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Encyclopedia > Predation
A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk eating a California Vole

In ecology, predation describes a biological interaction where a predator organism feeds on another living organism or organisms known as prey.[1] Predators may or may not kill their prey prior to feeding on them. The other main category of consumption is detritivory, the consumption of dead organic material (detritus). It can at times be difficult to separate the two feeding behaviors[1], for example where parasitic species prey on a host organism and then lay their eggs on it for their offspring to feed on its decaying corpse. The key characteristic of predation however is the predator's direct impact on the prey population. On the other hand, detritivores simply eat what is available and have no direct impact on the 'donor' organism(s). Predator can refer to: In biology and ecology, a predator is an animal or other organism that hunts and kills other organisms for food An Apex predator, a predator which is not preyed upon as a species by other predators In criminology, predator is a term used to describe some... Look up prey in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 688 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1967 × 1714 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 688 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1967 × 1714 pixel, file size: 1. ... Binomial name (Gmelin, 1788) The Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a medium-sized bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the chickenhawk. ... Species See text The genus Microtus is a group of voles found in North America and northern Europe and Asia. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Biological interactions result from the fact that organisms in an ecosystem interact with each other, in the natural world, no organism is an autonomous entity isolated from its surroundings. ... Flowchart to determine if a species is autotroph, heterotroph, or a subtype A heterotroph (Greek heterone = (an)other and trophe = nutrition) is an organism that requires organic substrates to get its carbon for growth and development. ... A dung beetle rolling a ball of dung Detritivores (also known as saprophages, detrivores or detritus feeders) are organisms that recycle detritus (decomposing organic material), returning it into the food chain. ... Detritus may refer to: In geology, detritus is the name for loose fragments of rock that have been worn away by erosion. ...

Contents

Classification of predators

The unifying theme in all classifications of predation is the predator lowering the fitness of its prey, or put another way, it reduces its prey's chances of survival, reproduction, or both. Ways of classifying predation surveyed here include grouping by trophic level or diet, by specialization, and by the nature of their interaction with prey. Fitness (often denoted in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory. ... In ecology, the trophic level (Greek trophē, food) is the position that an organism occupies in a food chain - what it eats, and what eats it. ...


Functional classification

Classification of predators by the extent to which they feed on and interact with their prey is one way ecologists may wish to categorize the different types of predation. Instead of focusing on what they eat, this system classifies predators by the way in which they eat, and the general nature of the interaction between predator and prey species. Two factors are considered here: How close the predator and prey are physically (in the latter two cases the term prey may be replaced with host. Additionally, whether or not the prey are directly killed by the predator is considered, with the first and last cases involving certain death.


True predation

Lion and cub eating a Cape Buffalo

A true predator is one which kills and eats another organism. Whereas other types of predator all harm their prey in some way, this form results in their instant death. Some predators kill large prey and dismember or chew it prior to eating it, such as a jaguar, while others may eat their (usually much smaller) prey whole, as does a bottlenose dolphin or any snake. In some cases the prey organism may die in the mouth or digestive system of the predator. Baleen whales, for example, eat millions of microscopic plankton at once, the prey being broken down well after entering the whale. Seed predation is another form of true predation, as seeds represent potential organisms. Predators of this classification need not eat prey entirely, for example some predators cannot digest bones, while others can. Some may merely eat only part of an organism, as in grazing below, but still consistently cause its direct death. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (2000 × 1333 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (2000 × 1333 pixel, file size: 1. ... For other uses, see Lion (disambiguation). ... Species Syncerus caffer Subspecies Syncerus is a genus of bovines found in Africa, the only extant member of which is the African Buffalo, or Cape Buffalo. ... For other uses, see Jaguar (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Montagu, 1821 Bottlenose Dolphin range (in blue) The Bottlenose Dolphin is the most common and well-known dolphin. ... Infraorders and Families Alethinophidia - Nopcsa, 1923 Acrochordidae- Bonaparte, 1831 Aniliidae - Stejneger, 1907 Anomochilidae - Cundall, Wallach & Rossman, 1993 Atractaspididae - Günther, 1858 Boidae - Gray, 1825 Bolyeriidae - Hoffstetter, 1946 Colubridae - Oppel, 1811 Cylindrophiidae - Fitzinger, 1843 Elapidae - F. Boie, 1827 Loxocemidae - Cope, 1861 Pythonidae - Fitzinger, 1826 Tropidophiidae - Brongersma, 1951 Uropeltidae - Müller, 1832... The digestive system is the organ system that breaks down and absorbs nutrients that are essential for growth and maintenance. ... Diversity Around 15 species; see list of cetaceans or below. ... Seed predation includes any process inflicted on a plant’s seeds by an animal that results in the inviability of the seed. ... A ripe red jalapeño cut open to show the seeds For other uses, see Seed (disambiguation). ... This article is about the skeletal organs. ...


