The Selfish Crouton

In: Behaviour
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  • 1 Zoologisches Institut, Rheinsprung 9, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland, Department of Zoology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, England
  • 2 Zoologisches Institut, Rheinsprung 9, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland, Department of Zoology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, England, Department of Zoology, University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
  • 3 Zoologisches Institut, Rheinsprung 9, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland

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Abstract

We studied predator prey interactions on a model system with gulls as predators and bread croutons as prey. The advantage to prey grouping appeared even at low numbers of prey and high predator density. Moreover, individual predators gained by preying upon a group rather than on a solitary prey. Rate of predation was the same for homogeneous (uni-coloured) and heterogeneous (multicoloured) groups of croutons.

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