ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 1998, 56, 10411043 Article No. ar980895 DAVID L. THOMSON*, ROBERT W. FURNESS & PAT MONAGHAN *British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk Ornithology Group, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow (Received 10 March 1998; initial acceptance 22 April 1998; final acceptance 11 May 1998; MS. number: SC-1133) o often in behavioural research, we find ourselves with response data of an ordinal nature that cannot easily be analysed in conventional ways. Key behavioural variables such as the quality of individuals may be measured using subjective assessments of plumage brightness, the size or brightness of wattles, muscle condition, body fat scores or territory quality indicators. Behavioural states may be assessed by scoring aggressive, courtship or parental behaviour. Behaviours or breeding sites may be scored subjectively as very risky, risky, intermediate or safe. Positions within a group of foraging or roosting animals may be categorized as peripheral, semiperipheral, semicentral or central. Many key life-history variables involve counting the number of offspring produced (the clutch size or the litter size, the number of chicks hatched or fledged, or the number of pups weaned) and for many organisms, particularly warm-blooded vertebrates, these numbers can take only a
Animal Behaviour – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 1998
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