Grazing

Grazing organisms may also kill their prey species, but this is seldom the case. While some herbivores like zooplankton live on unicellular phytoplankton and have no choice but to kill their prey, many only eat a small part of the plant. Grazing livestock may pull some grass out at the roots, but most is simply grazed upon, allowing the plant to regrow once again. Kelp is frequently grazed in subtidal kelp forests, but regrows at the base of the blade continuously to cope with browsing pressure. Animals may also be 'grazed' upon; female mosquitos land on hosts briefly to gain sufficient proteins for the development of their offspring. Starfish may be grazed on, being capable of regenerating lost arms. Grazing To feed on growing herbage, attached algae, or phytoplankton. ... Photomontage of plankton organisms Plankton is the aggregate community of weakly swimming but mostly drifting small organisms that inhabit the water column of the ocean, seas, and bodies of freshwater. ... Insert non-formatted text hereLink title Families Alariaceae Chordaceae Laminariaceae Lessoniaceae Phyllariaceae Pseudochordaceae For other uses, see Kelp (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Mosquito (disambiguation). ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ... Orders Brisingida (100 species[1]) Forcipulatida (300 species[2]) Paxillosida (255 species[3]) Notomyotida (75 species[4]) Spinulosida (120 species[5]) Valvatida (695 species[6]) Velatida (200 species[7]) For other uses, see Starfish (disambiguation). ...


Parasitism

Parasites can at times be difficult to distinguish from grazers. Their feeding behavior is similar in many ways, however they are noted for their close association with their host species. While a grazing species such as an elephant may travel many kilometers in a single day, grazing on many plants in the process, parasites form very close associations with their hosts, usually having only one or at most a few in their lifetime. This close living arrangement may be described by the term symbiosis, 'living together,' but unlike mutualism the association significantly reduces the fitness of the host. Parasitic organisms range from the macroscopic mistletoe, a parasitic plant, to microscopic internal parasties such as cholera. Some species however have more loose associations with their hosts. Lepidoptera larvae may feed parasitically on only a single plant, or they may graze on several nearby plants. It is therefore wise to treat this classification system as a continuum rather than four isolated forms. Low Temperature Scanning Electron Microscope (LTSEM) image of Varroa destructor on a honey bee host Mites parasitising a harvestman Parasitism is one version of symbiosis (living together), a phenomenon in which two organisms which are phylogenetically unrelated co-exist over a prolonged period of time, usually the lifetime of one... Genera and Species Loxodonta Loxodonta cyclotis Loxodonta africana Elephas Elephas maximus Elephas antiquus † Elephas beyeri † Elephas celebensis † Elephas cypriotes † Elephas ekorensis † Elephas falconeri † Elephas iolensis † Elephas planifrons † Elephas platycephalus † Elephas recki † Stegodon † Mammuthus † Elephantidae (the elephants) is a family of pachyderm, and the only remaining family in the order Proboscidea... For other uses, see Symbiosis (disambiguation). ... In biology, mutualism is an interaction between two or more species, where both species derive benefit. ... Fitness (often denoted in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory. ... Families Santalaceae (Viscaceae) Loranthaceae Misodendraceae Mistletoe Viscum album is a plant parasitic on the branches of a tree or shrub. ... About 4,100 species in approximately 19 families of flowering plants are either partly or completely parasitic on other plants [1]. Parasitic plants have a modified root, the haustorium, that penetrates the host plant and connects to the xylem or phloem or both. ... Cholera (or Asiatic cholera or epidemic cholera) is a severe diarrheal disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. ... The order Lepidoptera is the second most speciose order in the class Insecta and includes the butterflies, moths and skippers. ...


