__P. P. Avelino__, D. Bazeia, L. Losano, J. Menezes, B. F. Oliveira

**Abstract**

We investigate the population dynamics in generalized rock-paper-scissors models with an arbitrary number of species *N*. We show that spiral patterns with *N* arms may develop both for odd and even *N*, in particular in models where a bidirectional predation interaction of equal strength between all species is modified to include one *N*-cyclic predator-prey rule. While the former case gives rise to an interface network with Y-type junctions obeying the scaling law *L* ∝ *t*^{1/2}, where *L* is the characteristic length of the network and *t* is the time, the latter can lead to a population network with *N*-armed spiral patterns, having a roughly constant characteristic length scale. We explicitly demonstrate the connection between interface junctions and spiral patterns in these models and compute the corresponding scaling laws. This work significantly extends the results of previous studies of population dynamics and could have profound implications for the understanding of biological complexity in systems with a large number of species.

**Physical Review E**

Volume 86, Number 3, Page 036112_1

2012 September