Evolution and Behavior Chapter 9
Behavior • Behavior is all of the actions of an organism during its life time. • These are adaptive traits that have an evolutionary history.
Study of Behavior • Proximate Causation- • Genetic basis • Physiological basis • Developmental basis • Ultimate Causation- • Evolutionary basis • Phylogenetic basis
Proximate – taste receptors, ingestion of ice cream, digestion of ice cream, pleasure activation in brain. Ultimate – Why is a preference for sugary and fat rich foods an adaptive behavior? How has this preference increased survivorship and reproduction in the past?
Innate Behavior • Instinct – Behavior that is not learned. Performed first time well with no experience. • Some instincts are Fixed Action Patterns. • These are triggered by a specific Sign stimulus • Go to completion once started • Even if behavior is inappropriate • Mating signal in black birds • White shell removal by gulls
From an evolutionary perspective, behavior can be viewed best as: A) not subject to the normal evolutionary process because it involves a neurological system.B) a trait that can satisfy the three conditions required for evolution by natural selection.C) something that is too complex to arise through natural selection.D) Both b) and c) are correct.E) All of the above are correct.
Why is the goose in this figure rolling a beer can back to her nest? A) She’s trying to get nutrition from any source she can.B) She’s using the beer can as part of the nest border to protect the eggs.C) She’s a first-time mother and is in the process of learning the difference between eggs and non- eggs.D) She’s a silly goose.E) She’s exhibiting a fixed action pattern that directs her to retrieve any item that even vaguely resembles an egg.
Are humans the only animal that can learn? A) yes B) no
Learned Behavior • Behavior changes with experience • May not be programmed • Can learn new associations, problem solve, or how to run a maze, etc. • This can result in more rapid changes than the modification of an instinct by natural selection • Human society changing quickly with our ability to learn and develop new ideas Animals learn where home is, who their neighbors are, the odor of their mate, migration routes, who is dominant, local song dialect, etc. Many different contexts and types of learning.
Programmed learning Learning occurs in a very specific way, often during a set critical period for that learning
Behavior usually results from a mix of genetic and environmental factors • Rare examples of specific gene – single behavior • Rare that 100% of behavior is learned • Can’t learn to walk unless have the anatomy to do so • White crowned sparrows inherit a template for their song, learn a dialect, and perfect it through practice and listening to own song
Programmed learning • Children go through similar stages when learning to talk and they practice to improve sounds and sentences. • Learn the sounds of one language and lose ability to hear unique sounds of different languages • More difficult to learn a new language when you are older than when you are a child
Problem solving • A problem is solved through trial and error or seeing the problem and figuring out the solution through a thought process. • This is also a behavior that is not only found in humans. • Examples: Japanese Snow Monkeys • Chimpanzees • Woodpecker finches • Octopus
Problem solving by an octopus • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9kuAiuXezIU
Terms • Cooperation – mutual assistance between 2 or more individuals • Selfishness – Behavior that benefits the individual doing the behavior • Altruism – Behavior that benefits another at the detriment of oneself
Cooperation • Individuals help each other care for young or hunt • Individuals support each other to gain social status • Many contexts
Cooperation can appear to be altruism, but it is based on a knowledge that this individual will return the favor in the future.
Altruistic behavior in animals may be a result of kin selection, a theory maintaining that: A) aggression between sexes increases the survival and reproduction of the fittest individuals.B) companionship is advantageous to animals because in the future they can recognize those companions that helped them in the past and can request help from them once again.C) genes are more likely to persist within a population when they cause behaviors that assist other animals who share those genes.D) companionship is advantageous to animals because in the future they can recognize those companions that helped them in the past and can provide help to those individuals.E) aggression within sexes increases the survival and reproduction of the fittest individuals.
Choosier sex is generally female Exceptions exist and help us understand why one sex is choosier than another.
With high reliability of paternity, you can see males investing more than females in the production and care of offspring
In general, which of the following is the best way to distinguish males from females? A) Males are more brightly colored.B) Males produce motile gametes.C) Males are larger.D) Males are more aggressive.E) All of the above are correct.
An optimal strategy for an animal in procuring food would involve all of the following EXCEPT: A) securing essential nutrients.B) minimizing energy expended.C) maximizing energy gained.D) minimizing the risk of predation during foraging and feeding.E) maximizing the size of each prey item.
The sex with the greater energetic investment in reproduction will be ___________________ when it comes to mating. A) less discriminatingB) more competitiveC) more exhaustiveD) more discriminatingE) less interested
Evolution has favored efficient behavior such that an animal minimizes cost and maximizes the benefits. Sometimes what has driven the evolution is not just energy, even when considering foraging.