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display behaviour


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Stereotyped movement or posture that serves to influence the behaviour of another animal. Many displays in courtship and aggression are conspicuous and characteristic of the species; special markings or parts of the body may be prominently exhibited (for example, the male peacock spreads its tail in courtship). Other displays are cryptic and make it harder for a predator to recognize the displaying animal as potential prey. For example, geometer moth caterpillars, which look like twigs, hold themselves on plant stems with one end sticking into the air. Alternatively, a prey species may deter a predator by means of a startle display.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.


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