Foraging: Build a foraging theory to save the crops

Foraging
Time to complete course: 30 min.

About the Foraging Virtual Lab Simulation

Can we predict where, when and how animals will be looking for food? In this simulation, you will learn about the behaviours that regulate the foraging habits of animals. Discover the notions of foraging currency, daily budget and the optimality model, all of which can be used to predict the foraging patterns.

Protecting crops from a local forager

Scientists on the exoplanet Astakos IV have a problem: One of the local species has been eating the crops in the colony’s agricultural research facility. In this simulation, your task is to study the behavior of that animal in its natural habitat, and to try to create a model of the foraging patterns in order to understand why the animal comes to the colony to feed.

Optimal Foraging Theory

Your first task is to define the trophic strategy of the alien forager, and then to builda theoretical model around the foraging pattern using nutritional data and the Optimal Foraging Theory. You will go on a field trip to follow a specimen in the wild, thus adding field data to your predictions and updating the model accordingly. Finally, you will have to incorporate the notion of risk-sensitivity to create a complete foraging model of this entirely new and fictional species.

Save the crops!

Using your newfound knowledge, will you be able to find a solution to stop the forager fromfeeding on the crops in the colony?

Get Started Now

Join the human colony on the fictional exoplanet Astakos IV to study the local alien species. What do they eat?hy and where do they forage for food? Can you build a model using our foraging theories from Earth?

Techniques In Lab

  • Optimal Foraging Theory
  • Foraging currency

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Understand the concepts of optimal foraging theory, foraging currency and daily budget
  • Predict a foraging model using a model of energy gain given a tradeoff between energy and nutrients.
  • Correct the model with field studies identifying additional environmental factors
  • Compare the behavior of risk-prone individuals in a stress situation versus controls (risk-sensitivity)

Screenshots of Foraging Virtual Lab Simulation

Collaborators

Dr. Michael Angilletta

School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University

How it works

A million dollar lab in your browser

Perform experiments in virtual lab simulations to achieve core science learning outcomes. 

All our simulations run on laptop and desktop computers, and you can play our simulations without having to install any browser plugins.

See detailed minimum requirements here.

Hundreds of hours of science learning content

Our virtual laboratory simulations are aimed at university, college and high school level, within fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, physics and more.

With access to our simulations, you will have hundreds of hours of engaging, high-quality learning content available to you.

Discover more Virtual Lab Simulations

We currently have 114 simulations that cover everything from biology and medicine to physics and chemistry.

Learn how you can use Labster in your science course