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Threat postures

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Threat postures or threat display is a type of display behaviour aiming at intimidation of a potential enemy. It may be directed at a rival of the same species (in tournament species), or at a potential threat from a different species. The competitive advantage of threat display lies in overstating one's aggressive potential and thus increasing the chances that the opponent chooses to flee (fight-or-flight response). The opposite strategy is submission, behaviour aiming at understating one's aggressive potential in order to dissuade the opponent from attacking.

Human threat display includes showing one's teeth (snarl, compare smile), inflating one's chest (and other stances enlarging one's silhouette from the point of view from the opponent) and making loud vocal calls (battle cry).



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