Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Optimal Foraging Theory

A body of hypotheses dealing with the ergonomics of subsistence strategies, the central premise of which is that foragers will switch from one prey or food type to another if the new type is denser, easier to handle or catch, higher in nutritional value, etc. Prey may consist of many objects, both organic and inorganic. Many primate species, including humans, have been shown to conform to the rules of OFT.

See marginal value theorem and patch.

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