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First published 20 July 2015

Evolving an optimal group size in groups of prey under predation

Patrick B. Haley, Randal S. Olson, Fred C. Dyer, and Christoph Adami

Abstract (Excerpt)

Considerable progress has been made in understanding the evolutionary forces underlying animal group-living behavior. Even so, Krause and Ruxton (2002) identified optimal group size as an under-researched area characterized by unwieldy large-predator study systems and simulations based on group rather than individual decision-making. Therefore, we present a simple, flexible simulation of foraging and predation that demonstrates that the evolution of an optimal, evolutionarily stable group size is in fact possible.