Gregarious behavior of potential prey was explained by Hamilton (1971) on the basis of risk-sharing: The probability of being picked up by a predator is small when one makes part of a large aggregate of prey. This argument holds only if the predator chooses its victims at random. It is not the case for herds of evasive prey in the open, where prey’s gregarious behavior, favorable for the fast group members, makes it easier for the predator to home in on the slowest ones. We show conditions under which, gregarious behavior of the relatively fast prey individuals leaves slowest prey with no other choice but to join the group.Failing to do so would signal their vulnerability, making them a preferred target for the predator. Analysis of an n + 1 player game of a predator and n unequal prey individuals clarifies conditions for fully gregarious, partially gregarious, or solitary behavior of the prey.
We model the formation of a herd as a game between a predator and a prey population. The predator receives some information about the composition of the herd when he chases it, but receives no information when he chases a solitary individual. We describe situations in which the herd and its leader are in conflict and in which the leader bows to the herd's wish but where this is not to the benefit of the herd.
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