Contest experience and body size affect different types of contest decisions

Yu Ju Chen, Yuying Hsu*


研究成果: 雜誌貢獻期刊論文同行評審

7 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


This study examined the relative importance of contest experience and size differences to behavioral decisions over the course of contests. Using a mangrove rivulus fish, Kryptolebias marmoratus, we showed that although contest experience and size differences jointly determined contest outcomes, they affected contestants’ interactions at different stages of contests. Contest experience affected behavioral decisions at earlier stages of contests, including the tendency and latency to launch attacks, the tendency to escalate contests into mutual attacks and the outcome of non-escalated contests. Once contests were escalated into mutual attacks, the degree of size difference affected the fish’s persistence in escalation and chance of winning, but contest experience did not. These results support the hypothesis that contest experience modifies individuals’ estimation of their fighting ability rather than their actual strength. Furthermore, (1) in contests between two naïve contestants, more than 60 % of fish that were 2–3 mm smaller than their opponent escalated the contest to physical fights, even though their larger opponents eventually won 92 % of escalated fights and (2) fish with a losing experience were very likely to retreat in the face of an opponent 2–3 mm smaller than them without escalating. The result that a 2–3 mm size advantage could not offset the influence of a losing experience on the tendency to escalate suggests that, as well as depending on body size, the fish’s physical strength is influenced by other factors which require further investigation.

頁(從 - 到)1183-1193
期刊Animal Cognition
出版狀態已發佈 - 2016 11月 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 生態學、進化論、行為學與系統學
  • 實驗與認知心理學


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