Parasitoidism

Parasitoids are organisms living in or on their host and feeding directly upon it, eventually leading to its death. They are much like parasites in their close symbiotic relationship with their host or hosts. Like the previous two classifications parasitoid predators do not kill their hosts instantly. However, unlike parasites, they are very similar to true predators in that the fate of their prey is quite inevitable death. A well known example of a parasitoids are the ichneumon wasps, solitary insects living a free life as an adult, then laying eggs on or in another species such as a caterpillar. Its larva(e) feed on the growing host causing it little harm at first, but soon devouring the internal organs until finally destroying the nervous system resulting in prey death. By this stage the young wasp(s) are developed sufficiently to move to the next stage in their life cycle. Though limited mainly to the insect order Hymenoptera, parasitoids make up as much as 10% of all insect species.[2] This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Families Braconidae Ichneumonidae The Ichneumon wasps are insects classified in the parasitica group of the suborder Apocrita within the Order Hymenoptera. ... The nervous system of an animal coordinates the activity of the muscles, monitors the organs, constructs and also stops input from the senses, and initiates actions. ... Suborders Apocrita Symphyta Hymenoptera is one of the larger orders of insects, comprising the sawflies, wasps, bees, and ants. ...


Degree of specialization

Further information: Generalist and specialist species

Among predators there is a large degree of specialization. Many predators specialize in hunting only one species of prey. Others are more opportunistic and will kill and eat almost anything (examples: humans and dogs). The specialists are usually particularly well suited to capturing their preferred prey. The prey in turn, are often equally suited to escape that predator. This is called an evolutionary arms race and tends to keep the populations of both species in equilibrium. Some predators specialize in certain classes of prey, not just single species. Almost all will switch to other prey (with varying degrees of success) when the preferred target is extremely scarce, and they may also resort to scavenging or a herbivorous diet if possible. A generalist species is able to thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions, and if a heterotroph, has a varied diet. ... This article is about modern humans. ... Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. ... The term arms race in its original usage describes a competition between two or more parties for military supremacy. ... For a person who scavenges, see Waste picker. ...


Trophic level

Predators are often another organism's prey, and likewise prey are often predators. Though birds prey on insects, they may in turn be prey for snakes, which may themselves be the prey of hawks. One way of classifying predators is by trophic level. Organisms which feed on autotrophs, the producers of the trophic pyramid, are known as herbivores or primary consumers; those that feed on heterotrophs such as animals are known as secondary consumers. Secondary consumers are a type of carnivore, but there are also tertiary consumers eating these carnivores, quaternary consumers eating them, and so fourth. Because only a fraction of energy is passed on to the next level, this hierarchy of predation must end somewhere, and very seldom goes higher than five or six levels. A predator at the top of any food chain (that is, one that is preyed upon by no organism) is called an apex predator; examples include the orca, tiger and crocodile and even omnivorous humans. A superpredator in one environment may not retain this position if introduced to another habitat, however. For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation). ... Orders Subclass Apterygota Archaeognatha (bristletails) Thysanura (silverfish) Subclass Pterygota Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic) Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Superorder Exopterygota Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) Mantophasmatodea (gladiators) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Embioptera (webspinners) Zoraptera (angel insects) Dermaptera (earwigs) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, etc) Phasmatodea (stick insects) Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Psocoptera... Infraorders and Families Alethinophidia - Nopcsa, 1923 Acrochordidae- Bonaparte, 1831 Aniliidae - Stejneger, 1907 Anomochilidae - Cundall, Wallach & Rossman, 1993 Atractaspididae - Günther, 1858 Boidae - Gray, 1825 Bolyeriidae - Hoffstetter, 1946 Colubridae - Oppel, 1811 Cylindrophiidae - Fitzinger, 1843 Elapidae - F. Boie, 1827 Loxocemidae - Cope, 1861 Pythonidae - Fitzinger, 1826 Tropidophiidae - Brongersma, 1951 Uropeltidae - Müller, 1832... Genera Accipiter Micronisus Melierax Urotriorchis Erythrotriorchis The term hawk refers to birds of prey in any of three senses: Strictly, to mean any of the species in the bird sub-family Accipitrinae in the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis, and Megatriorchis. ... In ecology, the trophic level (Greek trophē, food) is the position that an organism occupies in a food chain - what it eats, and what eats it. ... Green (from chlorophyll) fronds of a maidenhair fern: a photoautotroph Flowchart to determine if a species is autotroph, heterotroph, or a subtype An autotroph (from the Greek autos = self and trophe = nutrition) is an organism that produces complex organic compounds from simple inorganic molecules and an external source of energy... An ecological pyramid. ... A deer and two fawns feeding on some foliage A herbivore is often defined as any organism that eats only plants[1]. By that definition, many fungi, some bacteria, many animals, about 1% of flowering plants and some protists can be considered herbivores. ... Flowchart to determine if a species is autotroph, heterotroph, or a subtype A heterotroph (Greek heterone = (an)other and trophe = nutrition) is an organism that requires organic substrates to get its carbon for growth and development. ... This tigers sharp teeth and strong jaws are the classical physical traits expected from carnivorous mammalian predators A carnivore (IPA: ), meaning meat eater (Latin carne meaning flesh and vorare meaning to devour), is an animal that eats a diet consisting mainly of meat, whether it comes from live animals... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Apex predators (also alpha predators, superpredators, or top-level predators) are predators that, as adults, are not normally preyed upon in the wild in significant parts of their ranges. ... Binomial name Orcinus orca Linnaeus, 1758 Orca range (in blue) The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... For other uses, see Tiger (disambiguation). ... Genera Mecistops Crocodylus Osteolaemus See full taxonomy. ... This article is about modern humans. ...


