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PIRACY BY LAUGHING GULLS <i>LARUS ATRICILLA:</i> AN EXAMPLE OF THE SELFISH GROUP
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PIRACY BY LAUGHING GULLS LARUS ATRICILLA: AN EXAMPLE OF THE SELFISH GROUP

Author: Jeremy J Hatch Affiliation: Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Boston, Mass. 02125 U.S.A
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Ibis, v117 n3 (July 1975): 357-365
Summary:
In 1969, 1500 pairs of terns Sterna spp. and 50 pairs of Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla nested on Petit Manan Island, Maine, U.S.A. The gulls formed groups of up to eleven individuals to steal fish from the terns. The start of piracy coincided with hatching of the gull's eggs. Larger groups more often succeeded in stealing fish than smaller groups. Group formation cannot be ascribed to rarity of terns to chase, and is not due to shared advantage in fish seized or time spent chasing (hence energy expended). A sufficient explanation is the individual advantage to some gulls that join a small group at the expense of the initiator. Individual gulls are likely to follow different strategies. Chasing appeared to be more readily elicited by a chase in progress than by a tern carrying a fish.  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Jeremy J Hatch Affiliation: Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Boston, Mass. 02125 U.S.A
ISSN:0019-1019
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5156974874
Notes: Received 25 November 1973
Number of References: 13
Awards:

Abstract:

In 1969, 1500 pairs of terns Sterna spp. and 50 pairs of Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla nested on Petit Manan Island, Maine, U.S.A. The gulls formed groups of up to eleven individuals to steal fish from the terns. The start of piracy coincided with hatching of the gull's eggs. Larger groups more often succeeded in stealing fish than smaller groups. Group formation cannot be ascribed to rarity of terns to chase, and is not due to shared advantage in fish seized or time spent chasing (hence energy expended). A sufficient explanation is the individual advantage to some gulls that join a small group at the expense of the initiator. Individual gulls are likely to follow different strategies. Chasing appeared to be more readily elicited by a chase in progress than by a tern carrying a fish.

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