Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Original MS 1982; Revised and web-published 2004; Copyright 2004 Alan B. Bond.


A Monte Carlo simulation of the movements of a randomly-searching predator was used to develop a novel geometrical measure, the "thoroughness" of the search, and to investigate the effects of meander, turn asymmetry, and path length. Thoroughness varied directly with the meander and the square of the asymmetry measure and remained relatively invariant with path length. The regularity of its relationship to the generating parameters of the search and the ease with which it may be estimated from field data recommend thoroughness for use in characterizing empirical search patterns and in testing for the occurrence of systematic searching.