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Predator-prey relationships are an important aspect of the natural world, and, because of its relevance to survival and natural selection, is an interesting relationship to study. In amphibian larvae, level of activity and landscape use are often what determines the survival as prey. I studied the anti-predator behavior of the North American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) tadpoles when presented with dragonfly (Aeshna) larvae, a known predator of tadpoles. Tadpoles were acclimated to four different habitats with varying degrees of habitat cover, and were transferred to a new habitat with a degree of cover equal to one of the acclimation tanks. A restrained predator, and thus its chemical cue, was introduced, and the behavior, particularly the use of the habitat cover to hide from the perceived risk of predation was observed. A significantly higher frequency of inactivity was found in tank I than in II and III, and inactivity followed a general trend of decreasing with increasing habitat cover. Difference in tank cover was not found to have a significant effect on swimming behavior, but did have a significant effect on hiding behavior, which increased with higher availability. Foraging decreased significantly with the addition of a predator, but did not vary significantly with different levels of cover. Hiding behavior and reducing conspicuous behaviors (like foraging) are probably the behaviors that afford the tadpole the most success at eluding a predator in their natural environment.


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