The dicey dinner dilemma : asymmetry in predator-prey risk-taking, a broadly-applicable alternative to the life-dinner principle
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Forty years ago, the ‘life‐dinner principle’ was proposed as an example of an asymmetry that may lead prey species to experience stronger selection than their predators, thus accounting for the high frequency with which prey escape alive from interaction with a predator. This principle remains an influential concept in the scientific literature, despite several works suggesting that the concept relies on many under‐appreciated assumptions and does not apply as generally as was initially proposed. Here, we present a novel model describing a very different asymmetry to that proposed in the life‐dinner principle, but one that could apply broadly. We argue that asymmetries between the relative costs and benefits to predators and prey of selecting a risky behaviour during an extended predator–prey encounter could lead to an enhanced likelihood of escape for the prey. Any resulting advantage to prey depends upon there being a behaviour or choice that introduces some inherent danger to both predator and prey if they adopt it, but which if the prey adopts the predator must match in order to have a chance of successful predation. We suggest that the circumstances indicated by our model could apply broadly across diverse taxa, including both risky spatial or behavioural choices.
Humphreys , R K & Ruxton , G D 2020 , ' The dicey dinner dilemma : asymmetry in predator-prey risk-taking, a broadly-applicable alternative to the life-dinner principle ' , Journal of Evolutionary Biology , vol. Early View . https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.13585
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Copyright © 2020 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2020 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.13585
DescriptionRKH is grateful to both the University of St Andrews and the Perry Foundation for funding.
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