Animal’s Defenses: Fighting in Predator-Prey Relations

  • Stanley C. Ratner
Part of the Advances in the Study of Communication and Affect book series (ASCA, volume 2)


This chapter deals with a special case of fighting among animals. It deals with fighting and associated behaviors when a prey animal is attacked by a predator. An analysis of these behaviors serves at least two purposes. On one hand, it leads to the examination of defensive behaviors that probably have different evolutionary and functional meanings from defensive behaviors involving conspecifics. On the other hand, it permits comparison between these two types of fighting behaviors—the behaviors of fighting predators and fighting conspecifics. Investigators of each process may learn from the other. For example, investigators have their attention drawn to questions such as: the similarity in fighting with a predator and fighting with a member of the same species, the uses of threat displays in the two situations, and the sequences of defensive reactions in the two situations.


Defensive Behavior Prey Animal Tonic Immobility Defensive Reaction Attack Directing 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley C. Ratner
    • 1
  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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