Antipredator Strategies (antipredator + strategy)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Book review: Primate Antipredator Strategies

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, Issue 1 2009
Sylvia Atsalis
No abstract is available for this article. [source]


Dynamic models allowing for flexibility in complex life histories accurately predict timing of metamorphosis and antipredator strategies of prey

FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 6 2009
Andrew D. Higginson
Summary 1.,The development of antipredator defences in the larval stage of animals with complex life cycles is likely to be affected by costs associated with creating and maintaining such defences because of their impact on the timing of maturation or metamorphosis. 2.,Various theoretical treatments have suggested that investment in defence should both increase or decrease with increasing resource availability, but a recent model predicts investment in defences should be highest at intermediate resource level and predator density. 3.,Previous models of investment in defence and timing of metamorphosis provide a poor match to empirical data. Here we develop a dynamic state-dependent model of investment in behavioural and morphological defences that enables us to allow flexibility in investment in defences over development, the timing of metamorphosis and the size of the organism at metamorphosis that were absent from previous theory. 4.,We show that the inclusion of this flexibility results in different predictions to those of the fixed investment approach used previously, especially when we allow metamorphosis to occur at the optimal time and state for the organism. 5.,Under these more flexible conditions, we predict that morphological defences should be insensitive to resource level whilst behavioural defences should either increase or decrease with increasing resources depending on the predation risk and the magnitude of the fitness benefits of large size at metamorphosis. 6.,Our work provides a formal framework in which we might progress in the study of how the use of antipredator defences is affected by their costs. Most of the predictions of our model in are in good accord with empirical results, and can be understood in terms of the underlying biological assumptions. The reasons why simpler models failed to match empirical observations can be explained, and our predictions that are a poor match help to target the circumstances which warrant future study. [source]


Fight or flight: antipredator strategies of baleen whales

MAMMAL REVIEW, Issue 1 2008
JOHN K. B. FORD
ABSTRACT 1The significance of killer whale Orcinus orca predation on baleen whales (Mysticeti) has been a topic of considerable discussion and debate in recent years. Discourse has been constrained by poor understanding of predator-prey dynamics, including the relative vulnerability of different mysticete species and age classes to killer whales and how these prey animals avoid predation. Here we provide an overview and analysis of predatory interactions between killer whales and mysticetes, with an emphasis on patterns of antipredator responses. 2Responses of baleen whales to predatory advances and attacks by killer whales appear to fall into two distinct categories, which we term the fight and flight strategies. The fight strategy consists of active physical defence, including self-defence by single individuals, defence of calves by their mothers and coordinated defence by groups of whales. It is documented for five mysticetes: southern right whale Eubalaena australis, North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis, bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus, humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae and grey whale Eschrichtius robustus. The flight strategy consists of rapid (20,40 km/h) directional swimming away from killer whales and, if overtaken and attacked, individuals do little to defend themselves. This strategy is documented for six species in the genus Balaenoptera. 3Many aspects of the life history, behaviour and morphology of mysticetes are consistent with their antipredator strategy, and we propose that evolution of these traits has been shaped by selection for reduced predation. Fight species tend to have robust body shapes and are slow but relatively manoeuvrable swimmers. They often calve or migrate in coastal areas where proximity to shallow water provides refuge and an advantage in defence. Most fight species have either callosities (rough and hardened patches of skin) or encrustations of barnacles on their bodies, which may serve (either primarily or secondarily) as weapons or armour for defence. Flight species have streamlined body shapes for high-speed swimming and they can sustain speeds necessary to outrun pursuing killer whales (>15,20 km/h). These species tend to favour pelagic habitats and calving grounds where prolonged escape sprints from killer whales are possible. 4The rarity of observed successful attacks by killer whales on baleen whales, especially adults, may be an indication of the effectiveness of these antipredator strategies. Baleen whales likely offer low profitability to killer whales, relative to some other marine mammal prey. High-speed pursuit of flight species has a high energetic cost and a low probability of success while attacks on fight species can involve prolonged handling times and a risk of serious injury. [source]


Avoiding predators at night: antipredator strategies in red-tailed sportive lemurs (Lepilemur ruficaudatus)

