Animal Behavi29 - Animal Behavior: Instinct Configurational...

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Configurational Key Stimuli Key stimuli need not come from a single source. Configurational key stimuli are key stimuli made up of multiple KS that together produce a response. An example comes from Tinbergen's study of ducks. Ducklings crouch when predatory birds fly overhead, but not when other ducks pass. As you can see in , predatory birds and ducks have the same general body shape, but the positions of the head and tail are reversed. In order to distinguish between predators and conspecifics, a duckling may use a combination of two key stimuli, the body shape of the predator and the direction of flight. A predatory bird looks like a duckl flying backwards but ducklings do not crouch when ducks fly overhead, possibly because of the reversed direction. An alternate possibility is that ducklings are born to instinctively crouch at everything, and learn not to react to the frequent overhead passes by ducks (again by recognizing both shape and direction), but retain crouching in response to predatory birds. Figure %:Duckling Crouch Response
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2012 for the course BIOLOGY BSC1005 taught by Professor Rodriguez during the Winter '09 term at Broward College.

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Animal Behavi29 - Animal Behavior: Instinct Configurational...

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