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New view of predator-prey theory


In a new study, researchers discovered that the number of preys does not proportionally increase the number of predators around them.

Researcher at the McGill University researcher, Ian Hatton looked into the number of prey species, such as zebras and antelopes, and predator species, such as lions and hyenas, in different African parks with different climates and environments.

Based on the mathematical pattern called a power law, he concluded that as the number of prey animals increased, there were fewer predators for each one of those prey species.

In Kalahari desert, there are 4 kilograms of predators and 200 kilograms of prey on every square kilometer.

This pattern can be observed in other 1,000 studies worldwide, over the past 50 years.

Ecologist Just Cebrian analyzed this study and stated that this finding has implications for how humans manage ecosystems for food production, as well as how ecosystems store carbon which can influence the climate change.

One explanation of this is that prey animals and plants reproduce more slowly in more crowded settings.

Because Hatton went to school in Zimbabwe, he used this chance to conduct his research and visit Africa again.

Hatton is working on getting a job as a postdoctoral researcher, in order to look into this matter further and compare the possible link between the similar patterns.

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