Island tameness  

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Island tameness is the tendency of many populations and species of animals living on isolated islands to lose their wariness of potential predators, particularly of large animals. The term is partly synonymous with ecological naïveté, which also has a wider meaning referring to the loss of defensive behaviors and adaptations needed to deal with these "new" predators. Species retain such wariness of predators that exist in their environment; for example, a Hawaiian goose retains its wariness of hawks (due to its main predator being the Hawaiian hawk), but does not exhibit such behaviors with mammals or other predators not found on the Hawaiian Islands. The most famous example is that of the dodo, which owed its extinction in a large part to a lack of fear of humans, and many species of penguin (which, although wary of sea predators, have no real land predators and therefore are very bold and curious towards humans).

A comparison of 66 species of lizards found that flight initiation distance (how close a lizard allows a human "predator" to approach before it flees) decreases as distance from the mainland increases and is shorter in island than in mainland populations.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Island tameness" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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