SYMPOSIUM Foraging Behavior Delays Mechanically-Stimulated Escape Responses in Fish


Synopsis Foraging and the evasion of predators are fundamental for the survival of organisms, but they impose con-trasting demands that can influence performance in each behavior. Previous studies suggested that foraging organisms may experience decreased vigilance to attacks by predators; however, little is known about the effect of foraging on escape performance with respect to the kinematics and the timing of the response. This study tested the hypothesis that engaging in foraging activities affected escape performance by comparing fast-start escape responses of silver-spotted sculpins Blepsias cirrhosus under three conditions: (1) control (no foraging involved), (2) while targeting prey, and (3) immedi-ately after capture of prey. Escape response variables (non-locomotor and locomotor) were analyzed from high-speed videos. Responsiveness was lower immediately after capturing a prey item compared with the other two treatments, and latency of performance was higher in the control treatment than in the other two. Locomotor variables such as maximum speed, maximum acceleration, and turning rates did not show statistical differences among the three groups. Our results demonstrate that foraging can negatively affect two fundamental components of the escape response: (1) responsiveness and (2) latency of escape, suggesting that engaging in foraging may decrease an individual’s ability to successfully evade predators

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oaioai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1...Last time updated on 11/2/2017

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