THE DYNAMICS OF SNAKE HARASSMENT BY BLACK-TAILED PRAIRIE DOGS by W. J. LOUGHRY1)2) (Animal Behavior Graduate Group, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, California 95616 U.S.A.) (With 1 Figure) (Acc. 29-XII-1986) Introduction To date, most discussions of the functional significance of predator harassment have focussed on explaining why any individual does or does not harass and have not considered varying levels of involvement in these encounters by different kinds of individuals (e.g., WILSON, 1975; HARVEY & GREENWOOD, 1978; CURIO, 1978; BIERMANN & ROBERTSON, 1981; but see CURIO et al., 1985; HENNESSY, in press). To the extent that certain individuals (e.g., adults, males, parents, etc. ) are more likely to deal more directly with a potential predator than are others, then the functional significance of harassing must be assessed by taking into account the identity of these individuals. Several recent studies have demonstrated that different individuals may participate to varying degrees in harassing potential predators (CULLY & LIGON, 1976; HENNESSY et al., 1981; SHIELDS, 1984; CURIO & REGELMANN, 1985; CuRIO et al., 1985). In certain bird species males are more likely to actively harass potential predators (by maintaining close proximity to the predator, calling at a high rate,
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1987
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