Revisiting the concept of behavior patterns in animal behavior with an example from food-caching sequences in Wolves (Canis lupus), Coyotes (Canis latrans), and Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes)

Simon Gadbois*, Olivia Sievert, Catherine Reeve, F. H. Harrington, J. C. Fentress

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We discuss the history, conceptualization, and relevance of behavior patterns in modern ethology by explaining the evolution of the concepts of fixed action patterns and modal action patterns. We present the movement toward a more flexible concept of natural action sequences with significant degrees of (production and expressive) freedom. An example is presented with the food caching behavior of three Canidae species: red fox (Vulpes vulpes), coyote (Canis latrans) and gray wolf (Canis lupus). Evolutionary, ecological, and neuroecological/neuroethological arguments are presented to explain the difference in levels of complexity and stereotypy between Canis and Vulpes.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Canine Behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
JournalBehavioural Processes
Volume110
Early online date14 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Action sequence
  • Coyotes
  • Fixed action pattern
  • Food caching sequences
  • Red foxes
  • Wolves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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