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Health-dependent vulnerability to predation affects escape responses of unguarded chinstrap penguin chicks

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Abstract
Predators may select more often to attack the more vulnerable prey or those with an inferior health status. Thus, prey should be able to assess their own vulnerability to predation and modify their antipredatory behavior accordingly. When approached by predator skuas, unguarded penguin chicks flee short distances, and usually aggregate in dense packs, but there is a clear interindividual variability in their responses under similar conditions. We hypothesized that this variability in escape responses might be related to the perceived vulnerability to predation of each individual chick. We simulated predator attacks to chinstrap penguin chicks and analyzed the sources of variation in their escape response, such as the presence of adults or the density of other chicks, and the sex, age, body condition, and health status of responding chicks. Chicks allowed shorter approach distances when they had a better health condition (i.e., a greater T-cell-mediated immunity, CMI), when they were younger, and when the density of adults around was higher. Sex and density of other chicks were not important. Similarly, chicks fled from the experimenter to longer distances when they had a lower CMI and when the density of adults was lower. Therefore, escape characteristics of chicks depended on the presence of adults that can deter predators and on the health-dependent vulnerability of chicks.
Keywords
PYGOSCELIS-ANTARCTICA, CRECHING BEHAVIOR, antipredatory behavior, fear, immunocompetence, health condition, penguins, RISK-ASSESSMENT, HUMAN DISTURBANCE, KING PENGUIN, DEFENSE, DISTANCE, DECISIONS, IMMUNOCOMPETENCE, prey vulnerability, BIRDS

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Citation

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Chicago
Martín, J, Liesbeth De Neve, V Polo, JA Fargallo, and Manuel Soler. 2006. “Health-dependent Vulnerability to Predation Affects Escape Responses of Unguarded Chinstrap Penguin Chicks.” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 60 (6): 778–784.
APA
Martín, J, De Neve, L., Polo, V., Fargallo, J., & Soler, M. (2006). Health-dependent vulnerability to predation affects escape responses of unguarded chinstrap penguin chicks. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY, 60(6), 778–784.
Vancouver
1.
Martín J, De Neve L, Polo V, Fargallo J, Soler M. Health-dependent vulnerability to predation affects escape responses of unguarded chinstrap penguin chicks. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY. 2006;60(6):778–84.
MLA
Martín, J, Liesbeth De Neve, V Polo, et al. “Health-dependent Vulnerability to Predation Affects Escape Responses of Unguarded Chinstrap Penguin Chicks.” BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY 60.6 (2006): 778–784. Print.
@article{1233198,
  abstract     = {Predators may select more often to attack the more vulnerable prey or those with an inferior health status. Thus, prey should be able to assess their own vulnerability to predation and modify their antipredatory behavior accordingly. When approached by predator skuas, unguarded penguin chicks flee short distances, and usually aggregate in dense packs, but there is a clear interindividual variability in their responses under similar conditions. We hypothesized that this variability in escape responses might be related to the perceived vulnerability to predation of each individual chick. We simulated predator attacks to chinstrap penguin chicks and analyzed the sources of variation in their escape response, such as the presence of adults or the density of other chicks, and the sex, age, body condition, and health status of responding chicks. Chicks allowed shorter approach distances when they had a better health condition (i.e., a greater T-cell-mediated immunity, CMI), when they were younger, and when the density of adults around was higher. Sex and density of other chicks were not important. Similarly, chicks fled from the experimenter to longer distances when they had a lower CMI and when the density of adults was lower. Therefore, escape characteristics of chicks depended on the presence of adults that can deter predators and on the health-dependent vulnerability of chicks.},
  author       = {Mart{\'i}n, J and De Neve, Liesbeth and Polo, V and Fargallo, JA and Soler, Manuel},
  issn         = {0340-5443},
  journal      = {BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY},
  keyword      = {PYGOSCELIS-ANTARCTICA,CRECHING BEHAVIOR,antipredatory behavior,fear,immunocompetence,health condition,penguins,RISK-ASSESSMENT,HUMAN DISTURBANCE,KING PENGUIN,DEFENSE,DISTANCE,DECISIONS,IMMUNOCOMPETENCE,prey vulnerability,BIRDS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {778--784},
  title        = {Health-dependent vulnerability to predation affects escape responses of unguarded chinstrap penguin chicks},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-006-0221-1},
  volume       = {60},
  year         = {2006},
}

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