Animal Behavior: Homing and territoriality sudeshrathod


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Homing means how animal get back to their home ground after long distance travel? What is territoriality? difference between home range and territory.

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Animal Behavior: Homing and territoriality sudeshrathod

  1. 1. T Y B Sc. Zoology Notes: Paper IV –Animal BehaviorI. Home range:A home range is a undefended area in which an animal or a group which spends most of its time. Homerange may include a nest, sleeping trees, water source or feeding trees. The area of heaviest use withinthe home range is called core area. The minimum distance that an animal keeps between itself andother members of the same species is its individual distance.Home range is the area where most organisms spend their lives in a relatively restricted part of theavailable habitat and learn the locations of food, water and shelter in the area. Sometimes animal mayoccasionally visit by wandering some distance away to a place where it will never visit again. Mostpredator and prey species, be they terrestrial or aquatic, have "home ranges". Home ranges are neverprotected actively and may overlap with home ranges of neighbors. So it can be arbitrarily proposedthat when animal found 95% of the time of observation. With home ranges the marked area of anindividual will overlap with that of another individual. There will generally be a central area of any homerange that will not be intruded upon but the outer lying areas may overlap considerably. Territories andhome ranges are not the sole preserve of males as the females of many species also have home ranges,overlapping with the ranges of males.By Prof. S D RathodDept. of ZoologyB N Bandodkar College of Science, Thane, India
  2. 2. T Y B Sc. Zoology Notes: Paper IV –Animal Behavior a. Home range size can be an important indicator of habitat quality or the distribution of resources. The size of home ranges will also vary over the seasons, in particular in the more arid areas. During the dry season in arid areas such as the Central Kalahari in Botswana, species will spread out as the water sources and food sources dwindle. Home ranges will thus also get bigger. Predators in particular will be affected by this change in season as their prey will be spread over a wider area. With the rains herbivores will concentrate in the valleys where the new grass is growing and the home ranges of the predators will shrink to adapt to this new season.II. Homing:Homing is ability of certain animals to return to a given place when displaced from it, often over greatdistances. The major navigational clues used by homing animals seem to be the same as those used inmigration (sun angle, star patterns, etc.), but homing may occur in any compass direction and at anyseason. The best-known examples of strong homing ability are among birds, particularly racing, orhoming, pigeons; many other birds, especially seabirds and also swallows, are known to have equal orbetter homing abilities. A Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus), transported in a closed container to apoint about 5,500 km (3,400 miles) from its nest, returned to the nest in 12 1/2 days. Manx sheaewater a. Natal homing is seen in Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) are famous for their homing migrations from oceanic feeding grounds to their natal river to spawn. During these migrations, salmon travel through diverse habitats (e.g. oceans, lakes, rivers), each offering distinct orientation clues and, perhaps, requiring distinct sensory capabilities for navigation. Prior to their seaward migration, juvenile salmon imprint on odors associated with their natal site and later, as adults, use these odor memories for homing. b. Pigeon’s homing ability is based on a "map and compass" model, with the compass feature allowing birds to orient and the map feature allowing birds to determine their location. Birds can detect a magnetic field, to help them find their way home. Scientists have found that on top of pigeons beak large number of particles of iron is found which remain aligned to north like manmade compass, thus it acts as compass which helps pigeon in determining its home. Homing pigeons also use low frequency infrasound waves as low 0.1 Hz to navigate home land.By Prof. S D RathodDept. of ZoologyB N Bandodkar College of Science, Thane, India
  3. 3. T Y B Sc. Zoology Notes: Paper IV –Animal BehaviorIII. Territory:A territory is a delineated, defended area (usually a subset of the home range) which contains resourcesan animal needs to survive. The area occupied more or less exclusively by an animal or a group anddefends by aggression or advertisement is a territory. In ethology the term territory refers to anysociographical area that an animal of a particular species consistently defends against conspecifics (and,occasionally, animals of other species). Territories may be held by an individual, a mated pair, or agroup. Territories of conspecifics do not overlap. a. 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 (gannets). Gannets 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. b. Territorial animals defend areas that contain a nest, den or mating site and sufficient food resources for themselves and their young. Defense rarely takes the form of overt fights: moreBy Prof. S D RathodDept. of ZoologyB N Bandodkar College of Science, Thane, India
  4. 4. T Y B Sc. Zoology Notes: Paper IV –Animal Behavior usually there is a highly noticeable display, which may be visual (as in the red breast of the robin or gelada baboon), fins are displayed by mudskippers. Mudskippers (fin display); robin and Gelada baboon (red breast) auditory (as in much bird song, or the calls of gibbons) or olfactory, through the deposit of scent marks. Many territorial mammals use scent-marking to signal the boundaries of their territories; the marks may be deposited by urination, by defecation, or by rubbing parts of the bodies that bear specialized scent glands against the substrate. For example, dogs and other canids scent-mark by urination and defecation while cats scent-mark by rubbing their faces and flanks against objects, as well as by the notoriously persistently smelly spraying of urine. c. European Blackbirds may defend feeding territories that are distant from their nest sites, and in some species that form leks, for example the Uganda kob (a grazing antelope), frogs and bats. Males defend the lek site (which is used only for mating). In species that do not form pair bonds, male and female territories are often independent, in the sense that males defend territories only against other males, and females only against other females. In this case, if the species is polygynous, one male territory will probably contain several female territories, while in some polyandrous species such as the Northern Jacana, this situation is reversed. European black bird Uganda kobBy Prof. S D RathodDept. of ZoologyB N Bandodkar College of Science, Thane, India
  5. 5. T Y B Sc. Zoology Notes: Paper IV –Animal Behavior d. 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. e. Significance of Territoriality i) It ensures food supply and availability of a mate for sexual reproduction. ii) It provides privacy for complex reproductive cycles and reduces the chances of over exploitation of natural resources. iii) It helps in population control, as many individuals fail to get suitable territory.By Prof. S D RathodDept. of ZoologyB N Bandodkar College of Science, Thane, India