Formation of food-producing behavior - Zoopsychology and comparative psychology

Formation of food-producing behavior

The food-producing behavior arises from certain humoral shifts in the blood, primarily the lowering of the glucose level, creating a focus of persistent increase in excitability in certain parts of the central nervous system. It is clearly divided into the following phases:

• Search for a food object;

• getting food;

• its eating;

• Inventory.

The duration and nature of the search stage depends to a large extent on how well this individual is oriented on its territory and how far the location of potential food objects is. Of great importance is the abundance of feed. In the process of searching for food, an animal sometimes has to solve rather complicated logical tasks related to choosing the necessary strategy.

Completely different strategies, depending on the morphology of a given species and the nature of food, animals can also use in obtaining food. As already mentioned, wolves, hunting animals of different sizes, use completely different techniques. In the same cases, when wolves eat fish thrown by fishermen ashore, or eat watermelons or melons on melons, their behavior is no different from the behavior of any herbivores.

Nutrition is one of the permanent and individualized animal activities. When searching for food, each individual makes maximum use of the capabilities of his brain, which increases the effectiveness of eating behavior. In this respect, the influence of the conditions of obtaining food is one of the main factors shaping the behavior of animals.

An animal can eat food either directly from where it is found, or take it to a more convenient or secluded place. If the amount of food extracted is large and can not be eaten immediately, then animals can make reserves.

The appearance of many important species of this important adaptive feature of food-producing activity - the ability to collect and store food reserves for future use - is promoted by seasonal changes in the quality or availability of feed, fluctuations in seed yield and "fleshy" fruits, alternation of abundant food and hungry seasons. This feature of behavior is well expressed in a few groups of birds and a huge number of species of mammals and is especially characteristic of species that are relatively settled and active throughout the year. Many species that spend the whole winter in a burrow, but do not fall into complete hibernation (an ordinary hamster, chipmunk, a long-tailed ground squirrel) collect seed stocks, since they are often awakened from winter sleep and fed by them. Their pantries are located necessarily in the hole, next to the wintering chamber. In spring, these animals come out of the burrows so early that they can not find enough of full-value fodder, still hidden under heavy snow. The spread of this adaptive behavioral trait among mammals is largely related to the geographical and climatic environment. Representatives of different species use different strategies for storing food. So, for example, many predatory mammals arrange their storerooms not in specially prepared storage facilities, but anywhere on a large individual hunting site, where it is possible to obtain the amount of feed more than the daily requirement. Many predators hide reserves to attract attention of birds - crows, crows, magpies, juices, which often take away a part of their prey and by their cry attract more dangerous four-legged competitors.

The brown bear does not cut large prey into pieces, but, dragging it into a secluded place, floods it with branches, moss and gradually uses, at times even guarding against importunate "spongers".

Some small predators from the family of the martens make relatively large reserves. So, pantries petting and ermine sometimes contain up to 20-40 voles and mice collected in one place, many black frogs find dozens of frogs. In the reserves of European mink were found from 2 to 5 kg of small fish, the American mink - up to 20 kg, etc.

Animals living in burrows or hollows can arrange large pantries directly in or near their dwelling.

Some rodents arrange joint pantries. Often the reserves of even small animals are so great that some of them remain the next summer. So, for example, once in Belovezhskaya Pushcha the weight of an enormous stock of acorns collected by yellow-necked mice was broken on the wall of a hollow on a large oak tree, and 47 kg of acorns fell to the ground. It often happens that collected stocks plunder other, more powerful mammals. Bears in autumn and spring destroy the burrows of chipmunks, mining the collected pine nuts; herds of reindeer in the marshy tundras of the north of Siberia are greedily consumed by juicy sprouts of sedge collected in pantries by the Middendorf voles. For centuries, the peoples of the Aboriginal peoples of Eastern Siberia, Kamchatka, Transbaikalia and Northern Mongolia used the custom of autumn harvesting of rhizomes and bulbs dug from the storehouses of voles. It is established that the fruits of hazel, cedar, oak, linden collected by chipmunks, yellow-throated and forest mice are of exceptionally high quality, as rodents select them using their subtle flair.

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