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The cultural history of Chinese fighting criquets: A contribution not only to the history of biology


, : The cultural history of Chinese fighting criquets: A contribution not only to the history of biology. Biologisches Zentralblatt 115(2-3): 206-213

The history of civilization in China shows a special relationship of Chinese to insects and their application in agriculture with the most famous example of producing silk from the silkworm. Another over 1000 year old Chinese tradition is the performance of cricket fights, which created an abundant amount of technical literature and developed many tricks in handling and rearing these animals. Although the theoretical background of cricket aggression is quite different - the Chinese concept is very anthropomorphic in contrast to the modern ethological and neurobiological terminology - a comparison of the results shows interesting analogies. Some old chinese findings may help to extend the current neuroethological study of aggression in crickets, e.g. the method of resetting the fighting readiness in a loser by "punishing". This example leads to the more general suggestion for an experimental history of science, comparative in culture and time, which may help to solve some problems of modem biology, e.g. the spontaneous generation of behaviour patterns or the psychophysical basis of gestalt perception.

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