chapter  Chapter 5
Antipredator Behavioral Mechanisms
Avoidance, Deterrence, Escape, and Encounter
WithEric J. McElroy
Pages 46

This chapter focuses on the mechanisms that prey employ to avoid predation. Antipredator mechanisms can roughly be broken into two themes. First, animals possess a suite of functional traits that reduce the risk of predation. Second, animals possess a suite of behaviors that reduce the risk of predation. The chapter draws on both physical traits and behaviors through the lens of the sequence of events that define a predator–prey interaction. It outlines a sequence considering a lizard as prey and describes the major antipredator mechanisms that a lizard might use at each step in the sequence. The ability of lizards to identify predators is based upon the physiological systems used to perceive the external environment. Chemoreception in lizards has evolved in concert with foraging behavior, but it is also used in intraspecific communication. Lizards may employ defenses that capitalize on limitations in predator sensory abilities. These include cryptic locomotor movements, remaining motionless, cryptic dorsal coloration, facultative crypsis, and anachoresis.