Predator and the Prey
If Predator-Prey Economics existed as a field of study, it would address human economic interactions from the perspective of Resource Competition Dynamics. Predator-Prey dynamics have been applied since at least to model the growth cycle and later, Debt vs Capital, its most intuitive use, considering the former feeds on the latter to survive. This use of the model is even more relevant when interest from Debt accrues at a greater Internal Rate of Return IRR than recurring income from Capital. Yet, in a world run by hard-core Keynesians not Post-Keynesian s!
The cyclical behavior of the exponential IRR functions shown on the chart seems independently produced until we use predator-prey dynamics to probe for interdependence.
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Coincidentally, just glancing at the chart explains why Greenspan and all subsequent G7 central bankers began their barely-disguised, rate-cutting race after Prey animals can be anything from the smallest insect to a pound bull moose. Some prey animals are herbivores , meaning they eat plants. Other prey species are omnivores , which means they will eat plants or animals.
Most times, the word predator brings to mind an image of snarling teeth and slashing claws. While many predators fit this image, many others do not. Predators come in many sizes and shapes.
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They can be as tiny as a bug or as large as a polar bear. What does a ladybug eat? You're right, other animals! What about that beautiful American robin that we welcome spring with? Yes, another predator! Are you getting the idea? Predators are animals that eat other animals. They're not bad guys. They're just creatures trying to feed themselves; they get hungry just like you and me.
They don't have the option of going to the grocery store or the drive-in.
Predators are part of a food chain , the process of passing energy from one organism to the next. Plants are the first link in the food chain; they use the sun's energy to make food. Plants are called the producers. Plant eaters, also called herbivores, enter the picture next. Predators such as birds and foxes join the food chain by eating the plant eaters and are known as primary consumers. These predators may become food for the next animal up the chain. Predators that eat primary consumers are known as secondary consumers, which are also eaten by tertiary consumers or quaternary consumers.
All of these are just layers of animals that eat from the lower layers. Finally you have your apex predator. This is the predator at the top of the food chain. Most natural communities have several food chains that interconnect. This is called a food web. When a food web is drawn, it looks like a pyramid with the apex predator at the top and the plants eaters at the bottom.
Plant eaters are the most abundant part of the web. A food chain or a food web allows a small amount of the sun's energy to be passed along through each animal. When an animal dies, it decomposes , or breaks down, and provides the soil with nutrients that help plants to transform the sun's energy into food once again. The relationship between predators and prey is often described as the balance of nature. A natural ecosystem does have a degree of balance — the number of plants and animals in an ecosystem tends to remain within a certain limit, which is not too great or not too small.
Predators, however, are not the only factor that affects a population. A variety of things cause the abundance of a species, including predators, food availability, the competition with other species, disease, and even the weather. It is said that the predators in a particular area control the populations of prey species. In this way, the prey species won't overpopulate and destroy the habitat. This seems logical enough, but it is too simple to fully explain what goes on in nature.
One thing to remember is that populations of predators and prey do not remain constant. There are many factors which cause their respective numbers to rise and fall. Predators can be found on any continent of the world. Hot desert climates, icy cold polar climates, rainforests, jungles, mountain tops, valleys, oceans, and lakes. Predators are found in nearly every habitat known to us.
Animals with an internal skeleton made of bone are called vertebrates. Vertebrates include mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and fish. Although vertebrates represent only a very small percentage of all animals, their size and mobility often allow them to dominate their environment. Animals that do not have a back bone are called invertebrates. Invertebrates are cold-blooded — this means their body temperature depends on the temperature of their environment.
Some major groups of invertebrates include amoebas, sponges, jellyfish, corals, tapeworms, flukes, insects, arachnids, crustaceans, mollusks, and echinoderms. There are more species of invertebrates than any other group on the earth. Learn more about invertebrates and find out about the kinds of animals that fall into this category by visiting The National Wildlife Federation. The Venus fly trap is one you've probably heard of.
They are small plants found in North and South Carolina. They grow in nutrient poor soil, so they need insects to provide what they need to survive.
In Idaho, we have two carnivorous plants, sundews and bladderworts. They can be found in bogs near wetlands. Each plant has unique ways to catch and eat food.
To learn more about carnivorous plants, visit botany. The way a predator hunts, catches and kills food is determined by many factors such as the adaptations of the predator and the prey, and the type of habitat they live in. The strategies commonly used by predators are:. Hawks are among the many predators that catch their prey by chasing it. Chasing takes both time and effort to make a successful capture. To be successful, predators that chase their prey must concentrate on species that will provide enough nutrition to offset the energy burned while chasing.
This is one reason why the hawk tends to eat more rodents and birds than grasshoppers. Grasshoppers just don't provide enough food value to justify the effort it takes to catch them. Herons use a different technique, the stalk. Standing motionless in shallow water or wading slowly along the shore, the heron patiently searches for prey. When a heron sees its prey it captures it with a quick lunge of its long, sharp beak.
This method does not require much energy.
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The giant water bug Kirkaldyia deyrolli , in the subfamily Lethocerinae within the Belostomatidae , is an endangered species native to Japan that primarily feeds on small frogs and fish. Shin-ya Ohba has captured photos of K. A 58mm male water bug was found consuming a juvenile Reeves turtle during a nighttime sampling.
Ohba has found K. The hunting of juveniles has developed as an effective anti-predator strategy and role reversal. Young predators are at risk from members of their own species and competitors, and they may also be vulnerable to adults of prey species, as young predators pose nearly no predation risk to adult prey.
This in turn reduces the risk of predation on the prey species.
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An experiment with mites as predators and thrips as prey showed that even juvenile prey can attack juvenile predators. These attacks triggered a parental care response in adult predators, who killed juvenile prey that attacked their young. This created a "cascade of predator attack, prey counterattack and predator defence". A more common reversal is interspecific killing among predators. It is possible that one predator species may kill another and not the other way around, or both species may kill each other. Killing among predators can reduce populations, even to the point of extinction , and may reduce or enhance prey populations.
Two islands off the west coast of South Africa have very different seafloor ecosystems. On Malgas Island , the population is mostly seaweed and rock lobsters. Rock lobsters act as predators, preying on mussels that try to settle. The lobsters also prey on whelks , except for one species, Burnupena papyracea , the shell of which is usually encrusted with a commensal bryozoan.
In contrast, Marcus Island has a large mussel population, and almost no seaweed or rock lobsters. Whelks, Burnupena spp also have a large population density at Marcus Island. Rock lobsters brought to Marcus Island were quickly consumed by the whelks, which outnumbered them. This interaction showed a role reversal between a prey species the whelk , and a predator species the rock lobster.
Predator—prey reversal is a plot theme in numerous books and movies; it is one version of the story of the underdog who comes back from improbable odds and succeeds against a vastly superior foe, from Bram Stoker's Dracula to children's movies such as Monsters University. The film Predator is an example of prey-reversal where the victim becomes the predator.
Predator-Prey Relationships — New England Complex Systems Institute
Armed with a stealth suit and ultimate high-tech gear, the predator methodically dispatches the humans that find themselves in the jungle. The last of his squad, "Dutch" Arnold Schwarzenegger must turn from the hunted, into the hunter. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Royal Society Open Science. Georgia Institute of Technology.