On Predator Selection against Abnormalities of Movement A Test of an Hypothesis


  • Supported by grants the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Az. Cu 4/20, 4/20.

Arbeitsgruppe für Verhaltensforschung, Abteilung für Biologie, Ruhr-Universität, Postfach 102 148, D-4630 Bochum 1.


If debilitated prey items can be caught more efficiently than healthy ones, there is a selective advantage for predators to detect any weakness in their prey. This study investigates whether three-spined sticklebacks (Gastcrosteus aculeatus L.) accustomed to feeding on one or the other of two types of waterfleas differing in their swimming pattern capture the unfamiliar type when given a choice. Such sequential oddity selection might serve as a mechanism for the detection of sick prey.