Fear of predators is not “natural”:study

June 21, 2007

clipped from today.reuters.com
Fear of predators is not instinctive but is a learned behavior that only develops when prey species share space with animals that eat them, according to a new study released this week
The study’s conclusion: remove the lions, and the zebras will lose their fear of them. But add wolves to a new territory and the resident elk or moose will soon learn they spell trouble
If you take away wolves, you take away fear. That is a critical piece of knowledge as biologists and public agencies increase efforts to re-introduce large carnivores to places where they have been exterminated
clipped from today.reuters.com
The study adds to previous work such as that on the evolution of flightlessness in birds on islands without predators. Such birds were often exterminated after the arrival of humans in part because they had no fear of predators
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