Fear, fearlessness and animal extinction


Too much fear can be dangerous for species’ survival. In fact, fear alone, even in the absence of a live predator, can lead to species’ extinction if the population size is small enough suggests a recent study from McGill and Guelph universities. To read: “How fear alone can cause animal extinction”

But too little fear can be equally dangerous, especially for island species or in places where new and invasive species appear. In a second and complementary study, the same collaborators were able to demonstrate how populations could evolve rapidly to become bolder, even in the presence of predators, as they took increasing risks in search of food and mates. In the process, they potentially put themselves at risk of extinction. To read “Scared fitless: the evolution of fearlessness”