Relationship between attack and feeding in the insect predatory behavior of grasshopper mice

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Abstract

In grasshopper mice, the consequences of feeding and state of hunger affect the predatory attack to a limited extent. The purpose of this study was: (1) to establish other ways that attack and feeding were connected besides the two effects already mentioned; and (2) to determine if caching of dead prey could account for the limited connection between attack and feeding. Experiment 1 showed that attack and feeding were connected as part of a reaction chain. Experiment 2 showed that both shared a common maturational process despite the fact that each response achieved an improved efficiency in a different way. Experiment 3 showed that caching prey was not correlated with the killing of a prey and thus could not account for the limited connection between attack and feeding. It is proposed that a highly canalized attack response specifically buffered against the effects of feeding and hunger plays an important role in the mouse's carnivorous life style.

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