Overview and Meaning
- Mediated aggression. In a stable hierarchy threat behavior will often lead to immediate fleeing or submitting by the recipent animal, which normally terminates the interaction. If the aggressor does not break off the interaction, the recipient may continue to attempt to submit or flee, and/or engage in defensive behavior such as crouching.
- Escalated aggression. In forming, unstable, or shifting hierarchies, or when a mouse is intruding on territory, a threat behavior may lead to a retaliatory aggressive behaviors. The aggressor will normally respond with other aggressive behaviors, and the resulting interaction is clearly identifiable as fighting. This then either ends in death or fleeing and submission.
Agonistic interactions can occur in the context of territorial behavior, and/or dominance behavior. Territorial behavior and dominance behavior differ in both the context that they occur, the resources under competition, and the threat behavior that initiates the interaction.