Define the predator prey relationship

Predation & herbivory (article) | Ecology | Khan Academy

define the predator prey relationship

Predators and their prey evolve together. Over time, prey animals develop adaptations to help them avoid being eaten and predators develop strategies to make. There are literally hundreds of examples of predator-prey relations. information on Predator–Prey Relationships: Environmental Science: In Context dictionary. Predation is a biological interaction where one organism, the predator, kills and includes a wide variety of feeding methods; and some relationships that result in the prey's death are not generally called predation.

define the predator prey relationship

This article highlights the breadth of influence that predator-prey interactions have on ecology. At the individual level, the predator-prey interaction will be arranged in two perspectives: The article also considers the less typical and more integrative aspects of predator-prey interactions, such as their physiological and neurological mechanisms and their relevance for questions associated with conservation.

Predators and prey

In addition, this article will consider the validity of including parasitism and herbivory within the broad definition of predation. A great deal of debate is ongoing as to whether these two ecological interactions possess similar enough qualities with predation to be characterized as one phenomenon.

Those sections of this article will cover this debate and provide the reader with resources with which to consider this question.

define the predator prey relationship

General Overviews To acquire a broad overview of the field of predator-prey ecology, one should begin by examining several excellent reviews and general resources on the subject. A great starting point for researchers interested in an introduction to predator-prey ecology is Barbosa and Castellanoswhich examines the subject from behavioral, population, and applied perspectives.

  • Predation & herbivory
  • Predator–Prey Relationships
  • Predator-prey relationship

For a more detailed approach, Lima and Dill provides a readable synthesis of behavioral trade-offs involved in predator-prey interactions, one that is broadened in ecological scope in Lima and, written later, Chase, et al. Dawkins and Krebs provides an introduction to the evolution of the predator-prey arms race, while Abrams provides a critical approach to the arms race using a largely theoretical background for the predator-prey interaction, especially in terms of its evolutionary stability.

The evolution of predator-prey interactions: Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics Abrams supports his arguments with a strong theoretical background beginning with early Lokta-Volterra models and advancing through gaps in current models. Barbosa Pedro, and Ignacio Castellanos, eds. Ecology of predator-prey interactions. It examines several important arguments about the relevance of predation in changing interactions between competitors.

predator–prey | Definition of predator–prey in English by Oxford Dictionaries

Many predators have acute hearing, and some such as echolocating bats hunt exclusively by active or passive use of sound. Some predators such as snakes and fish-eating birds like herons and cormorants swallow their prey whole; some snakes can unhinge their jaws to allow them to swallow large prey, while fish-eating birds have long spear-like beaks that they use to stab and grip fast-moving and slippery prey.

Lions can attack much larger prey, including elephants, but do so much less often.

define the predator prey relationship

Predators are often highly specialized in their diet and hunting behaviour; for example, the Eurasian lynx only hunts small ungulates. When prey have a clumped uneven distribution, the optimal strategy for the predator is predicted to be more specialized as the prey are more conspicuous and can be found more quickly; [78] this appears to be correct for predators of immobile prey, but is doubtful with mobile prey.

This has led to a correlation between the size of predators and their prey. Size may also act as a refuge for large prey. For example, adult elephants are relatively safe from predation by lions, but juveniles are vulnerable.

define the predator prey relationship

Members of the cat family such as the snow leopard treeless highlandstiger grassy plains, reed swampsocelot forestfishing cat waterside thicketsand lion open plains are camouflaged with coloration and disruptive patterns suiting their habitats.

Female Photuris firefliesfor example, copy the light signals of other species, thereby attracting male fireflies, which they capture and eat.

BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Predators and prey

Venom and Evolution of snake venom Many smaller predators such as the box jellyfish use venom to subdue their prey, [86] and venom can also aid in digestion as is the case for rattlesnakes and some spiders. These changes are explained by the fact that its prey does not need to be subdued. Antipredator adaptation To counter predation, prey have a great variety of defences.

They can try to avoid detection. They can detect predators and warn others of their presence. If detected, they can try to avoid being the target of an attack, for example, by signalling that a chase would be unprofitable or by forming groups.

Predator-Prey Relationships

If they become a target, they can try to fend off the attack with defences such as armour, quills, unpalatability or mobbing; and they can escape an attack in progress by startling the predator, shedding body parts such as tails, or simply fleeing. They can also adopt behaviour that avoids predators by, for example, avoiding the times and places where predators forage.

define the predator prey relationship

Camouflage and Mimicry Dead leaf mantis 's camouflage makes it less visible to both predators and prey. Syrphid hoverfly misdirects predators by mimicking a waspbut has no sting. Prey animals make use of a variety of mechanisms including camouflage and mimicry to misdirect the visual sensory mechanisms of predators, enabling the prey to remain unrecognized for long enough to give it an opportunity to escape.

Camouflage delays recognition through coloration, shape, and pattern.

Predator-Prey Relationships

In mimicry, an organism has a similar appearance to another species, as in the drone flywhich resembles a bee yet has no sting.

It is lowest for those such as woodpeckers that excavate their own nests and progressively higher for those on the ground, in canopies and in shrubs. Birds also choose appropriate habitat e. Similarly, some mammals raise their young in dens.