territorial behaviour


territorial behaviour
In zoology, the actions by which an animal, or group of animals, protects its territory from incursions by others of its species.

Territorial boundaries may be marked by sounds (e.g., birdsong), scents, or even piles of dung. If such advertisement does not discourage intruders, chases and fighting follow. Territories may be seasonal (usually for nesting and feeding the young) or maintained permanently (for hunting and living). Territorial behaviour benefits the species by permitting mating and rearing young without interruption and by preventing overcrowding and minimizing competition for food.

* * *

      in zoology, the methods by which an animal, or group of animals, protects its territory from incursions by others of its species. Territorial boundaries may be marked by sounds such as bird song, or scents such as pheromones secreted by the skin glands of many mammals. If such advertisement does not discourage intruders, chases and fighting follow.

      Territorial behaviour is adaptive in many ways; it may permit an animal to mate without interruption or to raise its young in an area where there will be little competition for food. It can also prevent overcrowding by maintaining an optimum distance among members of a population. Territories may be seasonal; in many songbirds the mated pair defends the nest and feeding area until after the young are fledged. In communally nesting birds such as gulls, the territory may simply consist of the nest itself.

      Wolf packs maintain territories in which they hunt and live. These areas are aggressively defended from all non-pack members. The male cougar has a large territory that may overlap the territories of several females but is defended against other males. Responding to scent marks, the inhabitants of the overlapping ranges also avoid each other, except for breeding.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • territorial — [[t]te̱rɪtɔ͟ːriəl[/t]] territorials 1) ADJ: usu ADJ n Territorial means concerned with the ownership of a particular area of land or water. It is the only republic which has no territorial disputes with the others... Both Chile and Argentina feel …   English dictionary

  • 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

  • territorial pissing — noun a) In animals, territorial marking, urinating on an area to identify territory b) Any territorial behaviour exhibited by humans …   Wiktionary

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

  • territorial — adj. Territorial is used with these nouns: ↑ambition, ↑behaviour, ↑boundary, ↑claim, ↑concession, ↑conquest, ↑defence, ↑dispute, ↑dominance, ↑expansion, ↑extent, ↑ …   Collocations dictionary

  • territorial — relating to the defence of an area in fish behaviour …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • aggressive behaviour — Any action of an animal intended to injure an opponent or prey animal or to cause an opponent to retreat. Aggression may be caused by various stimuli. Within its own group, an animal must display aggressive postures to maintain its position… …   Universalium

  • 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

  • Social behaviour in animals — Introduction       actions of animals living in communities. Such behaviour may include the feeding of the young, the building of shelters, or the guarding of territory. General characteristics       Social behaviour (Social behaviour in animals) …   Universalium

  • Animal sexual behaviour — This article is about the sexual behaviour of non human animals; see also Human sexuality and Sexual reproduction. Animal sexual behaviour takes many different forms, even within the same species. Among animals other than humans, researchers have …   Wikipedia


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.