The problem with this system of classification is that many organisms eat from multiple levels of the food chain. A carnivore may eat both secondary or tertiary consumers, and its prey may itself be difficult to classify for similar reasons. Organisms showing both carnivory and herbivory are known as omnivores. Even supposedly strict herbivores may supplement their diet with meat. Carnivorous plants would be very difficult to fit into this classification, producing their own food but also digesting anything that they may trap. Organisms which eat detritivores would also be difficult to classify by such a scheme. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Nepenthes mirabilis in flower, growing on a road cut in Palau Carnivorous plants (sometimes called insectivorous plants) are plants that derive some or most of their nutrients (but not energy) from trapping and consuming animals or protozoans, most focusing on insects and other arthropods. ... A dung beetle rolling a ball of dung Detritivores (also known as saprophages, detrivores or detritus feeders) are organisms that recycle detritus (decomposing organic material), returning it into the food chain. ...


Predation as competition

An alternative view offered by Richard Dawkins is of predation is a form of competition: the genes of both the predator and prey are competing for the body (or 'survival machine') of the prey organism.[3] This is best understood in the context of the gene centered view of evolution. Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... Competition within and between species is an important topic in biology, specifically, in the field of ecology. ... For other uses, see Gene (disambiguation). ... Survival machine is a concept, first proposed by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene, whereby all organisms should be considered as the protection genes construct to survive their surroundings in order to propagate. ... The gene-centered view of evolution, gene selection theory or selfish gene theory holds that natural selection acts through differential survival of competing genes, increasing the frequency of those alleles whose phenotypic effects successfully promote their own propagation. ...


Ecological role

Predators may increase the biodiversity of communities by preventing a single species from becoming dominant. Such predators are known as keystone species, may have a profound influence on the balance of organisms in a particular ecosystem. Introduction or removal of this predator, or changes in its population density, can have drastic cascading effects on the equilibrium of many other populations in the ecosystem. For example, grazers of a grassland may prevent a single dominant species from taking over.[4] Rainforests are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth Biodiversity is the variation of taxonomic life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ...


Adaptations and behavior

The act of predation can be broken down into a maximum of four stages: Detection of prey, attack, capture and finally consumption.[5] The relationship between predator and prey is one which is beneficial to the predator, and detrimental to the prey species. This means that, at each applicable stage, predator and prey species are in an evolutionary arms race maximize their respective abilities to obtain food or avoid being eaten. This interaction has resulted in a vast array of adaptations in both groups. An evolutionary arms race is an evolutionary struggle between a predator species and its prey (including parasitism) that is said to resemble an arms race. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


General

Camouflage of the dead leaf mantis makes it less visible to both its predators and prey.

One adaptation helping both predators and prey avoid detection is camouflage, a form of crypsis where species have an appearance which helps them blend into the background. Camouflage consists of not only color, but also shape and pattern. The background upon which the organism is seen can be both its environment (e.g. the praying mantis to the right resembling dead leaves) other organisms (e.g. zebras' stripes blend in with each other in a herd, making it difficult for lions to focus on a single target). The more convincing camouflage is, the more likely it is that the organism will go unseen. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1952x1367, 562 KB) Dead Leaf mantis Deroplatys desiccata at Bugworld in Bristol Zoo, Bristol, England. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1952x1367, 562 KB) Dead Leaf mantis Deroplatys desiccata at Bugworld in Bristol Zoo, Bristol, England. ... A praying mantis, or praying mantid, is the common name for an insect of the order Mantodea. ... Countershaded Ibex are almost invisible in the Israeli desert. ... Crypsis is a phenomena where an organisms appearance allows it to blend well into its environment. ... A praying mantis, or praying mantid, is the common name for an insect of the order Mantodea. ... For other uses, see Zebra (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Lion (disambiguation). ...

