Social Predation book cover

Social Predation

How group living benefits predators and prey

The classic literature on predation dealt almost exclusively with solitary predators and their prey. Going back to Lotka-Volterra and optimal foraging theory, the theory about predation, including predator-prey population dynamics, was developed for solitary species. Various consequences of sociality for predators have been considered only recently. Similarly, while it was long recognized that prey species can benefit from living in groups, research on the adaptive value of sociality for prey species mostly emerged in the 1970s. The main theme of this book is the various ways that predators and prey may benefit from living in groups. The first part focusses on predators and explores how group membership influences predation success rate, from searching to subduing prey. The second part focusses on how prey in groups can detect and escape predators. The final section explores group size and composition and how individuals respond over evolutionary times to the challenges posed by chasing or being chased by animals in groups. This book will help the reader understand current issues in social predation theory and provide a synthesis of the literature across a broad range of animal taxa.


Researchers in animal behavior, ethology; evolutionary, behavioral and ecological biology and ecology; as well as advanced UG/graduate students and professors in these areas.

Paperback, 336 Pages

Published: January 2014

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-12-407228-2


  • Part A: Predators

    Chapter 1: Finding and exploiting food in groups

    Chapter 2: Producer-scrounger dynamics

    Part B: Prey

    Chapter 3: Antipredator ploys

    Chapter 4: Antipredator vigilance: Theory and testing the assumptions

    Chapter 5: Antipredator vigilance: Detection and the group-size effect

    Chapter 6: The selfish herd

    Part C: General considerations

    Chapter 7: Group size and composition

    Chapter 8: Mixed-species groups

    Chapter 9: Evolutionary issues


    Subject index

    Author index


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