Multiple preferred escape trajectories are explained by a geometric model incorporating prey's turn and predator attack endpoint

  1. Yuuki Kawabata  Is a corresponding author
  2. Hideyuki Akada
  3. Ken-ichiro Shimatani
  4. Gregory Naoki Nishihara
  5. Hibiki Kimura
  6. Nozomi Nishiumi
  7. Paolo Domenici
  1. Nagasaki University, Japan
  2. The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Japan
  3. CNR-IAS, Italy

Abstract

The escape trajectory (ET) of prey - measured as the angle relative to the predator's approach path - plays a major role in avoiding predation. Previous geometric models predict a single ET; however, many species show highly variable ETs with multiple preferred directions. Although such a high ET variability may confer unpredictability to avoid predation, the reasons why animals prefer specific multiple ETs remain unclear. Here, we constructed a novel geometric model that incorporates the time required for prey to turn and the predator's position at the end of its attack. The optimal ET was determined by maximizing the time difference of arrival at the edge of the safety zone between the prey and predator. By fitting the model to the experimental data of fish Pagrus major, we show that the model can clearly explain the observed multiple preferred ETs. By changing the parameters of the same model within a realistic range, we were able to produce various patterns of ETs empirically observed in other species (e.g., insects and frogs): a single preferred ET and multiple preferred ETs at small (20-50°) and large (150-180°) angles from the predator. Our results open new avenues of investigation for understanding how animals choose their ETs from behavioral and neurosensory perspectives.

Data availability

The datasets (Dataset1-5) of the escape response in P. major, used for statistical analysis and figures, and the R code (Source code 1-3) for the mathematical model, statistical analysis, and figures are available in Figshare: https://figshare.com/s/bea4ee4e7f7664ccd80c.

The following data sets were generated

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Yuuki Kawabata

    Graduate School of Fisheries and Environmental Sciences, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan
    For correspondence
    yuuki-k@nagasaki-u.ac.jp
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-8267-5199
  2. Hideyuki Akada

    Faculty of Fisheries, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Ken-ichiro Shimatani

    The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Tachikawa, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Gregory Naoki Nishihara

    Institute for East China Sea Research, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Hibiki Kimura

    Graduate School of Fisheries and Environmental Sciences, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-3710-2564
  6. Nozomi Nishiumi

    Graduate School of Fisheries and Environmental Sciences, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Paolo Domenici

    CNR-IAS, Oristano, Italy
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Grants-in-Aid for Young Scientists B,17K17949)

  • Yuuki Kawabata

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas,19H04936)

  • Yuuki Kawabata

Sumitomo Foundation (Grant for Environmental Research Projects,153128)

  • Yuuki Kawabata

ISM Cooperative Research Program (2014-ISM.CRP-2006)

  • Yuuki Kawabata
  • Ken-ichiro Shimatani

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Christian Rutz, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom

Ethics

Animal experimentation: The animal care and experimental procedures were approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of the Faculty of Fisheries (Permit No. NF-0002), Nagasaki University in accordance with the Guidelines for Animal Experimentation of the Faculty of Fisheries and the Regulations of the Animal Care and Use Committee, Nagasaki University.

Version history

  1. Preprint posted: April 29, 2020 (view preprint)
  2. Received: February 8, 2022
  3. Accepted: February 13, 2023
  4. Accepted Manuscript published: February 15, 2023 (version 1)
  5. Version of Record published: March 31, 2023 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2023, Kawabata et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Yuuki Kawabata
  2. Hideyuki Akada
  3. Ken-ichiro Shimatani
  4. Gregory Naoki Nishihara
  5. Hibiki Kimura
  6. Nozomi Nishiumi
  7. Paolo Domenici
(2023)
Multiple preferred escape trajectories are explained by a geometric model incorporating prey's turn and predator attack endpoint
eLife 12:e77699.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.77699

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.77699

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