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Re: Looking for patterns in extinctions.



On Sun, 14 Apr 1996, Jeffrey Martz wrote:

>      Is this an evolutionary tactic of the carnivore or the prey?  A
> predator eating up all the prey animals, or a egg eater eating up
> all the eggs may be bad in the long term for the eater, but it has
> more immediate repercussions for the eaten.  I think well hidden
> nests, defense of nests, and the evolution of defensive tactics by
> prey animals is a more likely deterrent for overkill than
> consumptive abstinance on the part of the carnivore.

I'm sorry if I wasn't quite clear before.  I was speaking more of
feedback systems like the following: when a predator species, say,
eats too many eggs of a particular species, then the eggs become few
and far between, meals become scarce, and the predator's population
falls to the point where it no longer threatens the existence of the
prey species.  Witness, for instance, the population dynamics of the
lynx and snowshoe hare.

I didn't mean to suggest that any (non-human) predator said to itself,
"Gosh, I've been eating a lot of eggs from that particular
animal...I'd better slow down if I don't want to kill it off
altogether!"

Nature's methods are more ingenious.

> LN Jeff 0-

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447
(206)535-8206
PharriNJ@PLU.edu

"If you can't convince them, confuse them." -- Harry S. Truman