IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The logical polyp: assessments and decisions during contests in the beadlet anemone Actinia equina

Listed author(s):
  • Fabian S. Rudin
  • Mark Briffa
Registered author(s):

    Contest behavior, where individuals compete directly against one another for access to limited resources, is widespread across animal taxa. In many cases, contests are settled though the use of noninjurious behavior such as agonistic signals and even fights that involve weapons are often resolved through processes of assessment and strategic decision making. Here, we determine the role of these "decision rules" during staged contests in a simple animal, the beadlet sea anemone Actinia equina using a recently suggested approach of analyzing 1) traits linked to resource holding potential (RHP), 2) relationships between RHP and contest duration, and 3) contest dynamics. Depending on the activities used in the encounter, RHP, is linked to overall body size, the size of stinging nematocyst weapons, or by the ability to land blows on the opponent. Furthermore, changes in the intensity of aggression as the contest progresses indicate the use of 2 distinct types of self-assessment-based decision rules, which differ according to whether weapons are used in the contest. Therefore, these fights in animals that lack a centralized nervous system appear to involve the use of logical decision rules similar to those observed in contests in animals that are often assumed to be more "complex" in their behavior. Indeed, anemones appear to use different sources of information about incurred costs, depending on the intensity of the contest. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by International Society for Behavioral Ecology in its journal Behavioral Ecology.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 1278-1285

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:6:p:1278-1285
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK

    Fax: 01865 267 985
    Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:6:p:1278-1285. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.