Introduction

The biology behind antipredator behavior is unique in that mistakes with respect to this type of behavior can lead to an animal having a future fitness of zero. This striking fact suggests that natural selection should operate very strongly on antipredator behavior. Indeed, the array of antipredator tactics used in nature is dazzling. Consider, for example, antipredator behaviors in schooling species of fish. In addition to the potential hydrodynamic and the foraging benefits accrued by living in groups, fish in schools display a wide assortment of antipredator tactics. When a predator is sighted, schooling fish school more tightly, allowing for the following antipredator tactics:

1. Fountain effect. Schools maximize their speed, split around a stalking predator, and then reassemble behind the putative danger.

2. Trafalgar effect. When animals school tightly, information about a predator spreads from individual to individual more quickly than in loose schools. This has been coined the 'Trafalgar effect' because it resembles the quick transfer of information of battle signals in Lord Nelson's fleet at the battle of Trafalgar.

3. Flash explosion. Schools of fish 'explode', with individuals swimming off in all directions. This may confuse a predator and allow for the prey species to escape. Schooling fish often add to this effect by moving around in very erratic patterns.

4. Predator inspection. A small number of individuals break away from a school and approach a predator to gain various types of information (e.g., is the predator hunting?), and then return to the school, where this information may spread across individuals.

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

Learning About 10 Ways Fight Off Cancer Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life The Best Tips On How To Keep This Killer At Bay Discovering that you or a loved one has cancer can be utterly terrifying. All the same, once you comprehend the causes of cancer and learn how to reverse those causes, you or your loved one may have more than a fighting chance of beating out cancer.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment