Five Notable Territorial Animals

Animals exhibit a certain level of territoriality. What is the intent of territorial behavior? This article explains why some animals become aggressive towards its own kind and even other species.

A certain level of territoriality is exhibited by many animals. The commonly observed territorial behavior are exhibited by dogs (marks territory by urination or defecation) and cats (rubbing objects with their bodies).

There are other animals that also exhibit territorial behavior; and they have different reasons for doing so. The following are some of the notable animals showing territoriality and the reasons why they defend and even die in the process of keeping spaces for themselves. 

1. To defend its host from predation

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Clownfish aggressively defends the sea anemone from polyp consuming fishes and other predators. Also, the sea anemone benefits from the constant fanning of fins of the clownfish and feeding on leftovers that prevent accumulation of waste. The clownfish hide among the tentacles of the sea anemone and are immune to its sting. They form a mutualistic (both benefit) relationship because the clownfish benefits from the leftover food of the sea anemone.

2. Defend its ranges.

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Spider monkeys defend its territory by screams, barks and rattling branches and even throwing branches and feces.

3. To protect a harem.

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The male crocodiles defend a larger territory consisting of smaller territories occupied by females of the same species.

>>>Read more about Man-eating crocodiles: dangerous reptiles that survived the age of the dinosaurs.

3. To protect young.

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Coots aggressively protect their eggs from even larger birds like geese.

4. To keep intruders from competing in their feeding area.

A house lizard bites its own kind to keep it out of its feeding area.

>>>Related Read: Sando plastic bags can kill geckos.

5. To find a mate.

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Bull mooses urinate on the ground not only to set their territory but also to let the cows know that they are present.

Human Territorial Behavior

Humans also exhibit territoriality. Throughout history, man has been invading or colonizing other countries than its own. This is done for various reasons, and obviously some do it for power, economic reasons, assertion of control, strategic advantage, or for unknown agenda towards its favor.

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9 Responses to “Five Notable Territorial Animals”
  1. overwings Says...

    On October 6, 2009 at 11:03 am

    There are many examples of territorial behaviour around us. Try to approach swans swimming in their very own piece of river and you will see how “nicely” welcome you are.


  2. Aleena Says...

    On October 6, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    So true, very nice article, thanks for the share!


  3. Judy Sheldon Says...

    On October 7, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Even house pets are territorial. Try walking too close to someone’s home if they own a dog. It will certainly let the owners know.

    Thanks for a great read with pics.


  4. Ruby Hawk Says...

    On October 8, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Animals and humans have that in common, we all like our own space. good read.


  5. Patrick Regoniel Says...

    On October 9, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Thank you overwing, Aleena, Judy and Ruby.


  6. Moses Ingram Says...

    On October 13, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    A good read, we aren’t as different from other species as we think.


  7. Anne McNew Says...

    On October 14, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Great presentation.


  8. Teves Says...

    On October 19, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Scary crocodile…


  9. lillyrose Says...

    On October 30, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Really well presented article! great write and fantastic pics to go with it!


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