The cost of fear




What should parents do when they detect indications of more predators nearby that might eat their babies? This scenario is commonly faced by parents in the wild, and the consequences are important. The number of offspring that organisms produce has a major influence on fitness and, when averaged across a population, affects whether this population will increase or decrease. Offspring production thus has critical implications for evolution via fitness, and ecology and conservation via demography. On page 1398 of this issue, Zanette et al. (1) show that the fear of predation can, by itself, strongly affect the number of offspring produced over an annual cycle by song sparrows (see the figure).

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The cost of fear
Series title Science
DOI 10.1126/science.1216109
Volume 334
Issue 6061
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit
Description 2 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Science
First page 1353
Last page 1354
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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