelles on their own don’t tend to approach predators, if they are in a group they will do so - costs:  more conspicuous to predators  increased risk of mortality - then why does this behaviour persist - slight dilution of risk when they are in a group - dilutes individual risk - cheetah respond to inspection by moving away sooner and travel further during rest periods - 0-200: relatively close by - as gazelle group size increases, cheetahs start to walk further away Balancing Feeding and Anti-Predatory Behaviour - questions:  food and patch choice – should an animal prefer lesser quality food at a safer place?  Feed (head down) or scan for predators (head up)?  Keep feeding or flee?  Stay in a shelter or resume feeding?  What is the optimal amount of fat?
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