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----- FIXED ACTION PATTERN -----
"(fiks akshun pat turn): abbreviated as as FAP; a highly stereotypical behaviour that is innate and must be carried out to completion once initiated" [Campbell, Biology 4th Edition]

Please download the .avi clip of cuckoos' fixed action pattern.
Video clip from Encarta Encyclopedia 1998

The behaviour exhibited by new born cuckoos is a good example of fixed action pattern. Cuckoos lay their eggs in another bird’s nest, leaving other birds to raise their children. This initial behaviour is innate. When cuckoos are born, the first thing they do is get rid of any other eggs it spots (the 'stimulus') by pushing the eggs out of the nest. This action is innate and also a fixed action pattern. By taking over the nest, the cuckoos are able to get all the food from the host. The stimulation of the red area inside of their beaks causes the host to feed the cuckoo, which is another fixed action pattern.


Bibliography
Encarta Encyclopedia 1998


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