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Adaptive Foraging Behavior. ZOL 313 May 28, 2008. Adaptive Foraging Behavior. Objectives: 1. Become familiar with some adaptive foraging strategies that animals can use to help them locate, select, capture, and consume food.

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Adaptive Foraging Behavior

ZOL 313

May 28, 2008

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Adaptive Foraging Behavior

Objectives:

1. Become familiar with some adaptive foraging strategies that animals can use to help them locate, select, capture, and consume food.

2. Be able to generate hypotheses and predictions about the adaptive value of foraging behaviors.

3. Understand how to use Optimality Theory to study adaptive foraging.

ZOL 313

May 28, 2008

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Locating food

Capturing Food

Consuming Food

Selecting Food

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Locating Food

  • Develop a search image

Search image:

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Locating Food

  • Develop a search image

Hypothesis:

Prediction:

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Locating Food

2. Follow cues/exploit signals

Hypothesis: Kestrels find areas of high vole concentration by

Prediction:

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Locating Food

3. Get help from others

Example:

M. panamica

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Locating Food

3. Get help from others:

Information centers:

Prediction 1: Birds waiting in the colony should

Prediction 2: Naïve birds should

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Locating Food

3. Get help from others

Do raven roosts serve as information centers?

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Selecting Food

Do animals select food optimally?

Optimality Theory:

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Selecting Food

Do animals select food optimally?

  • Example: Howler monkey foraging
  • When foraging, howler monkeys:
  • Were more likely to feed on less common tree species.
  • Preferred smaller, scarcer new leaves over the more abundant, larger mature leaves.
  • Frequently only ate the petiole and dropped the larger leaf blade.

Does this seem like optimal foraging? Why or why not?

What types of costs and/or benefits might make this behavior optimal?

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Selecting Food

Do animals select food optimally?

Example: Oystercatchers selecting mussels Fitness cost: Fitness benefit:

Model A: Birds should focus on the largest mussels

Model B: Birds should avoid the very largest mussels

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Selecting Food

Do animals select food optimally?

Hypothesis:

Prediction:

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Selecting Food

Do animals select food optimally?

Responding to predation risk

Hypothesis:

Prediction:

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Selecting Food

Do animals select food optimally?

Example:

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Capturing Food

1. Get the prey to come to you

Hypothesis:

Prediction:

But, is this correlation the result of site productivity?

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Capturing Food

2. Use an uncommon strategy

Frequency-dependent selection:

Allows 2 different strategies to coexist in a population.

Example: Right and left jawed African cichlids

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Capturing Food

3. Get help from others

Example: Colonial web-building spiders

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Capturing Food

3. Get help from others

Example:

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Capturing Food

4. Know when to quit

Example: Optimal quitting time in starlings:

Optimality model A: Starlings should always carry their maximum prey load

Optimality model B: Starlings that carry a large prey load pay a metabolic and a time cost

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Consuming Food

1. Optimal food preparation

Example:

From what height should the crows drop large whelks to minimize the costs of flying higher and/or having to drop the whelk again?

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Consuming Food

2. Why do humans eat dirt?

Hypothesis 1:

Hypothesis 2:

Comparative Method

->Is this an example of convergent or divergent evolution?

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Consuming Food

3. Is human use of spices adaptive?

Hypothesis:

What would you predict about the relative amount of spices in traditional recipes from:

Vegetable dishes vs. meat dishes?

Hot/tropical countries vs. cold/snowy countries?

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