Predator-prey relationship - Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
Predator-prey relationship. From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary. Jump to: navigation, search. Definition. noun. As in many subfields of ecology, the science behind predator-prey including parasitism and herbivory within the broad definition of predation. The prey is the organism which the predator eats. Some examples of predator and prey are lion and zebra, bear and fish, and fox and rabbit. The words.
This makes it possible to kill creatures larger than those they could overpower singly; for example, hyenasand wolves collaborate to catch and kill herbivores as large as buffalo, and lions even hunt elephants. For example, when mixed flocks of birds forage, the birds in front flush out insects that are caught by the birds behind. Spinner dolphins form a circle around a school of fish and move inwards, concentrating the fish by a factor of Predators of different species sometimes cooperate to catch prey.
In coral reefswhen fish such as the grouper and coral trout spot prey that is inaccessible to them, they signal to giant moray eelsNapoleon wrasses or octopuses. These predators are able to access small crevices and flush out the prey. Solitary predators have more chance of eating what they catch, at the price of increased expenditure of energy to catch it, and increased risk that the prey will escape.
These include speed, agility, stealth, sharp senses, claws, teeth, filters, and suitable digestive systems. 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. 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;  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. 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. Venom and Evolution of snake venom Many smaller predators such as the box jellyfish use venom to subdue their prey,  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.
Predator-Prey Interactions - Ecology - Oxford Bibliographies
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. 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. But what's going to happen is their population is increasing.
Well, it's gonna be more likely that they're gonna, they prey is gonna get caught. There's gonna be more of their hunters around, more of their predators around. So that population is going to start decreasing all the way to a point where if the population of the prey gets low enough, the predators are gonna have, they're gonna start having trouble finding food again, and so that their population might start to decrease, and as their population decreases, what's gonna happen to the prey?
Well, then, there's gonna be less predators around, so they might be able to, their population might start to increase. And so I think you see what's happening.
The predator and prey, they can kind of form this cyclic interaction with each other. And what I've just drawn, this is often known as the predator-prey cycle. And I just reasoned through that you can imagine a world where you can have the cycle between predator and prey populations. But you can also run computer simulations that will show this, and even observational data out in the field also shows this.
One of the often cited examples is interactions between, between the snowshoe hare, which would be the prey in this situation, and the Canadian lynx, which would be the predator, the predator in this situation.
And you see a very similar cycle to what I just drew, kind of just reasoning through it, and this, right here, is actual data. You see the passage of time here, and this is a long passage of time. We're starting in the early 's going all the way to the early-mid 's.
So it's roughly years of data that we're showing, and in the vertical axis, you have thousands of animals and we're plotting both the population of snowshoe hares and Canadian lynx in a certain area on this chart.
And as you see, when the prey population is high, when the prey population, sorry, when the predator population is high, when we have a lot of the Canadian lynx around, that we see a lower, a lower population of the prey, of the hare.
But then as, since you have a low population of the food in this situation, the predator population starts to decrease. So let me draw an arrow here. The predator population starts to decrease and, let me do that same blue color. And so the predator population decreases, and as that predator population decreases, well then the prey population increases 'cause there's less folks around to hunt them.
So the prey population increases, and you see that the other way around.