THE CAUSAL FACTORS AND FUNCTION OF YAWNING' IN MICROSPATHODON CHRYSURUS (PISCES: POMACENTRIDAE) by O. ANNE E. RASA 1) (Max-Planck- Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie, Seewiesen und Erling/Andechs, Deutschland) (With 12 Figures) (Rec. 10-VII-1970) INTRODUCTION The motor pattern 'yawning' has been described for all vertebrate groups. The most intensive study of this behaviour pattern has been made by SAUER & SAUER (rg67) in the South African Ostrich. They suggest that yawning assists in the regulation of the physiological state of these birds. It is pri- marily released and activated by endogenous stimuli, but can also be facil- itated and triggered by environmental stimuli when the organism is suffi- ciently motivated. It is correlated with the periodic appearance of fatigue in the Ostrich and occurs typically in birds whose motor activities have been reduced to a minimum. It was found to induce a relaxation of tension in a group and trigger sleepiness, assuring excited birds of the absence of danger. Apart from this one intensive study, yawning has been mentioned in many ethological investigations, but its causation and function have usually been merely suggested. Only the motor pattern 'yawning' described for fish will be considered here, as there is some doubt as
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1971
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