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Are predators always smarter than their prey?

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Are predators always smarter than their prey?

Postby thekdog » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:43 am

A friend and I were having a discussion about predator and prey intelligence levels, he claimed that predators will always have higher intelligence than their prey. I simply couldn't believe that that could be a universal rule so I said I would find a an exclusion to the rule, after a bit of searching I haven't found much information other than crocodiles and sharks being possible candidates. Can you guys help me out here? thanks in advance :D
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Postby JackBean » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:59 am

Let me ask you this. Which one you think has higher intelligence - monkeys/apes or big cats?
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Postby thekdog » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:17 am

monkeys/apes.
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Postby JackBean » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:22 pm

You see, and yet there are big cats which hunt monkeys. The ability to hunt is not based on intelligence, but on your senses, speed, mimics etc.
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby Biologist123 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:59 pm

In a preditor prey relationship there is often one preditor and many prey, take for example a coyote and wild rabbits. The rabbits must hide and learn to live in fear of the coyote, but the coyote doesn't have to be smarter than the rabbits because there are so many, and if it misses one, another will more than likely be close by.
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Postby piscilactovegetarian » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:03 pm

Maybe predators are not necessarily cleverer than their prey, but in most cases they're larger. Larger size in the prey happens to be case # 6 on the first list ("Ethology") of my bilingual lists of zoological exceptions at excepciones-zoologicas.blogspot.com, where so far only the foreword and the first list can be seen. That case is related to case # 61 on the same list --parasites that are larger than the host-- and to one of the weirdest exceptions on the second list ("Morphology"), which is the unique case of the paradoxical frog, whose tadpole is bigger than the adult. Please let me know about any additional examples. The complete set of lists includes nearly a thousand cases and can be useful for students who want to study Biology as a career.
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Re: Are predators always smarter than their prey?

Postby Gannet » Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:46 pm

My opinion it is not a matter of which is more intelligent, the knowledge each have is learned by experience and some prey and predator coevolve such as Ringed Seals and Polar Bears.
Also, usually when the predator(s) hunt it seeks out the weakest or slowest: young, old, sick .
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Re: Are predators always smarter than their prey?

Postby piscilactovegetarian » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:03 am

Gannet wrote:Also, usually when the predator hunts it seeks out the weakest or slowest: young, old, sick .


True, as I found out years ago. This is exactly the same matter relating to case # 4 on the said first list: "Predators that do not choose as victims (= prey) the weakest individuals".
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Re: Are predators always smarter than their prey?

Postby Gannet » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:18 am

Yesterday while I was further researching this question found this website which explains prey survival strategies from becoming dinner http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/behavior-under-risk-how-animals-avoid-becoming-23646978

My only issue with this article is the statement, I made bold in the quote
Detecting predators
In order to effectively avoid and respond to predation, animals must first identify the presence of a potential predator. The ability to recognize predator cues is essential for the initiation of antipredator behavior. This can be innate, for example, animals can identify predators as a threat even if they have never encountered them before, or learned only after exposure to a predatory threat

which they did not provide any examples or detail explanation
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Re: Are predators always smarter than their prey?

Postby piscilactovegetarian » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:59 am

Gannet wrote: (...) My only issue with this article is the statement "animals can identify predators as a threat even if they have never encountered them before (...)".


I know of two cases of instinctive (= not learned) reactions to predators: 1) apes go into a panic whenever they see a snake, and 2) certain chicks get scared when they see a long shape passing by above them, advancing along a trajectory that makes a right angle to the length of the shape, because it looks like a big gliding bird, even though they still don't know about raptorials.
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Re: Are predators always smarter than their prey?

Postby Gannet » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:43 am

Thanks piscilactovegetarian for replying. It is great to have someone to discuss this subject

My thoughts about instinctive knowledge the "jury is still out". Currently, my hypothesis is that self-preservation induces fear of everything in which the experience, if they survived, determines the knowledge they learned.

Found some more info about this subject at http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/the-diversity-of-behavior-15129167
Animal behavior is also influenced by physiological mechanisms. Chemicals known as corticosteroids often become elevated in individuals during stressful conditions. Under these circumstances reproductive and territorial behaviors are suppressed and escape behaviors are promoted instead (Wingfield et al. 1998). Research has shown that corticosteroids may also affect learning and memory acquisition (Thaker et al. 2010). To test this, researchers inhibited corticosterone elevation in Eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) during an encounter with a novel attacker (Figure 3). They found that the inhibition impaired immediate escape responses by lizards and limited learning and recall during future encounters. Thus, elevated corticosteroids are necessary for not only antipredatory behaviors but also aversive learning in prey species.
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Postby piscilactovegetarian » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:30 am

Gannet, your concept doesn't agree with the facts. One can frighten the young of certain bird species by moving above them along a straight line an object shaped like a bird with outstretched wings. Other shapes won't elicit that reaction. You're almost like Aristotle rejecting Plato's notion of the "innate ideas" (built-in ideas, ideas we're born with) and saying that "there is nothing in the mind that has not previously gone through the senses" (in your case, at least as far as unlearned reactions to predators are concerned [actually, unlearned by the individual but obviously learned by the species and added to the genome]), by which he meant that at birth the mind is a "clean slate", a blank page.
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