The relationship between predators and their prey is an intricate and
complicated relationship; covering a great area of scientific knowledge. This
paper will examine the different relationships between predator and prey;
focusing on the symbiotic relations between organisms, the wide range of defense
mechanisms that are utilized by various examples of prey, and the influence
between predators and prey concerning evolution and population structure.
Symbiosis is the interaction between organisms forming a long term
relationship with each other. Many organisms become dependent on others and
they need one another or one needs the other to survive. Symbiotic interactions
include forms of parasitism, mutualism, and commensalism.
The first topic of discussion in symbiosis is parasitism. Parasitism is
when the relationship between two animal populations becomes intimate and the
individuals of one population use the other population as a source of food and
can be located in or on the host animal or animal of the other
population(Boughey 1973). No known organism escapes being a victim of
Parasitism is similar to preditation in the sense that the parasite derives
nourishment from the host on which it feeds and the predator derives nourishment
from the prey on which it feeds(Nitecki 1983). Parasitism is different from
most normal predator prey situations because many different parasites can feed
off of just one host but very few predators can feed on the same prey(1973). In
parasite-host relationships most commonly the parasite is smaller than the host.
This would explain why many parasites can feed off of one single host. Another
difference in parasite-host relationships is that normally the parasite or group
of parasites do not kill the host from feeding, whereas a predator will kill it'
s prey(1983). Efficient parasites will not kill their host at least until their
own life cycle has been... [continues]
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