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SlideshowReport

This moose exploits the twigs and buds of woody plants for the food it needs to survive a cold north

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Description
Suddenly, the clearing where the moose had been feeding is a blur of bounding forms dashing headlong in the direction the moose has gone—a pack of wolves in pursuit of its own meal. The moose has experienced this chase many times, each time successfully getting away. This time, the moose isn't so fortunate, and after a fierce struggle the wolves settle in to feed.  Some of the strongest ecological interactions in natural systems are based upon exploitation of one organism by another. Here we find the herbivore (moose) benefiting from the exploitation of the willow, and the predator (wolf) benefiting from the exploitation of the moose. But we must remember that predators do more than just consume their prey. Even when they are unsuccessful in the hunt, they may change the behaviour of their potential prey, increasing stress hormones, and having significant consequences even when the prey escapes from the chase. These too are the effects of exploitative interactions.
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