Predator and Prey Relationsips Essay

367 WordsOct 7, 20122 Pages
Predator and prey relationships Predator and prey evolve together. The prey is part of the predator's environment, and the predator dies if it does not get food, so it evolves whatever is necessary in order to eat the prey: speed, stealth, camouflage (to hide while approaching the prey), a good sense of smell, sight, or hearing (to find the prey), immunity to the prey's poison, poison (to kill the prey) the right kind of mouth parts or digestive system, etc. Likewise, the predator is part of the prey's environment, and the prey dies if it is eaten by the predator, so it evolves whatever is necessary to avoid being eaten: speed, camouflage (to hide from the predator), a good sense of smell, sight, or hearing (to detect the predator), thorns, poison (to spray when approached or bitten). Examples 1. Hare and Lynx As the hare population size grows, the lynx population size begins to increase in response. Because there are so many hares, other predators opportunistically begin to hunt them along with the lynxes. The hares’ less nutritious and varied diet begins to have an effect; the hares begin to die due to illness and disease. Fewer hare’s are born because there is less food. The hare population size begins to go into a steep decline. Therefore, the lynx population also begins to decline. Some lynxes starve and others die due to disease. Both the lynx and hare populations have fewer babies and this decrease in population gives the vegetation a chance to recover. Once there is enough vegetation for the hares to begin to increase their population the whole cycle begins again. 2. Lions and Zebras The fastest lions are able to catch food and eat, so they survive and reproduce, and gradually, faster lions make up more and more of the population. The fastest zebras are able to escape the lions, so they survive and reproduce, and gradually, faster zebras make

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