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The Better to Eat You WithFear in the Animal World$
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Joel Berger

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226043630

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226043647.001.0001

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To Know Thy Enemy

To Know Thy Enemy

Chapter:
(p.94) Chapter 6 To Know Thy Enemy
Source:
The Better to Eat You With
Author(s):

Joel Berger

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226043647.003.0007

This chapter discusses how species alter their behavior in response to predators. Vervet monkeys, for instance, tend to associate preferentially with humans when leopards are near, less so when they are not. Wildebeest in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park rest on manicured lawns at night, a period when lions and spotted hyenas are most active yet still shy of people. Elk congregate around Yellowstone National Park headquarters, sites less frequented by wolves and bears. More contentious than how the risk of death modifies a species' or population's behavior is its cultural emergence. How do prey acquire knowledge? How is fear transmitted? How much time is required for a population to adjust? To understand how antipredator behaviors develop in a population is not easy and it is ever so challenging for large mammals. Researchers are faced with three initial difficulties—handling animals, obtaining adequate sample sizes, and performing field experiments.

Keywords:   vervet monkeys, leopards, wildebeest, elk, predators, prey, cultural emergence, fear, antipredator behaviors

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