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Sit-and-wait predation (was RE: the maniraptoran wrist)



Brian Lauret wrote:

> >The best explanation I've read so far.
> >(The idea that endotherms could be sit-&-wait predators is hard to
> > believe.
>
> Well I'm sorry but aren't bird species like kingfishers,puffbirds and 
> frogmouths sit-and-wait-predators?

Yes - and many other birds besides, including many birds of prey
(Falconiformes).  When the ambush attack is launched from a tree, the
technique is called "perch hunting".

Certain primates also exhibit sit-and-wait preadtion.  I believe it's
well-attested in tarsiers, for example.  

The idea behind sit-and-wait predation is that the predator sits or lies
still waiting for prey.  When prey is sighted, the predator launches itself
against it.  The alternative to sit-and-wait predation is active foraging.
Some predators do both, depending upon the availability of prey items and/or
the need to conserve energy.  For example, among certain predatory birds,
sit-and-wait predation may be favored in winter - when prey is rarer (and
perhaps easier to spot against a snowy background) and there is a greater
need to conserve energy.



Tim