Empirical studies of predator and prey behavior

Will Cresswell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Empirical studies of predator and prey behavior need to consider that behaviors arise from a dynamic interaction between predators and prey, operating over varying spatial and temporal scales; there are a wide range of alternative, condition-dependent behaviors that can be used; there are two different levels of behavior (avoidance or encounter, and capture or escape) that require different approaches; there are ethical problems of experimenting with predation systems. Therefore empirical studies of predator and prey behavior are often field-based observational studies of more complete natural systems, involving measurements of starvation-predation risk trade-offs, targeted field-experiments, and statistical methods to measure biologically significant effects and to infer causation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Animal Behavior
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780128132517
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Avoidance
  • Capture
  • Encounter
  • Escape
  • Ethics
  • Experimental approach
  • Field studies
  • Hunting
  • Nonlethal effects
  • Observational studies
  • Spatial scale
  • Starvation-predation risk trade-off
  • Temporal scale


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