The Napoleon Complex: why smaller males pick fights
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Does it ever pay for smaller animals to initiate fights even when they are likely to lose? Asymmetry in payoffs between opponents or a suboptimal strategy resulting from likely losers misperceiving themselves as likely winners have both been proposed as possible explanations for the aggressive behavior of smaller males. The model presented here suggests that in some cases, even without a payoff asymmetry and allowing for only a small error in perception, likely losers are expected to attack first. If the value of the resource exceeds the cost of losing a fight, the cost of displaying is sufficiently small, and assessment of resource holding power is reasonably accurate but not perfect, the evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) prompts those contestants who perceive themselves as the likely losers to initiate fights, while it prompts those contestants who perceive themselves as the likely winners to wait for the adversary to attack or retreat.
- Archer, J. (1988) The Behavioural Biology of Aggression. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Barlow, G.W., Rogers, W. and Fraley, N. (1986) Do Midas Cichlids win through prowess or daring? It depends. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 19, 1–8.
- Brace, R.C. and Pavey, J. (1978) Size-dependent dominance hierarchy in the anemone Actinia equina. Nature 273, 752–753.
- Bradbury, J.W. and Vehrencamp, S.L. (1998) Principles of Animal Communication. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA, pp. 667–710.
- Dow, M., Ewing, A.W. and Sutherland, I. (1976) Studies on the behavior of cyprinodont fish III. The temporal patterning of aggresssion in Aphyosemion striatum (Boulenger). Behaviour 59, 252–268.
- Dowds, B.M. and Elwood, R.W. (1983) Shell wars: assessment strategies and the timing of decisions in hermit crab shell fights. Behaviour 85, 1–24.
- Dugatkin, L.A. and Biederman, L. (1991) Balancing asymmetries in resource holding power and resource value in the pumpkinseed sunfish. Anim. Behav. 42, 691–692.
- Dugatkin, L.A. and Ohlsen, S.R. (1990) Contrasting asymmetries in value expectation and resource holding power: effects on attack behavior and dominance in the pumpkinseed sunfish, Lepomis gibbosus. Anim. Behav. 39, 802–804.
- Enquist, M. and Jackobsson, S. (1986) Decision making and assessment in the fighting behavior of Nannacara anomala (Cichlidae, Pisces). Ethology 72, 143–153.
- Enquist, M. and Leimar, O. (1983) Evolution of fighting behaviour: decision rules and assessment of relative strength. J. Theor. Biol. 102, 387–410.
- Enquist, M. and Leimar, O. (1990) The evolution of fatal fighting. Anim. Behav. 39, 1–9.
- Figler, M.H. and Einhorn, D.M. (1983) The territorial prior residence effect in convict cichlids (Chichlasoma nigrofasciatum Gunther): temporal aspects of establishment and retention and proximate mechanisms. Behaviour 85, 157–181.
- Gardner, R. (1995) Games for Business and Economics. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York.
- Grafen, A. (1987) The logic of diversively asymmetric contests: respect for ownership and the desperado effect. Anim. Behav. 35, 462–467.
- Hammerstein, P. (1981) The role of asymmetries in animal contests. Anim. Behav. 19, 193–205.
- Hofbauer, J. and Sigmund, K. (1998) Evolutionary Games and Population Dynamics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
- Just, W. and Sun, X. (2003) Simulating the evolution of contest escalation. In A. Barry (ed.) Workshop Program for GECCO 2003 (Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference), 75–77.
- Just, W., Wu, M. and Holt, J. (2000) How to evolve a Napoleon Complex. In A. Zalzala (ed.) Proceedings of 2000 Congress on Evolutionary Computation. IEEE Press, pp. 851–856.
- Keeley, E.R. and Grant, J.W.A. (1993) Asymmetries in the expected value of food do not predict the outcome of contests between convict cichlids. Anim. Behav. 45, 1035–1037.
- Maynard Smith, J. (1974) The theory of games and the evolution of animal conflicts. J. Theor. Biol. 47, 209–221.
- Maynard Smith, J. (1982) Evolution and the Theory of Games. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Morris, M.R., Gass, L. and Ryan, M.J. (1995) Assessment and individual recognition of opponents in the swordtailsXiphophorus nigrensis and X. multilineatus. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 37, 303–310.
- Parker, G.A. (1974) Assessment strategy and evolution of fighting behaviour. J. Theor. Biol. 47, 223–243.
- Payne, R.J.H. (1998) Gradually escalating fights and displays: the cumulative assessment model. Anim. Behav. 56, 651–662.
- Payne, R.J.H. and Pagel, M. (1996) Escalation and time costs in displays of endurance. J. Theor. Biol. 183, 185–193.
- Ribowski, A. and Franck, D. (1993) Demonstration of strength and concealment of weakness in escalating fights of male swordtails (Xiphophorus helleri). Ethology 93, 265–271.
- Selten, R.J. (1980) A note on evolutionarily stable strategies in asymmetric animal conflicts. J. Theor. Biol. 84, 93–101.
- Turner, G.F. and Huntingford, F. (1986) A problem for game theory analysis: assessment and intention in male mouthbrooder contests. Anim. Behav. 34, 961–970.
- Zack, S. (1975) A description and analysis of agonistic behaviour patterns in an opisthobranch mollusk, Hermissenda crassicornis. Behaviour 5, 238–267.
- The Napoleon Complex: why smaller males pick fights
Volume 17, Issue 5-6 , pp 509-522
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- assessment of fighting ability
- evolutionarily stable strategy
- resource holding power