Skip to Content

Habit (biology)

« Back to Glossary Index

– Habit in zoology refers to specific behavior patterns
– Habit can be adopted, learned, pathological, innate, or related to physiology
– Examples include a cat springing upon a door knocker, parrots feather plucking in cages, spider monkeys staying arboreal, and brittle stars breaking off arms for defense
– Mode of life is related to habit and includes locomotor capabilities, feeding behavior, habitat type, and activity period
– Changes in environment can lead to changes in habits of plants and animals, which can be pathological or adaptive

– In botany, habit refers to general appearance, growth form, or architecture of plants
– Examples include shrubby habits in maple species, dwarf habits in alpine plants, and categorization into woody or herbaceous plants
– Overlap exists between plant classifications based on habit and life-form
– Other taxa are described by growth patterns, growth form, structure, type level of organization, morphology, and body plan
– Habitus distinguishes form from behavior in zoology, while in botany, it is used interchangeably with habit due to differences in plant behavior

See also:
– Habitat and animal migration are related concepts to habit
– Habit (psychology) is another field that explores habits in a different context

– Jackson, Benjamin, Daydon; A Glossary of Botanic Terms with their Derivation and Accent; Published by Gerald Duckworth & Co. London, 4th ed 1928
– William Chambers; Robert Chambers (1835). Chamberss Edinburgh Journal. W. Orr. pp.69–.
– Werner Lantermann; Matthew M. Vriends (1986). New Parrot Handbook. Barrons Educational Series. pp.110–. ISBN978-0-8120-3729-6
– Wynne, Parry. Disease May Help Shape Animals Migration Habits. Live Science. Retrieved 17 May 2013
– growXpert.

Habit (biology) (Wikipedia)

Habit, equivalent to habitus in some applications in biology, refers variously to aspects of behaviour or structure, as follows:

  • In zoology (particularly in ethology), habit usually refers to aspects of more or less predictable behaviour, instinctive or otherwise, though it also has broader application. Habitus refers to the characteristic form or morphology of a species.
  • In botany, the plant habit is the characteristic form in which a given species of plant grows.
This cultivar of Japanese maple has a dome-like habit.
« Back to Glossary Index