display behaviour


display behaviour
Ritualized activity by which an animal conveys specific information.

The best-known displays are visual, but others rely on sound, smell, or touch. Agonistic (aggressive) displays make it unnecessary to chase intruders from a territory or for animals to injure each other in competition for mates. One type of defensive display deceives predators or lures them away from vulnerable young. See also birdsong; courtship behaviour.

* * *

 ritualized behaviour by which an animal provides specific information to others, usually members of its own species. Virtually all higher animals use displays to some extent. The best-known displays are visual ones—and some biologists restrict the term display to visual signals or gestures—but many also incorporate sound, smell, or even touch. Displays evolve through the ritualization of specific behaviour patterns. Some mating displays evolve from food-giving behaviours; the male bobwhite quail gives a food call and offers a tidbit to his potential mate. In many birds the food-giving behaviour is completely ritualized and proceeds without any exchange of food; domestic cocks, for example, call and peck at bare ground to attract a hen.

      Agonistic (aggressive) displays usually occur near the borders of a territory. When a strange howler monkey approaches the territory of others, resident males set up a tremendous din, warning the intruder off. Many songbirds sit on highly visible perches while singing, providing both auditory and visual displays. Agonistic display is adaptive in conserving energy, making it unnecessary for the resident animal to chase others away. Furthermore, where display occurs, injury is rare, as physical contact is rarely required. An impending threat to the group may provoke display behaviour that is protective, signaling danger at the approach of a predator.

      Another type of display behaviour is that designed to deceive a predator or lure it away from vulnerable young. An example is the broken-wing display—where the parent flutters along the ground as if injured—used by many birds to lure predators away from the nests. See also alarm signal; courtship; territorial behaviour.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Display (zoology) — Many male birds have brightly coloured plumage for display. This feather is from a male Indian peafowl Pavo cristatus. Display is a form of animal behaviour, linked to survival of the species in various ways. One example of display used by some… …   Wikipedia

  • behaviour — /bi hayv yeuhr/, n. Chiefly Brit. behavior. Usage. See or1. * * * (as used in expressions) aggressive behaviour avoidance behaviour behaviour genetics behaviour therapy behaviour modification chaotic behaviour …   Universalium

  • Display — may refer to: Display (horse) (1923–1944), an American thoroughbred racehorse Display (zoology), a form of animal behaviour Display advertising, type that typically contains text, i.e., copy, logos, images, location maps, etc. Display case, also… …   Wikipedia

  • display — ► VERB 1) put on show in a noticeable and attractive way. 2) show (data or an image) on a screen. 3) give a conspicuous demonstration of (a quality, emotion, or skill). 4) (of a male animal) engage in behaviour intended to attract a mate. ► NOUN… …   English terms dictionary

  • behaviour — (BrE) (AmE behavior) noun ADJECTIVE ▪ exemplary, good ▪ He had his jail term cut for good behaviour. ▪ acceptable ▪ normal ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • display — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun 1 arrangement of things ADJECTIVE ▪ attractive, beautiful, colourful/colorful, dazzling, excellent, fine, good, interesting, stunning …   Collocations dictionary

  • display — /dəˈspleɪ/ (say duh splay) verb (t) 1. to show; exhibit; make visible: to display a flag. 2. to reveal; betray: to display fear. 3. to unfold; open out; spread out: to display a sail. 4. to show ostentatiously. 5. Printing to give special… …   Australian English dictionary

  • display — v. & n. v.tr. 1 expose to view; exhibit; show. 2 show ostentatiously. 3 allow to appear; reveal; betray (displayed his ignorance). n. 1 the act or an instance of displaying. 2 an exhibition or show. 3 ostentation; flashiness. 4 the distinct… …   Useful english dictionary

  • display — verb 1》 place (something) prominently so that it may readily be seen. 2》 show (data or an image) on a computer, television, or cinema screen. 3》 give a clear demonstration of (a quality, emotion, or skill). 4》 (of a male animal) engage in a… …   English new terms dictionary

  • reproductive behaviour — In animals, any activity directed toward perpetuation of a species. Sexual reproduction, the most common mode, occurs when a female s egg is fertilized by a male s sperm. The resulting unique combination of genes produces genetic variety that… …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.