Mimicry in Automeris io

Mimicry is a related form of deception where an organism has a similar appearance to another species. One such example is the drone fly, which looks a lot like a bee, yet is completely harmless as it cannot sting at all. Another example of batesian mimicry is the io moth, (Automeris io), which has markings on its wings which resemble an owl's eyes. When an insectivorous predator disturbs the moth, it reveals its hind wings, temporarily startling the predator and giving it time to escape. Predators may also use mimicry to lure their prey, however. Female fireflies of the genus Photuris, for example, copy the light signals of other species, thereby attracting male fireflies which are then captured and eaten.[6] Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 441 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 564 pixel, file size: 224 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 441 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 564 pixel, file size: 224 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... A mimic is any species that has evolved to appear similar to another successful species in order to dupe predators into avoiding the mimic, or dupe prey into approaching the mimic. ... Binomial name Eristalis tenax (Linnaeus, 1758) Eristalis tenax is a European hoverfly, also known as the drone fly. ... For other uses, see Western honey bee and Bee (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Fabricius, 1775 The Io moth (Automeris io) is a very colorful North American moth in the Saturniidae family. ... For the science fiction television series, see Firefly (TV series). ... Species P. pennsylvanicus etc. ...

Predator

While successful predation results in a gain of energy, hunting invariably involves energetic costs as well. When hunger is not an issue, most predators will generally not seek to attack prey since the costs outweigh the benefits. For instance, a large predatory fish like a shark that is well fed in an aquarium will typically ignore the smaller fish swimming around it (while the prey fish take advantage of the fact that the apex predator is apparently uninterested). Surplus killing represents a deviation from this type of behaviour. The treatment of consumption in terms of cost-benefit analysis is known as optimal foraging theory, and has been quite successful in the study of animal behavior. Costs and benefits are generally considered in energy gain per unit time, though other factors are also important, such as essential nutrients that have no caloric value but are necessary for survival and health. Hunger is a feeling experienced when the glycogen level of the liver falls below a threshold, usually followed by a desire to eat. ... For other uses, see Shark (disambiguation). ... “Aquaria” redirects here. ... Surplus killing is the behavior predators exhibit when they kill more prey than they can immediately use. ... Cost-benefit analysis is an important technique for project appraisal: the process of weighing the total expected costs against the total expected benefits of one or more actions in order to choose the best or most profitable option. ... A central concern of ecology has traditionally been foraging behavior. ... Ethology is the scientific study of animal behaviour (particularly of social animals such as primates and canids), and is a branch of zoology. ... An essential nutrient is a nutrient required for normal body functioning that cannot be synthesized by the body. ...


It has been observed that well-fed predator animals in a lax captivity (for instance, pet or farm animals) will usually differentiate between putative prey animals who are familiar co-inhabitants in the same human area from wild ones outside the area. This interaction can range from peaceful coexistence to close companionship; motivation to ignore the predatory instinct may result from mutual advantage or fear of reprisal from human masters who have made clear that harming co-inhabitants will not be tolerated. Pet cats and pet mice, for example, may live together in the same human residence without incident as companions. Pet cats and pet dogs under human mastership often depend on each other for warmth, companionship, and even protection, particularly in rural areas. It has been suggested that Residential pets be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Farm (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758 Synonyms Felis lybica invalid junior synonym The cat (or domestic cat, house cat) is a small carnivorous mammal. ... Feral mouse A mouse (plural mice) is a rodent that belongs to one of numerous species of small mammals. ... Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. ...


Anti-predator

Silver gulls will often mob predators who approach their nesting site. ...

Mobbing behavior

Mobbing behavior occurs when a species turns the tables on their predator by cooperatively attacking or harassing it. This is most frequently seen in birds, though it is also known to occur in other social animals. For example, nesting gull colonies are widely seen to attack intruders, including humans. Costs of mobbing behavior include the risk of engaging with predators, as well as energy expended in the process; mockingbirds can effectively force a cat or dog to seek something less troublesome. One mockingbird might fly in front of the cat or dog, enticing it to lunge, while another pecks at the cat or dog from behind. While mobbing has evolved independently in many species, it only tends to be present in those whose young are frequently preyed on, especially birds. It may compliment cryptic behavior in the offspring themselves, such as camouflage and hiding. Mobbing calls may be made prior to or during engagement in harassment. The Great Tit, a passerine bird, employs both mobbing behavior and alarm calls. ... Co-operation or co-operative behaviours are terms used to describe behaviours by biological organisms which are beneficial to other members of the same species. ... For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation). ... “Seagull” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Mockingbird (disambiguation). ... In evolutionary biology, convergent evolution is the process whereby organisms not closely related, independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches. ... Crypsis is a phenomena where an organisms appearance allows it to blend well into its environment. ... The word HIDING has two completely different meanings, deriving from different roots (and etymologies?) : from the verb to hide in the sense of render inconspicuous for a specific application in computer programming see Hidden surface determination from (the verb deriving from) the noun hide, i. ...


