Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Explores Which Carnivores Are Most Likely To Kill Other Carnivores

Date:
March 9, 2006
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Ecologists used to think of prey as the most important factor governing the structure of predator communities. However, over the past twenty years, they have increasingly recognized the importance of interspecific killing -- carnivores killing carnivores -- in determining ecology and behavior. A new study by Emiliano Donadio and Steven W. Buskirk (University of Wyoming), forthcoming from The American Naturalist, explores which carnivores are most likely to participate in these interactions, and why.

Ecologists used to think of prey as the most important factor governing the structure of predator communities. However, over the past twenty years, they have increasingly recognized the importance of interspecific killing -- carnivores killing carnivores -- in determining ecology and behavior.

A new study by Emiliano Donadio and Steven W. Buskirk (University of Wyoming) explores which carnivores are most likely to participate in these interactions, and why.

"Although food exploitation is influential in predisposing carnivores to attack each other, relative body size of the opponents appears to be overwhelmingly important," write the authors.

In theory, explain the authors, carnivore species of similar body size would be most likely to compete for similar prey, increasing the likelihood of lethal encounters. However, they found that attacks from carnivores on other carnivores were most frequent when body sizes were moderately different and diet overlap extensive.

When the difference in body size was small, they were less likely to attack, no matter how much the diet of the two species overlapped, because the risks of an attack were high.

When the difference in body size was intermediate, then the larger species of carnivore was much more willing to attack and kill the smaller carnivore species. Explain the authors, "The larger carnivore perceives the opponent as large enough to be a competitor, yet small enough to be defeated with low risk."

Donadio, Emiliano, and Steven W. Buskirk. "Diet, morphology, and interspecific killing in carnivora," The American Naturalist 167:4.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Study Explores Which Carnivores Are Most Likely To Kill Other Carnivores." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060308212037.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2006, March 9). Study Explores Which Carnivores Are Most Likely To Kill Other Carnivores. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060308212037.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Study Explores Which Carnivores Are Most Likely To Kill Other Carnivores." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060308212037.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees

Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) An Allegiant Airlines plane from Las Vegas to Duluth, Minnesota turned around shortly after take-off, after a swarm of bees clouded the windshield and got sucked into the engines. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins