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Community ecology homework shortest answer if possible

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  For robins small worms contain 25 calories of energy, cost 10 calories and take 2 minutes to harvest.  For the same birds medium worms contain 50 calories and cost 15 calories and take 3 minutes to harvest.  Large worms contain 75 calories, cost 30 calories and take 5 minutes to harvest.  Based on optimal foraging theory, what sized worms should robins favor?  Explain your logic!

Oct 17th, 2017

optimal foraging theory states:

Profitability of Prey = (Energy per prey item - Costs to acquire prey)/ Time taken to acquire prey item

small worms: P=(25-10)/2=7.5

medium worms: P=(50-15)/3=11.7

large worms: P=(75-30)/5=9

Thus Robin should favor medium worms as they have the highest profitability. 

Apr 24th, 2015

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