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Animal Behavior. All observed behaviors in some way maximize the individual’s reproductive success (fitness). 4 Questions about behavior. Causation? Physiological mechanisms “How” questions are “proximate” Development? Ontogeny (organism’s lifetime) Evolution? Origins and significance

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animal behavior

Animal Behavior

All observed behaviors in some way maximize the individual’s reproductive success (fitness)

4 questions about behavior
4 Questions about behavior
  • Causation?
    • Physiological mechanisms
    • “How” questions are “proximate”
  • Development?
    • Ontogeny (organism’s lifetime)
  • Evolution?
    • Origins and significance
  • Function?
    • Adaptive significance
    • “Why” questions are “ultimate”
    • Phylogeny (historical)
what is behavior
What is behavior?
  • What an animal does and how it does it
how does behavior happen
How does behavior happen?
  • Behavior results from both genetic (nature) and environmental (nurture) influences.
    • Phenotypic behaviors exist that often depend on environmental cues
    • Some behaviors are strictly “nature”.
    • Environmental factors can include:
      • Chemical environments in cells
      • Hormone and physical conditions
      • Interactions with other organisms
innate behaviors
Innate Behaviors
  • All behaviors, including innate behaviors, require a environment to be expressed.
  • Innate behaviors are those that appear the same among individuals no matter the environment (developmentally fixed).
  • Ultimate explanation is that automatic performance of these behaviors maximized fitness so that other variations were lost
ethology and innate behaviors
Ethology and Innate Behaviors
  • Ethology-studying behaviors in the natural environment
    • Lozenz
    • Tinbergen
    • Von Frisch
  • Fixed action patterns
    • Goose behavior
    • Imprinting
fixed action pattern
Fixed Action Pattern
  • Triggered by a external sign stimulus
  • Goes to completion even in the presence of other stimuli
  • Can sometimes happen in the absence of stimuli
  • Tinbergen’s Stickleback Fish
  • Yawning
  • Supernormal Stimulus
    • Volleyball
    • Cuckoo
learned bahaviors
Learned Bahaviors
  • Based upon gene created neural systems that are receptive to learning
    • Change in behavior is a result of experience
      • Frog flexible learning
      • Wasps and sand dunes
    • Bird Songs
      • Hearing songs in youth is important
      • Will any song do? Freebird?
cost benefit in foraging
Cost/Benefit in Foraging
  • Beautiful Mind and Dating
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