conventional fighting

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The relatively harmless forms of combat used by many species to settle conflicts over scarce resources, as when bighorn rams leap at each other head-on, although they could inflict more damage by charging each other in the flank; many species of fish seize each other's leathery jaws, rather than biting where more injury would be inflicted; male fiddler crabs never injure each other, although their enlarged claws are powerful enough to crush their opponents; rattlesnakes wrestle but never bite; male deer lock antlers but seldom use them to pierce each other's bodies; and some antelopes actually kneel down to fight. Also called ritualized fighting. See also display (1, 2), dominance hierarchy, Hawk-Dove game, Hawk-Dove-Retaliator game, resource-holding potential, submissive behaviour. Compare escalated fighting.

Subjects: Psychology.

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