What does instincts mean

Instincts are innate, relatively rigid behavioral sequences that run automatically in certain situations and without conscious, cognitive effort. A precise, general definition is difficult because the term 'instinct' has not only been used in different contexts throughout history, but also as a synonym for 'Drive', 'reflex' and 'Ordination'Is used. In everyday language, on the other hand, instinct describes an intuitive feeling.

From a biological point of view, instincts fulfill vital functions. Shortly after birth, understandably, the newborn has a lack of experience. Without instincts, animals would be easy prey for predators in this early phase. But evolution has produced many different instincts: For example, ungulates try to get up shortly after birth in order to be able to follow their own herd. Turtles go to the water immediately after hatching. Rabbits freeze when they are afraid, making them harder for the predator to spot or mistaking them for dead.
But instincts still fulfill their function even in adult animals. Nest building in birds, communication between bees and the return of fish to their place of birth for reproduction. All of this is done intuitively and without any learning experience.

Without any instincts, a significantly higher mortality rate can be assumed. But how these behaviors are ultimately represented (in the sense of 'stored') in the organism (genetic and neurobiological), behavior research, including its neighboring disciplines, has not yet been able to uncover beyond doubt.