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY, Issue 6 2007
Claudia Fichtel
Abstract Although about one-third of all primate species are nocturnal, their antipredator behavior has rarely been studied directly. Crypsis and a solitary lifestyle have traditionally been considered to be the main adaptive antipredator strategies of nocturnal primates. However, a number of recent studies have revealed that nocturnal primates are not as cryptic and solitary as previously suggested. Thus, the antipredator strategies available for diurnal primates that rely on early detection and warning of approaching predators may also be available to nocturnal species. In order to shed additional light on the antipredator strategies of nocturnal primates, I studied pair-living red-tailed sportive lemurs (Lepilemur ruficaudatus) in Western Madagascar. In an experimental field study I exposed adult sportive lemurs that lived in pairs and had offspring to playbacks of vocalizations of their main aerial and terrestrial predators, as well as to their own mobbing calls (barks) given in response to disturbances at their tree holes. I documented the subjects' immediate behavioral responses, including alarm calls, during the first minute following a playback. The sportive lemurs did not give alarm calls in response to predator call playbacks or to playbacks with barks. Other behavioral responses, such as gaze and escape directions, corresponded to the hunting strategies of the two classes of predators, suggesting that the corresponding vocalizations were correctly categorized. In response to barks, they scanned the ground and fled. Because barks do not indicate any specific threats, they are presumably general alarm calls. Thus, sportive lemurs do not rely on early warning of acoustically simulated predators; rather, they show adaptive escape strategies and use general alarm calls that are primarily directed toward the predator but may also serve to warn kin and pair-partners. Am. J. Primatol. 69:611,624, 2007. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Spatial and temporal variability in predation on rainforest primates: do forest fragmentation and predation act synergistically?

ANIMAL CONSERVATION, Issue 3 2009
M. T. Irwin
Abstract Predation is a constant risk for most primates, impacting demography, population dynamics, activity patterns and social behaviour. Data are limited on both the rates of predation and its spatial and temporal variability. We present long-term observations of Cryptoprocta ferox predation on rainforest sifakas in Madagascar, Propithecus diadema at Tsinjoarivo (22 group years) and Propithecus edwardsi at Ranomafana (73 group years), derived from intensive observations based on ongoing behavioural studies. Average per capita offtake rates are relatively low (0.06,0.07), but temporal variability is high (kills are clumped in time). This is consistent with Cryptoprocta ecology; individual home ranges are much larger than sifaka ranges, and individuals may hunt in a subsection of their range until prey density is decreased, then move on. These results have broad implications. First, in terms of the evolution of anti-predator strategies, it now becomes important to ask: (1) whether average or peak predation rates determine the strength of selection and (2) whether antipredator strategies (e.g. vigilance, sleeping site selection) fluctuate interannually, reflecting recent experience. Second, in terms of population ecology, Cryptoprocta may have disproportionately large impacts on the (small) sifaka groups, even driving groups to extinction (as observed at both sites). Third, the disappearance of groups has important implications for conservation. When this happens in continuous forest (as at Ranomafana), home ranges will likely be re-filled over time, whereas in isolated forest fragments (as at Tsinjoarivo), recolonization is less likely. Thus, conservation planners should consider predation as a potentially important proximate cause of extirpation in fragmented landscapes, even when resource density and quality could otherwise sustain populations. Considering the effects of predation can be useful in (1) decisions regarding the allocation of limited conservation resources, including which landscapes to invest resources in and (2) investigating ways to increase resilience of prey species. [source]


Nest Crypsis, Reproductive Value of a Clutch and Escape Decisions in Incubating Female Mallards Anas platyrhynchos

ETHOLOGY, Issue 8 2004
Albrecht
In cryptically coloured birds, remaining on the nest despite predator approach (risk-taking) may decrease the likelihood that the nest will be detected and current reproductive attempt lost. By contrast, flushing may immediately reveal the nest location to the predator. Escape decisions of incubating parents should therefore be optimized based on the risk-to-parent/cost of escape equilibrium. Animal prey may assess predation risk depending on a variety of cues, including the camouflage that vegetation provides against the predator. We examined interactive effects of nest crypsis and the current reproductive value of a clutch on flushing distances in incubating mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) approached by a human. Our results were consistent with predictions of parental investment theory: flushing distances were inversely correlated with measures of the reproductive value of the current clutch, namely with clutch size, stage of incubation and mean egg volume. Independently of a reproductive value of a clutch, nest concealment explained a significant portion of the variation in flushing distance among females; individual females tended to increase/decrease flushing distances according to change in nest cover. The results further suggest that vegetation concealment greatly influenced the risk of nest detection by local predators, suggesting that vegetation may act as a protective cover for incubating female. A female's ability to delay flushes according to the actual vegetation cover might thus be viewed as an antipredator strategy that reduces premature nest advertising to visually oriented predators. We argue, however, that shorter flying distances from densely covered sites might be maladaptive in areas where a predator's ability to detect incubating female does not rely on visual cues of nests. [source]


