Observing And Interpreting A Wild Animal Can Be A Daunting But Fascinating Task
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Observing and interpreting a wild animal can be a daunting but fascinating task. These undomesticated animals are typically extremely hard to find and even harder to keep track of. Thankfully for me, the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri gives everyday Americans the chance to exist mere feet away from magnificent creatures such as elephants, lions, and giraffes. At this zoo, the Indian blue peafowl have the luxury of wandering around the entire grounds—except for inside the other animal exhibits, of course. Indian Blue peafowl have the scientific name of Pavo cristatus and are native to India and Sri Lanka. For the purposes of this paper, I chose to observe an adult male peacock—unfortunately, I did not get to know his zoo-given…show more content… In this situation, I believe the peacock was making himself appear bigger to attempt to win the opportunity to mate with the female. My best estimation is that he, “Hei Hei” saw the female and this triggered a response in his brain which lead to the feathers being spread out. In this case, the female would be acting as external stimuli which is causing the male to show off his plumage. Another explanation of the causation of this behavior is that the presence of the other male peacock was the instigator for the situation. “Hei Hei” may have felt challenged by the mere presence of the other male and that may have been what caused our male of interest to make himself as large and intimidating as possible. Based on this, I believe that the peacocks biological and physiological mechanism of plumage display when threatened is similar to the fight or flight response we see in human beings.
The next level of Tinbergen’s analysis is ontogeny, which simply asks how a behavior develops in an individual’s lifespan. I believe “Hei Hei” learned this behavior through a combination of observation and direct teaching. While our peacock was a young peachick, he most likely observed other peacocks doing this behavior when intimidated or when they attempted to gain a mate. After observing other adult males performing this behavior various times, our peacock most likely learned that this behavior was efficient in proving dominance. Furthermore, if peacocks have the social dynamics of dogs,