Helfman, Gene S. Department of Zoology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.
Last reviewed:July 2020
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A pattern of behavior in which an animal actively defends a space or some other resource. Territoriality is an important aspect of the behavior of many animals (see illustration). It is observed throughout the animal kingdom and is particularly prevalent among birds, mammals, fishes, and insects. One major advantage of territoriality is that it gives the territory holder exclusive access to the defended resource, which is generally associated with feeding, breeding, or shelter from predators or climatic forces. See also: Animal kingdom; Behavioral ecology; Ethology; Instinctive behavior
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