Innate Releasing Mechanism

An innate releasing mechanism is the instinctive mental behavior pattern that produces a fixed action pattern.

Referred to as instinctive behaviors, it is a behavior common to a species that helps to ensure the species' survival. This is most commonly seen in courtship/mating and nesting behaviors (many bird species have species-specific courtship rituals and ways of building nests and tending to eggs).

For instance, different species have radically different nest-building techniques that they simply know instinctively and don't have to learn from others in their species group. Likewise, some species (i.e. cowbirds) instinctively lay their eggs in other birds' nests and save themselves the effort of raising their own chicks.

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