As a result of studying this chapter, the student must:


• the main historical patterns and stages in the development of science about animal behavior;

• the basic work of United States and foreign researchers;

be able to

• distinguish the basic concepts of the concepts of behavioral science;


• skills in the search for scientific information about the behavior and psyche of animals.

Evolution of the attitude of man to animals

Throughout its history, the person was closely associated with animals and to some extent depended on them. Animals served as a source of food and clothing for him, watching them, people predicted various changes in the world around them. By changing the behavior of wild animals, people learned about the approach of earthquakes, floods or volcanic eruptions. In the caves, which were occupied by primitive people, often lived and various animals. Some of them turned out to be undesirable neighbors and expelled, while others, on the contrary, could prove useful. People used for food stocks made by rodents, game, extracted by predators, eggs of birds, honey of wild bees, etc. The ancestors of domestic dogs warned a person about the approach of a stranger, barking signaled about the driven beast, which led to the appearance of a kind of union between a man and a dog.

Understanding the patterns of animal behavior was of great, and often decisive, importance in the struggle of man for existence. Studying the construction of ants, termites, bees and birds, a man learned to build, and beaver dams led him to think about the possibility of transforming the surrounding landscape.

There were many animals among them, which should be feared and be able to avoid collisions with them. It was necessary to use animals for food, to destroy their storerooms or to expel them from their habitats with great care. In addition, the person was well aware that in many cases animals have a much better hearing, vision or sense of smell, and some of them are inaccessible to human sensitivity, for example, the ability to perceive seismic signals, echolocation, etc. At the same time, it was clear to the person that animals are in many respects similar to him and are capable of experiencing feelings and emotions. All this contributed to a respectful attitude towards animals and even their deification.

Cult of animals in archaic religions

At the dawn of human existence, animals were not for him the infamous "brothers of our less", but, on the contrary, served as objects for imitation and reverence. In this regard, there were a lot of rituals and rituals, which were performed, for example, before going on a hunt or gathering honey of wild bees. The veneration of animals was influenced by the development of the commercial cult, as well as by the presence of such factors as superstitious fear of dangerous animals. The killing of an animal, regardless of its purpose, whether it be murder for sacrifice or just for consumption, was accompanied by obligatory rites. The remnants of a special attitude towards animals are preserved to a greater or lesser degree in almost all peoples, especially among peoples with a developed hunting economy. A vivid example of this is the peoples of Siberia and the ocean coasts, which still bear the cult of a bear, a deer, a walrus or a whale.

A respectful attitude towards animals was characteristic of the religions of the ancient world. Many ancient deities appeared to humans in the form of animals or semi-animals. Thus, the ancient Egyptian god Ptat appeared in the form of a bull, Osiris was depicted with a hawk's head, Bastet - with the head of a cat, etc. Some animals were considered companions or assistants to the gods. So, in the religion of the ancient Greeks, the goddess of hunting Artemis was portrayed with a deer, the terrible dog Kerber guarded the entrance to hell.

In many peoples, people's origins were associated with mammals, birds, fish and even insects. California Coyote Indians believed that their ancestors were coyotes. Many groups of Siberian peoples-the Khanty of the Ob, the Selkups of Narym, and the Ural Mansi, were descended from a bear, a hare, a goose, a nutcracker, a crane, a pike, or a frog. Animals in the beliefs of some peoples acted as patrons of people, helped them in the fisheries. In the Eskimos of Canada and Baffin Land, the goddess Sedna was considered a benefactress in the form of a walrus, the Labrador Eskimos had a male deity in the form of a polar bear. The Siberian shamans had spirits-assistants in the form of various animals. In the myths of many peoples, animals give people fire, they serve as a source of various blessings, they teach customs and rituals. According to the Buryat legends, the first shaman was an eagle who entered into a connection with a woman and gave her his art. The divine crow of the Koryaks and Chukchi was revered as the creator of the universe, the Earth, rivers, mountains, as well as the people whom he taught to the fisheries, gave them deer.

In different parts of the Earth, faith in werewolves was widespread: turning witches and witches into animals: crows, owls, wolves, black cats. In the guise of an animal, the soul of man was sometimes represented. The soul that leaves the body in the form of a snake is the popular belief of antiquity. When the famous philosopher Plotinus died (III century AD), then the witness of his death, Eustochius saw under the bed of the deceased a snake, immediately disappeared in the crack of the wall.

The facts of veneration of sacred animals are well known, which could not be destroyed and offended. The murder of a sacred animal in ancient Egypt was punishable by death, and the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, who lived in the middle of the 5th century BC, BC. testified that the death of a cat among Egyptians was mourned more bitterly than the death of a son. Cats mummified, and then buried. During the archaeological excavations in Egypt, entire cemeteries of mummies of sacred cats were discovered. The ancient Persians surrounded dogs with the greatest honor, for it was believed that human souls were placed in them after death, so the human corpse was given to be eaten by stray dogs.

For many peoples, the animal was considered the best sacrifice to the deity, and was preferred in various parts of the world for the sacrifice of various animals. Loparis were stabbed by deer, Turkmen and Kazakhs - sheep, in some regions of Uzbekistan, a chicken or a cock was brought in sacrifice, in some places in the Caucasus - a goat or goat.

Anyway, the traces of veneration of animals in one form or another are found in the religions of almost all times and peoples. Universal was the oldest form of veneration of animals - totemism , this is one of the reasons for the wide spread of the cult of animals. The origin of totemism is connected, obviously, with the fact that in the early stages of development man did not yet distinguish himself from nature, from the animal world, for him animals, birds, plants were the same beings as himself.

If at the first stages of the development of human society the forces of nature dominated man and determined his worldview and religious beliefs, then later in religions, the relations between people in society became much more reflected. In most of the peoples who have converted to agriculture and cattle breeding, with the development of the class society, the survivals of totemism have faded or disappeared, and traces of the former veneration of animals have been preserved only in mythology, art and some superstitions. Mass use of animals for purely utilitarian purposes no longer required any rituals, and, on the contrary, put them in the mind of a person to a much lower level.

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