Prepared Contributions for Discussion of Session V: Communal Behavior and the Environment

  • J. R. Audy
  • G. Morgan


The ipsefact (“made by oneself,” my term for “specific artifact” (1;2, p.23)) of an individual, colony, population, or species of an animal is the manifold unit of environment that it has modified chemically or physically by its own behavior. Ipsefact may also loosely refer to a single item so modified, such as a nest, a scent-mark, or exhaled CO2. Ipsefacts may be long-lasting or ephemeral, elaborate or simple, regularly or unevenly distributed, unique to an individual or partly shared. An ipsefact is specifically a product of behavior and not merely something used or lived with. The term is needed to refer to, and to think in terms of, units of modified environment, whether as bricks of the ecosystem, or as specific sets of factors to which other organisms will adapt and evolve a relationship, or as “crystallized behavior,” or as a manufactured microhabitat--just as, for other purposes of discussion and thinking, it may be necessary to use one of several terms that overlap with each other and with ipsefact but do not coincide (for example, home range, territory, Umwelt, or E. T. Hall’s extensions.(3))


Home Range Modify Environment Village Community Population Problem Session Versus 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. R. Audy
  • G. Morgan

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