Mobbing behavior has functions beyond driving the predator away. Mobbing draws attention to the predator, making stealth attacks impossible. Mobbing also plays a critical role in the identification of predators and inter-generational learning about predator identification. Reintroduction of species is often unsuccessful because the established population lacks this cultural knowledge of how to identify local predators. Scientists are exploring ways to train populations to identify and respond to predators before releasing them into the wild. [7]


Mobbing can be an interspecies activity: it is common for birds to respond to mobbing calls of a different species. Many birds will show up at the sight of mobbing and watch and call, but not participate. It should also be noted that some species can be on both ends of a mobbing attack; Crows are frequently mobbed by smaller songbirds, as they prey on eggs and young from these birds' nests, but these same crows will cooperate with smaller birds to drive away Hawks or larger mammalian predators. On occasion, birds will mob animals that pose no threat.


Black-headed Gulls are one species which aggressively engages intruding predators, such as Carrion Crows. Experiments on this species by Hans Kruuk involved placing hen eggs at intervals from a nesting colony, and recording the percentage of successful predation events as well as the probability of the crow being subjected to mobbing.[8] The results showed decreasing mobbing with increased distance from the nest, which was correlated with increased predation success. Mobbing may function by reducing the predator's ability to locate nests, as predators cannot focus on locating eggs while they are under direct attack. Binomial name Larus ridibundus Linnaeus, 1766 The Black-headed Gull, (Larus ridibundus), is a small gull which breeds in much of Europe and Asia, and also in coastal eastern Canada. ... Binomial name Corvus corone Linnaeus, 1758 Carrion Crow range Carrion Crow (rear) The Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) is a member of the passerine order of birds and the crow family which is native to western Europe and eastern Asia. ...


Advertising unprofitability

Thomson's Gazelles exhibit stotting behavior.

Once a predator has detected its prey, one would expect it to pursue it. However, it is not always profitable for the predator to do so. Consider the example of a Thomson's Gazelle being spotted by a predator. Giving chase to prey requires a sacrifice in energy. If, however, there is some way the prey species can convey the information that it is unprofitable, energy will be saved by both organisms. Thomson's Gazelles are hunted by species such as lions and cheetahs. When they see the predator approach, they may start to run away, but then slow down and stot. Stotting describes a behavior involving jumping into the air with the legs kept straight and stiff, and the white rear fully visible. Obviously this behavior is maladaptive if they hope to outrun the predator, so it must serve some other purpose. Although other hypotheses have been put forward, evidence supports the proposition that they stot to signal an unprofitable chase. For example, cheetahs abandon more hunts when the gazelle stots, and in the event they do give chase, they are far less likely to make a kill.[9] PD image of gazelle from http://hawaii. ... PD image of gazelle from http://hawaii. ... Binomial name Günther, 1884 Male Thompsons gazelle. ... For other uses, see Lion (disambiguation). ... This article is about the animal. ... Stotting is a behavior of gazelles, particularly Thomsons Gazelles, involving leaping straight up during pursuit by a predator, typically a cheetah or lion. ... A scientific hypothesis is a hypothesis (a testable conjecture) which is used as a tentative explanation of an observation, but which has not yet been fully tested by the prediction validation process for a scientific theory. ... Animal communication is any behaviour on the part of one animal that has an effect on the current or future behaviour of another animal. ...


Aposematism, where organisms are brightly colored as a warning to predators, is the antithesis of camouflage. Some organisms pose a threat to their predators - for example they may be poisonous, or able to harm them physically. Aposematic coloring involves bright, easily recognizable and unique colors and patterns. Upon being harmed (e.g. stung) by their prey, the appearance of such an organism will be remembered as something to avoid. The bright colours of this Yellow-winged Darter dragonfly serve as a warning to predators of its noxious taste. ... The skull and crossbones symbol (Jolly Roger) traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ... For other uses, see Memory (disambiguation). ...


