Early evolved predator (red) and prey (blue) pulled from a larger population. In this demo, predators are being prevented from actually killing and eating the prey (though they don’t know that). Predators have clearly evolved to look for, identify, orient toward, target, chase, and attack individual prey. Prey have evolved to consume the food resources they need in order to reproduce (grey background) while avoiding predators. Although the prey may seem a bit confused and not very efficient at escaping predators, they cannot see behind them and so escape, as in nature, is more often accomplished by rapid changing of movement directions. Sight distance is limited, so the predators can and do loose sight of the prey form time to time.
Evolved sensor use among prey in three different environmental conditions. The complexity of the Avida ecosystems increase from left to right.
- RED: Prey in the absence of either predators or environmental obstacles evolve to use sensors for finding food.
- GREEN: Prey co-evolving with predators exhibit substantial increases in use of sensors because they evolve to watch out for both food and predators.
- BLUE: Prey co-evolving with predators in an environment with obstacles added are highly adapted to collect, process, and respond to a variety of sensory inputs.