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Re: (Frog hunting) - and a load of XXXX
philidor11" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Assuming that the wee frog you spot is within your leaping distance.
Doesn't do you much good to see a frog across the lawn. You might
admittedly have a better chance to prepare yourself for the frog's arrival
within range. (Image of man on deck railing tensed to spring into action.
Image of frog hearing the crash and wondering, 'What the f%^&?!')
While the frog is muttering 'What the f%^&?!', the predator can pounce on it
and cram it in its jaws. Or, the leap may have brought the predator close
enough to the prey that it can simply grab it right away.
The whole leap and pounce and climb back business still seems like a waste
of energy, particularly if the food value of each prey item is small.
How is it *more* of a waste of energy than actively searching for prey? The
predator merely sits still, hardly expending any energy at all, and when it
sees (or senses) prey - it strikes. Remember, the rationale for this type
of predation is *efficiency* not *speed* per se.
This isn't a particularly novel strategy. It's been perfected by a vast
array of carnivorous and insectivorous animals - and one or two plants, I
might add - though, since they can't roam around looking for prey, they
don't really have a choice about it (apart from those darn triffids!!).
I think this sort of strategy is a clever way for small theropods with even
limited arboreal abilities to catch prey. Plus, it keeps them out of the
way of bigger predators.
David Marjanovic wrote:
This depends heavily on the presence and extent of undergrowth. If the
predator is above the undergrowth and the prey in or below it, too bad >
for the predator.
A rustle of the undergrowth or the slightest movement on the part of the
lizard (or whatever) might be adequate for the predator to realise that
there's something there.
Timothy J. Williams
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50014
Phone: 515 294 9233
Fax: 515 294 3163
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