Animal Behavior: Signaling and Communication Signaling Ritualization Some animal activities have become ritualized over the course of evolution so that they now serve a communicative function. Protective reflexes, for example, such as narrowing the eyes and flattening the ears prepare an animal in danger to protect sense organs. These movements also may indicate fear or anger to other animals. Intention movements such as these are incomplete behavior patterns that provide information about the activity a particular animal is about to perform. A bird will generally crouch, raise its tail, and pull back its head before it takes flight. If a bird takes flight without first performing these movements, it acts as an alarm signal, and the whole flock will suddenly take flight. Ritualized behaviors allow for the evolution of a signal by increasing conspicuousness, stereotypy, and separation from its original function. An example of such increasing exaggeration can be found in bower birds. Males decorate their nest with blue objects. They will steal any blue
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