Alarm calls as costly signals of anti-predator vigilance: The Watchful Babbler game

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Alarm calls as costly signals of anti-predator vigilance: The Watchful Babbler game

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dc.contributor.author Bergstrom, Carl T. en_US
dc.contributor.author Lachmann, Michael en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2004-11-04T03:49:52Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2007-06-13T19:58:05Z
dc.date.available 2004-11-04T03:49:52Z en_US
dc.date.available 2007-06-13T19:58:05Z
dc.date.issued 2001 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Bergstrom C.T. and M. Lachmann. 2001. Animal Behaviour. 61(3):535-543. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0003-3472 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1773/2000 en_US
dc.description.abstract Alarm-calling behavior is common in many species that suffer from predation. While kin selection or reciprocal altruism are typically invoked to explain such behaviors, several authors have conjectured that some alarm calls may instead be costly signals sent by prey to inform approaching predators that they have been detected. We develop a general game-theoretic model --- the Watchful Babbler game --- in which prey signal awareness to predators. We derive necessary and sufficient conditions for alarm calls to function as honest signals. We show that signals can honestly reveal prey awareness if (1) the prey's sense of predation risk accurately reflects the probability that the predator is present, and (2) greater awareness of the predator allows the prey a greater chance of escape. When honest signalling is possible, the model predicts that prey will be more willing to signal when predators are common than when predators are rare, and that greater pursuit costs to the predator will allow cheaper signals by the prey. en_US
dc.format.extent 188888 bytes en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Academic Press LTD Elsevier Science LTD en_US
dc.title Alarm calls as costly signals of anti-predator vigilance: The Watchful Babbler game en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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