Predator-Prey
Updated: 6/11/2020
Predator-Prey
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  • How can this predator - prey relationship affect the population? It can help the diversity of populations increase (greater adaptations that are used for advantages) and can also fluctuate the numbers for both sides. For example, when the prey population decreased, the predator population did too (due to lack of food) but this sin't quite the same for the prey population (they would keep on increasing despite predators decreasing). Their numbers will limit if they run out of their food, get wiped out from diseases, or lose their habitat. Of course the predators population would increase again (since their is now more prey to eat). As a result, both prey and predator numbers will affect each other in different periods of time.
  • How can this predator - prey relationship affect the population? It can help the diversity of populations increase (greater adaptations that are used for advantages) and can also fluctuate the numbers for both sides. For example, when the prey population decreased, the predator population did too (due to lack of food) but this sin't quite the same for the prey population (they would keep on increasing despite predators decreasing). Their numbers will limit if they run out of their food, get wiped out from diseases, or lose their habitat. Of course the predators population would increase again (since their is now more prey to eat). As a result, both prey and predator numbers will affect each other in different periods of time.
  • Prey adaptations - Voles
  • Voles are prey to many predators such as hawks, falcons, foxes, snakes, and in this case, the barn owl. They may not realize it, but right now they are going to be hunted for food. But how can they protect themselves from predators? To achieve this, the voles have adaptations to make them less vulnerable. Some general ones that are used by most prey include different forms of camouflage (disruptive colorization, colour resemblance, just to name a few), the senses such as hearing and smell, special weapons or strengths ( faster speed can help prey to run faster,tusks or claws to defend themselves, or adaptations depending on their environment) and alarm calls (a sound which can warn others or threaten the predator). But each animal can have it's own special, specific adaptations. The vole doesn't have many adaptations, so it sticks to hiding by making small tunnels and burrows. They also communicate as a group (alarm calls) so that they can all get away safely.
  • As you can see here, most of the dark colored mouses survived by hiding in the dark and blending with the colors more (an adaptation for the prey) and the barn owl used it's sensitive hearing and eyesight to locate the voles, then swooped quietly using it's soft, comb-like wings. This makes it easier to catch it's prey. So how does the predator and prey populations change because of this? Since the predators have their prey to eat, they will start breeding, which will increase the population of predators. Since their are more predators, the prey numbers will decrease (but their will still be enough to feed on, since prey numbers are usually higher than predator numbers in an ecosystem). Since their is a lack of prey, predator numbers will fall, causing prey to have more time and safety to start reproducing. Now, prey numbers will start to increase again and so will the predator numbers (since there is more prey). The cycle then would begin again due to the restoration of starting numbers.
  • There are also different factors that may change the predator and prey population, such as seasonal changes (in the winter, there may be a shortage of food for prey, hence decreasing and also causing predators to decrease as well, while in the winter it may be easier to catch prey for predators as the number increase). Other factors can also include diesese (which may decrease the population of prey as well) and also if there were too many predators fighting for the same prey.
  • Predator and Prey Relationship
  • Predator adaptations -Barn Owl
  • Adaptations are very important for predators to hunt their prey - it gives them an advantage to outsmart their prey and competitors. This predation cycle helps the population stay even. as there is a higher percentage of herbivores to carnivores. Some key adaptations for predators include their highly trained senses (they have eyes placed in front of their heads rather than on the side to give them three dimensional. binocular vision), stalking their prey without them noticing (owls have soft, comb-like winged edges which helps them to fly silently), physical adaptations such as teeth, claws and strength (they can easily defeat their counterparts in a fight). They are also highly intelligent - which helps them to outsmart the prey. Barn owls have most of these attributes, making them a fierce predator for the vole. Some examples are it's good eyesight, extremely sensitive hearing, long toes and sharp toes for catching prey easily while swooping , flexible neck and the facial disk of the owl can collect sound and funnel this into the inner ear (this makes it easier to pinpoint the exact location of a vole)
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