By Robert J. Blanchard

ISBN-10: 0120377012

ISBN-13: 9780120377015

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Extra resources for Advances in the Study of Aggression. Volume 1

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Its vocalizations are low and gruff. When it bites, the target is the nape of the conspecific opponent's neck. The "pure" defender—one who has no reason to stay and fight and can leave the situation—will do so. If cornered, however, it shows a variety of postures that have the unequivocal effect of making the nape of the neck inaccessible to the attacker. These include twisting the head sideways and even upside down from a crouching or supine position, and the use of both hind- and forepaws to strike at or push off the attacker.

Fear is a more conservative system, which makes perfectly good sense in terms of the lack of subtlety of danger. Anger, based on threats or challenges to resources that have been defensible in the history of a particular species, is determined by a more complex set of circumstances and is thus from the beginning a less primitive emotion. If the evolutionary history of an animal says that a particular stimulus is dangerous, it takes an awful lot of experience to convince that animal of the contrary.

Mice show little or no tendency to lie on the back, nor do they show any prolonged on-top behavior. This is quite consistent with the view that lying on the back is effective only because it does afford superior protection to the back. If the attacker is willing to bite the ventrum, as is the case in mice, then the dangers involved in this defensive strategy would outweigh its benefits. The boxing defense, on the other hand, involves protection of the back through not only the relative invulnerability of the ventrum, but also through the possibility of retaliatory biting: The defender is fully maneuverable in this position and its own head and teeth are in close proximity to the attacker.

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Advances in the Study of Aggression. Volume 1 by Robert J. Blanchard


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