A young springbok stotting

Stotting (also called pronking or pronging) is a behavior of quadrupeds, particularly gazelles, in which they spring into the air, lifting all four feet off the ground simultaneously. Usually, the legs are held in a relatively stiff position. Many explanations of stotting have been proposed, though for several of them there is little evidence either for or against.

The question of why prey animals stot has been investigated by evolutionary biologists including John Maynard Smith, C. D. Fitzgibbon, and Tim Caro; all of them conclude that the most likely explanation given the available evidence is that it is an honest signal to predators that the stotting animal would be difficult to catch. Such a signal is called "honest" as it is not deceptive in any way, and would benefit both predator and prey: the predator as it avoids a costly and unproductive chase, and the prey as it does not get chased.

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