A Test of the Energy Maximization Premise of Optimal Foraging Theory

  • David B. Campbell


A key premise of optimal foraging theory is that animals have, through the process of natural selection, evolved behaviors that tend to maximize their rate of energy intake (see Pyke, Pulliam, & Charnov 1977; Krebs 1978, for reviews). Therefore, a predator determines the relative costs and benefits of feeding on different prey types, and chooses the prey type that maximizes food value and predator survival. The predator does not necessarily make conscious decisions (Krebs 1978). Rather, the decision is the result of partially or wholly genetically controlled behavior shaped by evolution.


Prey Item Prey Density Large Mussel Optimal Forage Theory Small Mussel 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoology DepartmentUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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