Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fixed Action Patterns

Fixed Action Patterns

Fixed action patterns (or FAP… okay, maybe we won’t use that acronym on the internet) are very interesting behavioral reflexes. They are generally geared more towards complex communication rather than a simple flexion response. I would like to correct (or expand on) some things in our book on page 99.

“Dogs indicate their desire to play by wagging their tails, stretching out their front legs, and lowering their heads to the ground.” – This is true, however this is more complex than that. Dogs will do this when they want to play, but are slightly unsure of the situation. Perhaps the releaser (other dog) is very shy or is strange looking with a fluffy coat.

Also, male Betta fish can be kept together, provided the right environment (plenty of places to hide and ample food). When studying behavior (professionally or in everyday social situations) we must be careful not to stereotype behavior. They are jerks though, my current male recently at $30 of algae-eating shrimp! Being how fixed action patterns are so complex, it is easy for them to be mistaken.

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