There’s more to animal escape behavior than just bolting.
A lot has been acquired about the study of escape behavior in animals within the past years. It was thought that animals just simply run for their lives in the opposite direction of its predator.
Prey make the decision to flee and make calculated escapes influenced by rank, hunger level, sex drive, season, location, and even prior experiences with that specific type of predator.
It is not “all or nothing” when animals flee. For example, if a predator is fairly far away, the prey will start to run off at a slower pace than if the predator is almost directing on top of them.
Karen Warkentin, an associate professor at Boston University, studied the escape behavior of red-eye tree frogs before they even hatched from their eggs. She noticed red-eye tree frogs and snakes lived in the same area and imagined a lot of the frog eggs were eaten before they even hatched.
In 1990, she experimented with tadpole escape behavior by putting some of the tadpole eggs in the same cage as a snake. Her findings were incredible. Most of the tadpole eggs made calculated escapes, hatching as the snake was attacking them, days before it was time.
Studies have also shown animals are making calculated escapes by how they move and the direction they escape in.
Not all animals jump up and run; some run, jump, fly, swim, or even dive to escape their predator.
The direction in which prey escape is also more calculated than we thought. If they prey is slower than its predator, they may weave and zigzag or run in a totally different direction than expected.
Although scientists still do not know the exact reason for this, they seem to think it causes the element of surprise.
Every animal has its own certain strategy of fleeing its predators.
We now know that these animals are not just running for dear life, but actually making calculated escapes to save it.