Fear alone may contribute to the extinction of animal populations according to a recent study. When scientists exposed fruit flies to the scent of a praying mantis, a known predator, they found that the risk of extinction increased up to seven fold. The increased risk of extinction occurred because at small population sizes, as the flies spent more time being vigilant and less time eating, populations that declined could not quickly rebound.
- Proceedings of the Royal Society B
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)