Population dynamics

It is fairly clear that predators tend to lower the survival and fecundity of their prey, but on a higher level of organization, populations of predator and prey species also interact. It is obvious that predators depend on prey for survival, and this is reflected in predator populations being affected by changes in prey populations. It is not so obvious, however, that predators affect prey populations. Eating a prey organism may simply make room for another if the prey population is approaching its carrying capacity. Fecundity is the potential reproductive capacity of an organism or population, measured by the number of gametes (e. ... Carrying capacity usually refers to the biological carrying capacity of a population level that can be supported for an organism, given the quantity of food, habitat, water and other life infrastructure present. ...


The population dynamics of predator-prey interactions can be modelled using the Lotka-Volterra equations. These provide a mathematical model for the cycling of predator and prey populations. Population dynamics is the study of marginal and long-term changes in the numbers, individual weights and age composition of individuals in one or several populations, and biological and environmental processes influencing those changes. ... The Lotka-Volterra equations, also known as the predator-prey equations, are a pair of first order, non-linear, differential equations frequently used to describe the dynamics of biological systems in which two species interact, one a predator and one its prey. ... A mathematical model is an abstract model that uses mathematical language to describe the behaviour of a system. ...


Humans and predation

In conservation

Predators are an important consideration in matters relating to conservation. Introduced predators may prove too much for populations which have not coevolved with them, leading to possible extinction. This will depend largely on how well the prey species can adapt to the new species, and whether or not the predator can turn to alternative food sources when prey populations fall to minimal levels. If a predator can use an alternative prey instead, it may shift its diet towards that species in a behavior known as functional response, while still eating the last remaining prey organisms. On the other hand the prey species may be able to survive if the predator has no alternative prey - in this case its population will necessarily crash following the decline in prey, allowing some small proportion of prey to survive. Introduction of an alternative prey may well lead to the extinction of prey, as this constraint is removed. cheese ... Sweet clover (), introduced and naturalized to the U.S. from Eurasia as a forage and cover crop. ... Bumblebees and the flowers they pollinate have co-evolved so that both have become dependent on each other for survival. ... For other uses, see Extinction (disambiguation). ... Functional response, a term used in biology and ecology with regards to predator-prey interactions, is the relationship between the density of prey in a certain area and the average number of prey consumed by each predator in that area. ...


Predators are often the species endangered themselves. Competition for prey from other species could prove the end of a predator - if their ecological niche overlaps completely with that of another the competitive exclusion principle requires only one can survive. Loss of prey species may lead to coextinction of their predator. In addition, because predators are found in higher trophic levels, they are less abundant and much more vulnerable to extinction. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Two lichenes species on a rock, in two different ecological niches In ecology, a niche is a term describing the relational position of a species or population in an ecosystem. ... The competitive exclusion principle, sometimes referred to as Gauses Law of competitive exclusion or just Gauses Law, states that two species that compete for the exact same resources cannot stably coexist. ... Coextinction of a species is the loss of one species upon the extinction of another. ...


Biological pest control

Predators may be put to use in conservation efforts to control introduced species. Although the aim in this situation is to remove the introduced species entirely, keeping its abundance down is often the only possibility. Predators from its natural range may be introduced to control populations, though in some cases this has little effect, and may even cause unforeseen problems. Besides their use in conservation biology, predators are also important for controlling pests in agriculture. Natural predators are an environmentally friendly and sustainable way of reducing damage to crops, and are one alternative to the use of chemical agents such as pesticides. Predatory Polistes wasp looking for bollworms or other caterpillars on a cotton plant Biological control of pests and diseases is a method of controlling pests (including weeds and diseases) in agriculture that relies on natural predation, parasitism or other natural mechanism, rather than introduced chemicals. ... Conservation biology, or conservation ecology, is the science of analyzing and protecting Earths biological diversity. ... Carpet beetle larvae damaging a specimen of Sceliphron destillatorius in an entomological collection A pest is an organism which has characteristics that are regarded as injurious or unwanted. ... A cropduster spreading pesticide. ...


