Cooperation and opportunism in Galapagos sea lion hunting for shoaling fish

De Roy T, Espinoza ER, Trillmich F (2021)
Ecology and Evolution.

Zeitschriftenaufsatz | E-Veröff. vor dem Druck | Englisch
 
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Autor*in
De Roy, Tui; Espinoza, Eduardo R.; Trillmich, FritzUniBi
Abstract / Bemerkung
For predators, cooperation can decrease the cost of hunting and potentially augment the benefits. It can also make prey accessible that a single predator could not catch. The degree of cooperation varies substantially and may range from common attraction to a productive food source to true cooperation involving communication and complementary action by the individuals involved. We here describe cooperative hunting of Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) for Amberstripe scad (Decapterus muroadsi), a schooling, fast swimming semipelagic fish. A group of 6-10 sea lions, usually females only, drove scad over at least 600-800 m from open water into a cove where, in successful hunts, they drove them ashore. Frequently, these "core hunters" were joined toward the final stages of the hunt by another set of opportunistic sea lions from a local colony at that beach. The "core hunters" did not belong to that colony and apparently were together coming toward the area specifically for the scad hunt. Based on the observation of 40 such hunts from 2016 to 2020, it became evident that the females performed complementary actions in driving the scad toward the cove. No specialization of roles in the hunt was observed. All "core hunters" and also opportunistically joining sea lions from the cove shared the scad by randomly picking up a few of the 25-300 (mean 100) stranded fish as did scrounging brown pelicans. In one of these hunts, four individual sea lions were observed to consume 7-8 fish each in 25 s. We conclude that the core hunters must communicate about a goal that is not present to achieve joint hunting but presently cannot say how they do so. This is a surprising achievement for a species that usually hunts singly and in which joint hunting plays no known role in the evolution of its sociality.
Stichworte
collaboration; coordination; scad (Decapterus muroadsi); sociality; Zalophus wollebaeki
Erscheinungsjahr
2021
Zeitschriftentitel
Ecology and Evolution
eISSN
2045-7758
Page URI
https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/record/2956017

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De Roy T, Espinoza ER, Trillmich F. Cooperation and opportunism in Galapagos sea lion hunting for shoaling fish. Ecology and Evolution. 2021.
De Roy, T., Espinoza, E. R., & Trillmich, F. (2021). Cooperation and opportunism in Galapagos sea lion hunting for shoaling fish. Ecology and Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7807
De Roy, T., Espinoza, E. R., and Trillmich, F. (2021). Cooperation and opportunism in Galapagos sea lion hunting for shoaling fish. Ecology and Evolution.
De Roy, T., Espinoza, E.R., & Trillmich, F., 2021. Cooperation and opportunism in Galapagos sea lion hunting for shoaling fish. Ecology and Evolution.
T. De Roy, E.R. Espinoza, and F. Trillmich, “Cooperation and opportunism in Galapagos sea lion hunting for shoaling fish”, Ecology and Evolution, 2021.
De Roy, T., Espinoza, E.R., Trillmich, F.: Cooperation and opportunism in Galapagos sea lion hunting for shoaling fish. Ecology and Evolution. (2021).
De Roy, Tui, Espinoza, Eduardo R., and Trillmich, Fritz. “Cooperation and opportunism in Galapagos sea lion hunting for shoaling fish”. Ecology and Evolution (2021).

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