Predators: Facts (Science Trek: Idaho Public Television)
Predators and their prey evolve together. Over time, prey animals develop adaptations to help them avoid being eaten and Predator-Prey Relationships Validity and Reliability, Write a Paper, Biological Psychology, Child Development For example, when the prey becomes sparse, their density within a predator's. In ecology, predation describes a relationship and actions between two strategies; for example when a pursuit predator is faster than its prey. Students will learn an example of each a predator relationships by playing a tag game. Predator and prey defensive traits will also be tokens per child.
By blending into the background foliage or landscape and remaining motionless, an insect or animal offers no visual cue to a predator since it mimics its surroundings. There are many examples of mimicry in predator-prey relationships.
Some moths have markings on their outer wings that resemble the eyes of an owl or that make the creature look larger in size. Insects popularly known as walking sticks appear similar to the twigs of the plants they inhabit.
Another insect species called the praying mantis appears leaflike. The vertical stripes cause individual zebras in a herd to blend together when viewed for a distance. To a predator like a lion, the huge shape is not recognized as a potential source of food.
Camouflage can also be a strategy used by a predator to avoid detection by prey. An example is the polar bearwhose white color blends in with snow, reducing the likelihood that the bear will be detected as it approaches its prey.
In this case, the same strategy and color can be utilized by young seals, since their color allows them to be invisible as they lie on the snowy surface. The community of individuals and the physical components of the environment in a certain area.
A sequence of organisms, each of which uses the next lower member of the sequence as a food source. An interconnected set of all the food chains in the same ecosystem. The natural location of an organism or a population.
Factors that influence the evolution of an organism.
10 Dumbfounding Examples of Predator-Prey Relationships
An example is the overuse of antibiotics, which provides a selection pressure for the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. The opposite of camouflage can occur. A prey can be vividly colored or have a pattern that is similar to another species that is poisonous or otherwise undesirable to the predator. A successful predator must judge when pursuit of a prey is worth continuing and when to abandon the chase.
This is because the pursuit requires energy. A predator that continually pursues prey without a successful kill will soon become exhausted and will be in danger of starvation. Predatory species such as lions are typically inactive during the hot daytime hours, when prey is often also resting, but become active and hunt at night when conditions are less energy taxing and prey is more available. Similarly, bats emerge at night to engage in their sonar-assisted location of insects that have also emerged into the air.
When supplied with food in a setting such as a zoo, predators will adopt a sedentary lifestyle.
- Predator–Prey Relationships
- Predation & herbivory
- Relationships Between Organisms
Predation is an energy-consuming activity that is typically done only when the creature is hungry or to supply food for offspring. In settings such as an aquarium, predators and prey will even co-exist.
Being a prey does not imply that the creature is completely helpless. The prey may escape from the predator by strategies such as mimicry, or can simply outrun or hide from the predator. Some species act coordinately to repel a predator. For example, a flock of birds may collectively turn on a predator such as a larger bird or an animal such as a cat or dog to drive off the predator. This mobbing type of repulsion can be highly orchestrated. As well, some bird species use different calls, which are thought to be a specific signal to other birds in the vicinity to join the attack.
Even birds of a different species may respond to such a call. The fluctuation in the numbers of a predator species and its prey that occurs over time represents a phenomenon that is known as population dynamics.
The dynamics can be modeled mathematically. The results show that a sharp increase in the numbers of a prey species an example could be a rabbit is followed soon thereafter by a smaller increase in numbers of the relevant predator in this case the example could be the fox.
As the prey population decreases due to predator killing, the food available for the predators is less, and so their numbers subsequently decline.
With the predator pressure reduced, the numbers of the prey can increase once again and the cycle goes on. The result is a cyclical rising and falling of the numbers of the prey population, with a slightly later cyclical pattern of the predator.
In a broad sense, the dependence can be classified into symbiotic relationships and predator-prey relationships. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the relationship between predator and prey has a crucial role to play when it comes to ecological balance.
A tilt on either side can trigger a domino effect on the environment as a whole. If, for instance, food supply is altered as a result of lack of prey, it will reflect on the population of predatory species, as they will find it difficult to reproduce in times of food scarcity.
And like we said earlier, if the population of predators comes down, herbivores will run a riot in the ecosystem. It's a classic example of the survival of the fittest. In stark contrast to the cheetah-gazelle relationship is the relationship between African wild dogs and zebras. Wild dogs might be small, but they make up for it by resorting to pack behavior and their remarkable stamina.
The strategy is simple: As for zebras, they have the camouflage working in their favor, making it difficult for their predators to isolate and attack an individual. After analyzing the number of lynx and hare pelts brought in by hunters, Canadian biologist, Charles Gordon Hewitt came to a conclusion that the two species are highly dependent on each other, such that the population of the Canadian lynx rises and falls with a rise and fall in the snowshoe hare population. Further research revealed that it was the food shortage resulting from the decline in hare population that affected the reproduction rate of this lynx species.
While wildebeests and Cape buffaloes form a major chunk of their diet, African lions are also known to prey on warthogs, especially when they are easily available. From the researchers' point of view, the relationship between wolves and moose on the Isle Royale gives the best picture of predator-prey relationships, as moose are almost the only prey for wolves on this isolated island.
After studying their relationship for decades, researchers have realized that the food shortage resulting from wolves eating too many moose, keeps a check on the wolf population as well. In the marine biome, the great white shark is the apex predator. It usually preys on elephant seals.
For instance, prey species have defense adaptations that help them escape predation. These defenses may be mechanical, chemical, physical, or behavioral.
Mechanical defenses, such as the presence of thorns on plants or the hard shell on turtles, discourage animal predation and herbivory by causing physical pain to the predator or by physically preventing the predator from being able to eat the prey. Chemical defenses are produced by many animals as well as plants, such as the foxglove, which is extremely toxic when eaten.
The millipede in the lower panel below has both chemical and mechanical defenses: Many species use their body shape and coloration to avoid being detected by predators. For instance, the crab spider has the coloration and body shape of a flower petal, which makes it very hard to see when it's standing still against the background of a real flower.
Can you even see it in the picture below? It took me a minute! Another famous example is the chameleon, which can change its color to match its surroundings. Both of these are examples of camouflage, or avoiding detection by blending in with the background.
Some species use coloration in an opposite way—as a means to warn predators that they are not good to eat.
For example, the strawberry poison dart frog shown below has bright coloration to warn predators that it is toxic, while the striped skunk, Mephitis mephitis, uses its bold pattern of stripes to warn predators of the unpleasant odor it produces. Beyond these two examples, many species use bright or striking coloration to warn of a foul taste, a toxic chemical, or the ability to sting or bite. Predators that ignore this coloration and eat the organism will experience the bad taste or toxic chemicals may learn not to eat the species in the future.
This type of defensive mechanism is called aposematic coloration, or warning coloration. Some species have evolved to mimic, or copy, another species' aposematic coloration—though they themselves may not be bad-tasting or toxic. In Batesian mimicry, a harmless species imitates the warning coloration of a harmful one. If they share the same predators, this coloration protects the harmless species, even though its members do not actually have the physical or chemical defenses of the organism they mimic.