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Questions tagged [instinct]

Instinct can be defined as a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason. It is behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level.

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Can instincts disappear after a long period of non-usefulness?

I recently dived into the topic of instincts and now I have a question, where I haven't found anything about. There's this thesis (I think mentioned here amongst others) that, through epigenetics, ...
eliosar's user avatar
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What is the mechanism by which an animal has behavioral instincts?

I understand (at a layman's level) how evolution and natural selection work in regards to anatomy. The offspring has a slight mutation that makes it a better survivor in some way -- faster, stronger, ...
John Gordon's user avatar
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When did humans or their ancestors gain the instinct to take shelter?

I was going to ask if seeking shelter in a constructure dwelling or natural formation was instinctive to modern humans or if it is a learned sociatal behaviour. By shelter I mean seek routine ...
TafT's user avatar
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Do animals suffer in agony or pain the same way like homo sapiens suffer?

When an animal suffer in agony or pain, do they feel it the same way as homo sapiens or human beings? I saw a documentary where it showed that while the child cattle were being slaughtered mother ...
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Do primates have genetic predisposition to dominance hierarchies [closed]

I’m looking for some evidence to prove (or disprove) that primates are genetically predisposed to dominance hierarchies. I would appreciate any pointers/references to scientific literature. PS: The ...
UnrealVillager's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer

Is cruelty a human instinct? [closed]

I had started studying human behaviour and human instincts a few months ago, earlier the question was raised after seeing human behaviour with animals (his prey). Animals hunt their prey for eating, ...
Jayant's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer

How do racing pigeons know the way back to their roost? [duplicate]

I have read that a standard way to do pigeon racing is that the male and female are separated and the pigeon races to its mate. My understanding that in these cases the roost is several miles away ...
Imprisoned Rhesus's user avatar
1 vote
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How do leafcutter ants choose what plants to cut?

I know that leafcutter ants don't actually eat plants and only use them to harvest fungi. How do they choose what plants to cut? They won't touch anything in my garden, but if I plant roses, they'll ...
Soldier ant's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

Did migratory birds' ancestors live in the places of migration?

I was studying birds' migration as a type of instinctive behaviour. But my textbook points out that other than for warm climate and easy food, migratory bird migrate to places where their ancestors ...
Mockingbird's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers

Do lower animals have instinctive behaviors?

Can an organism such as C. elegans, with only 302 neurons, exhibit "instinctive or innate behavior"? If not, then at what basic minimal structure is instinct manifest?
Jack's user avatar
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24 votes
3 answers

Why do we laugh?

Why is it that the reaction we get from absurdity is laughter? Everyone does it, even babies. Is there a reason why it is our instinct to laugh when we see or hear something absurd/humorous
Small Legend's user avatar
5 votes
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Do we instinctially interpret birdsongs as a sign that there are no predators present?

I was outside today thinking how nice it was to hear the birds back from winter when I started thinking about the fact that we like bird song. It makes us happy in a very basic level, the sort of ...
dsollen's user avatar
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Do wolves bury food like dogs?

Many breeds of domestic dogs seem to like burying food, presumably in preparation for leaner times. Assuming that dogs evolved from animals similar to the modern wolves through a mix of natural and ...
Superbest's user avatar
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18 votes
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Why do humans find baby animals cute?

Why do humans find baby animals like cats, dogs, ... so cute? As these are potential competitors (when grown up!) or even natural enemies (like e.g. tigers, leopards, ..), the protection instinct (...
TheJJ's user avatar
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