References

  1. ^ a b Begon, M., Townsend, C., Harper, J. (1996) Ecology (Third edition) Blackwell Science, London
  2. ^ Godfray, H.C.J. (1994) Parasitoids: Behavioral and Evolutionary Ecology. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
  3. ^ Dawkins, R. 1976. The Selfish Gene Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-286092-5
  4. ^ Botkin, D. and E. Keller (2003) Enrivonmental Science: Earth as a living planet (p.2) John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-38914-5
  5. ^ Alcock, J. (1998) Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach (6th edition). Sinauer Associates, Inc. Sunderland, Massachusetts. ISBN 0-87893-009-4
  6. ^ Lloyd, J.E. (1965) Aggressive Mimicry in Photuris: Firefly Femmes Fatales Science 149:653-654.
  7. ^ http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2000.99326.x
  8. ^ Kruuk, H. (1964) Predators and anti-predator behaviour of the black-headed gull Larus ridibundus. Behaviour Supplements 11:1-129
  9. ^ Caro, T. M. (1986) The functions of stotting in Thomson's gazelles: Some tests of the predictions. Animal Behaviour 34:663-684.

Original book cover from the painting The Expectant Valley by zoologist Desmond Morris The Selfish Gene is a very popular and somewhat controversial book on evolutionary theory by Richard Dawkins, published in 1976. ... Science is the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). ...

See also

Look up predation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Predation


Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Prey drive is the instinctive behavior of a herbavore to flee or evade capture by a predator. ... The hierarchy of scientific classification. ... Biological interactions result from the fact that organisms in an ecosystem interact with each other, in the natural world, no organism is an autonomous entity isolated from its surroundings. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Amensalism is an interaction between two species where one impedes or restricts the success of the other while not being affected, positively or negatively, by the presence of the other. ... Commensalism is an interaction between two living organisms, where one organism benefits and the other is neither harmed nor helped. ... In biology, mutualism is an interaction between two or more species, where both species derive benefit. ... Biological interactions result from the fact that organisms in an ecosystem interact with each other, in the natural world, no organism is an autonomous entity isolated from its surroundings. ... Biological interactions result from the fact that organisms in an ecosystem interact with each other, in the natural world, no organism is an autonomous entity isolated from its surroundings. ... This tigers sharp teeth and strong jaws are the classical physical traits expected from carnivorous mammalian predators A carnivore (IPA: ), meaning meat eater (Latin carne meaning flesh and vorare meaning to devour), is an animal that eats a diet consisting mainly of meat, whether it comes from live animals... In zoology, an herbivore is an animal that is adapted to eat primarily plants (rather than meat). ... Low Temperature Scanning Electron Microscope (LTSEM) image of Varroa destructor on a honey bee host Mites parasitising a harvestman Parasitism is one version of symbiosis (living together), a phenomenon in which two organisms which are phylogenetically unrelated co-exist over a prolonged period of time, usually the lifetime of one... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Cheating, also known as exploitation, between organisms is a form of parasitism or specialized predation in which an organism engages in what appears to be a mutualistic relationship with another organism, but does not in fact provide any benefit to the other organism. ... For other uses, see Symbiosis (disambiguation). ... Competition within and between species is an important topic in biology, specifically, in the field of ecology. ...

Topics in evolutionary ecology
v  d  e
Patterns of evolution: Convergent evolutionEvolutionary relayParallel evolution
Signals: AposematismMimicryCrypsis
Interactions between species: Mutualism • Cooperation • PredationParasitism

'Bold text'Bold text' Evolutionary ecology lies at the intersection ecology and evolutionary biology. ... In evolutionary biology, convergent evolution is the process whereby organisms not closely related, independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches. ... In evolutionary biology, evolutionary relay describes how independent species acquire similar characteristics as a result of their evolution in similar ecosystems, but not at the same time. ... Bee hovering in flight In evolutionary biology, parallel evolution refers to the independent evolution of similar traits in closely related lineages of species, while convergent evolution refers to the appearance of striking similarities among lineages of organisms only very distantly related. ... The bright colours of this Yellow-winged Darter dragonfly serve as a warning to predators of its noxious taste. ... A mimic is any species that has evolved to appear similar to another successful species in order to dupe predators into avoiding the mimic, or dupe prey into approaching the mimic. ... Crypsis is a phenomena where an organisms appearance allows it to blend well into its environment. ... In biology, mutualism is an interaction between two or more species, where both species derive benefit. ... Co-operation or co-operative behaviours are terms used to describe behaviours by biological organisms which are beneficial to other members of the same species. ... Low Temperature Scanning Electron Microscope (LTSEM) image of Varroa destructor on a honey bee host Mites parasitising a harvestman Parasitism is one version of symbiosis (living together), a phenomenon in which two organisms which are phylogenetically unrelated co-exist over a prolonged period of time, usually the lifetime of one...


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