COS 95-6: Playing with food (availability): State games between owls and gerbils Academic Article uri icon


  • Predator-prey interactions are often behaviorally sophisticated games in which the predator and prey are players, the value of prey behavior depends on the characteristics of the predator, and the value of predator behavior depends on the characteristics of the prey. Thus, changes in one player's behavior may strongly affect the behavior of the other players in the system. Past studies teach us that hungrier prey take higher risks when foraging and that hungrier predators increase their foraging activity and are willing to take higher risks of injury. Yet, what happens when predator and prey can respond to each other simultaneously? We investigated the state game between predators and their prey by simultaneously manipulating the state of barn owls, Tyto alba, and their prey, Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi, in a large outdoor vivarium containing seed trays as resource patches …

publication date

  • August 5, 2010