publication . Article . Other literature type . 2012

Educated predators make strategic decisions to eat defended prey according to their toxin content

Craig A. Barnett; John Skelhorn; Melissa Bateson; Candy Rowe;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Mar 2012 Journal: Behavioral Ecology, volume 23, issue 2, pages 418-424
Abstract
Animals often eat foods containing toxins to benefit from the nutrients that they contain. Understanding how animals balance the costs of eating toxins with the benefits of gaining nutrients is important for understanding the evolution of antipredator defenses, particularly aposematism and mimicry. In this study, we tested whether predators could learn to use color signals to make strategic decisions about when to include prey that varied in their toxin content in their diets. We gave European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) daily sessions of sequentially presented mealworms (Tenebrio molitor). There were 3 types of mealworm which were made discriminable using colo...
Subjects
free text keywords: Animal Science and Zoology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Aposematism, Mealworm, biology.organism_classification, biology, Predation, Ecology, Mimicry, Sturnus
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publication . Article . Other literature type . 2012

Educated predators make strategic decisions to eat defended prey according to their toxin content

Craig A. Barnett; John Skelhorn; Melissa Bateson; Candy Rowe;