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Zur Strukturanalyse Des Kampfverhaltens Bei Vulpes

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image of Behaviour

A film of a serious fight between two adult male foxes is analized. 16 behaviour patterns could be discriminated. The course of the fight was divided into two phases: a) The initialphase and (b) the main phase. The behaviour during the initialphase determines the course of the main phase (serious fight, commentfight, flight). Time analyses were made for the most frequent behaviour pattern during the main phase. Two groups of behaviour are discriminated: a) the alternative behaviour, always shown alternately by one of the two partners. The meaning of alternative, in this case, is: bite-combat-behaviour, or defensive behaviour. b) simultaneous behaviour; i.e. both partners do the same. Time decision was accomplished for both behaviour-syndromes. In a quantitative analysis total SAP for each of both combat partners was measured. The numbers of the activated behaviour patterns for each period are put in relation to this SAP. In the qualitative analysis the SAP was taken for neck-bite (HB) and the antiparallel-position I (APS I). Both are put in relation to each other. Finally the principal results are discussed: I. During the initialphase of the fight two tendencies are activated: aggression and defence. One results in turning towards, the other in withdrawal from the adversary. According to the strength of both tendencies, a more or less marked cross-position results. The reactions of the attacked fox, a stranger in the territory, decides the further course of the fight. The integration between both partners is illustrated by a feedback-model. 2. In the main phase of the fight, two behaviour complexes are found, one of which is always activated. They are called: "principal coordinations" to which can be added "frame coordinations" in changeable proportions. Furthermore first and second order frame coordinations can be distinguished. The frame coordination implies the activation of a pincipal coordination. 3. The problem of shifting from one principal coordination to another is discussed. It is assumed that a phase-shifting between both combat-partners takes place, that the activation of a principal coordination is drive-reducing and that phase-discordances give the partner the possibility to change over from defence to aggression. Phase-concordance shows simultaneous behaviour (principal coordination APS I). 4. Reference is made to the individual differences between both combat-partners. 5. It is presumed, that through dropping of the SAP in one partner (inferiority), phase-changes may, occur, so that the "Regelkreis "collapses and a change of behaviour (i.e. flight) may arise.

Affiliations: 1: Zoologisches Institut der Humboldt-Universität, Berlin


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