Document Detail

Prey attack and predators defend: counterattacking prey trigger parental care in predators.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16191599     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
That predators attack and prey defend is an oversimplified view. When size changes during development, large prey may be invulnerable to predators, and small juvenile predators vulnerable to attack by prey. This in turn may trigger a defensive response in adult predators to protect their offspring. Indeed, when sizes overlap, one may wonder "who is the predator and who is the prey"! Experiments with "predatory" mites and thrips "prey" showed that young, vulnerable prey counterattack by killing young predators and adult predators respond by protective parental care, killing young prey that attack their offspring. Thus, young individuals form the Achilles' heel of prey and predators alike, creating a cascade of predator attack, prey counterattack and predator defence. Therefore, size structure and relatedness induce multiple ecological role reversals.
Sara Magalhães; Arne Janssen; Marta Montserrat; Maurice W Sabelis
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  272     ISSN:  0962-8452     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2005 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-09-29     Completed Date:  2006-02-10     Revised Date:  2013-06-07    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1929-33     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Amsterdam, Population Biology Section, PO Box 94084, 1090 GB Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Aggression / physiology*
Analysis of Variance
Body Size*
Insects / physiology*
Maternal Behavior / physiology*
Mites / physiology*
Predatory Behavior / physiology*
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