Alarm Calls as Costly Signals of Anti-Predator Vigilance: The Watchful Babbler Game
Alarm-calling behavior is common in many species that suffer from predation. While kin selection or reciprocal altruism are typically invoked to explain such a behaviour, several authors have conjectured that some alarm calls may instead be costly signals sent by prey to inform approaching predators that they have been detected. We develop a general game-theoretic model -- the Watchful Babbler game -- in which prey signal awareness to predators. We derive necessary and sufficient conditions for alarm calls to function as honest signals. We show that signals can honestly reveal prey awareness if (1) the prey's sense of predation risk accurately reflects the probability that the predator is present, and (2) greater awareness of the predator allows the prey a great chance of escape. When honest signalling is possible, the model predicts that prey will be more willing to signal when predators are common that when predators are rare, and that greater pursuit costs to the predator will allow cheaper signals by the prey.
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/working-papers.html
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Vega-Redondo, F. & Hasson, O., 1990. "A Game-Theoretic Model of Predator-Prey Signalling. ," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 148.90, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:00-02-009. 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: (Thomas Krichel)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.