Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

  • -id > 9:3


Combined, cooperative assault on a predator too formidable to be handled by a single individual, in an attempt to frustrate it, disable it, or at least drive it from the vicinity. This behavior is well described in the bird literature, in which a large number of conspecifics assemble around a predator and harass it. This type of behavior has also been described for primates, but it differs in that the harassed individual(s) are not necessarily predators, but rather competitors; for example, smaller squirrel monkeys will mob larger cebid monkeys and force them to leave a fruiting tree. Female primates may also mob a male that they perceive as dangerous to an infant.

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