TAIL SHEDDING IN ISLAND LIZARDS [LACERTIDAE, REPTILIA]: DECLINE OF ANTIPREDATOR DEFENSES IN RELAXED PREDATION ENVIRONMENTS

EVOLUTION, Issue 5 2009
Panayiotis Pafilis
The ability of an animal to shed its tail is a widespread antipredator strategy among lizards. The degree of expression of this defense is expected to be shaped by prevailing environmental conditions including local predation pressure. We test these hypotheses by comparing several aspects of caudal autotomy in 15 Mediterranean lizard taxa existing across a swath of mainland and island localities that differ in the number and identity of predator species present. Autotomic ease varied substantially among the study populations, in a pattern that is best explained by the presence of vipers. Neither insularity nor the presence of other types of predators explain the observed autotomy rates. Final concentration of accumulated tail muscle lactate and duration of movement of a shed tail, two traits that were previously thought to relate to predation pressure, are in general not shaped by either predator diversity or insularity. Under conditions of relaxed predation selection, an uncoupling of different aspects of caudal autotomy exists, with some elements (ease of autotomy) declining faster than others (duration of movement, lactate concentration). We compared rates of shed tails in the field against rates of laboratory autotomies conducted under standardized conditions and found very high correlation values (r > 0.96). This suggests that field autotomy rates, rather than being a metric of predatory attacks, merely reflect the innate predisposition of a taxon to shed its tail. [source]


Fight or flight: antipredator strategies of baleen whales

MAMMAL REVIEW, Issue 1 2008
JOHN K. B. FORD
ABSTRACT 1The significance of killer whale Orcinus orca predation on baleen whales (Mysticeti) has been a topic of considerable discussion and debate in recent years. Discourse has been constrained by poor understanding of predator-prey dynamics, including the relative vulnerability of different mysticete species and age classes to killer whales and how these prey animals avoid predation. Here we provide an overview and analysis of predatory interactions between killer whales and mysticetes, with an emphasis on patterns of antipredator responses. 2Responses of baleen whales to predatory advances and attacks by killer whales appear to fall into two distinct categories, which we term the fight and flight strategies. The fight strategy consists of active physical defence, including self-defence by single individuals, defence of calves by their mothers and coordinated defence by groups of whales. It is documented for five mysticetes: southern right whale Eubalaena australis, North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis, bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus, humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae and grey whale Eschrichtius robustus. The flight strategy consists of rapid (20,40 km/h) directional swimming away from killer whales and, if overtaken and attacked, individuals do little to defend themselves. This strategy is documented for six species in the genus Balaenoptera. 3Many aspects of the life history, behaviour and morphology of mysticetes are consistent with their antipredator strategy, and we propose that evolution of these traits has been shaped by selection for reduced predation. Fight species tend to have robust body shapes and are slow but relatively manoeuvrable swimmers. They often calve or migrate in coastal areas where proximity to shallow water provides refuge and an advantage in defence. Most fight species have either callosities (rough and hardened patches of skin) or encrustations of barnacles on their bodies, which may serve (either primarily or secondarily) as weapons or armour for defence. Flight species have streamlined body shapes for high-speed swimming and they can sustain speeds necessary to outrun pursuing killer whales (>15,20 km/h). These species tend to favour pelagic habitats and calving grounds where prolonged escape sprints from killer whales are possible. 4The rarity of observed successful attacks by killer whales on baleen whales, especially adults, may be an indication of the effectiveness of these antipredator strategies. Baleen whales likely offer low profitability to killer whales, relative to some other marine mammal prey. High-speed pursuit of flight species has a high energetic cost and a low probability of success while attacks on fight species can involve prolonged handling times and a risk of serious injury. [source]