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Precocity, Play, and the Ectotherm-Endotherm Transition

Profound Reorganization or Superficial Adaptation?
  • Gordon M. Burghardt
Part of the Handbook of Behavioral Neurobiology book series (HBNE, volume 9)

Abstract

Reptiles have many morphological and physiological characteristics similar to those found in mammals and birds; others are seemingly only modestly modified (e.g., functional organization of the circulatory, endocrine, visual, and central nervous systems). Yet behaviorally, endotherms are often perceived to be (in effect) qualitatively different from ectotherms. This chapter explores this issue, focusing on development. Lurking in the background are questions such as: What are the phenomena that have led to the perceived distinction? If any such behavioral differences are genuine, are they profound or superficial? To what extent may any behavioral differences be due to a lack of cognitive and emotional capacities in reptiles, or may other factors be involved? Recent studies have shed light on these questions, and the answers coming in have potentially important consequences for our views of the behavior of “higher” vertebrates.

Keywords

Parental Care Social Play Garter Snake Developmental Psychobiology Water Snake 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon M. Burghardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Psychology and Zoology, Graduate Program in Ethology (Life Sciences)University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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