Animal performance can be defined as the ability of an animal to conduct an ecologically relevant task such as running, jumping, feeding, flying, or vocalization, among others. Each of these performance traits is critical for most animals. For example, the ability to run quickly is often important for successfully eluding predators, and the ability to fly is critical for animals such as birds, bats, and insects to move around, occupy new habitats, and reproduce. This chapter outlines the key elements of what defines a performance trait, how it can be studied, and some key examples of different kinds of performance traits.
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