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Chapter 51. ~Animal Behavior. Behavior - what an animal does and why it does it. Ethology~ study of animal behavior Behavior results from both genes and environmental factors. Causation: •proximate~ physiological & genetic mechanisms of behavior

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Chapter 51 l.jpg
Chapter 51

  • ~Animal Behavior

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Behavior-what an animal does and why it does it.

  • Ethology~ study of animal behavior

  • Behavior results from both genes and environmental factors.

  • Causation:

  • •proximate~ physiological & genetic mechanisms of behavior

  • •ultimate~ evolutionary significance of behavior

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Breeds in spring and early summer

Hypothesis-effect of increased day length on photoreceptors brings on breeding.

Stimulus results in neural and hormonal changes that induce this behavior.


Why did natural selection favor this behavior?

Hypothesis-breeding is most productive or adaptive at this time.

Food more plentiful.

Observation of Magnolia Warbler

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Innate Behavior

  • Developmentally fixed

  • Often attributed to genetic programming without environmental influence.

  • Baby birds opening mouth for food

  • Key point-is the range of environmental differences among individuals does not appear to alter the behavior.

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Innate Behavior

  • Fixed action pattern (FAP)~sequence of acts; unchangeable; carried to completion

  • Sign stimulus~these patterns are triggered by an external sensory stimulus

  • Ex: 3-spined stickleback(Tinbergen ‘73 Nobel)

  • Utilizes its color vision to identify red-undersided males that try to invade its territory.

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  • Mechanisms animals use to recognize, search for, and capture food items.

  • Optimal foraging theory

  • Feeding costs verses feeding benefits.

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Behavioral ecology concentrates on ultimate hypotheses

  • Animals utilize their genetic variation to express behaviors that optimize their fitness

  • Natural selection favors behaviors that enhance survival and reproductive success.

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Learning-experience based modification of behavior

  • Maturation~ behavior due to developing physiological changes.

  • Habituation~ loss of responsiveness to stimuli that convey no information; simple learning

  • Imprinting~ limited learning within a specific time period •critical period (Lorenz, ‘73 Nobel)

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Associative Learning

  • Connecting two different stimuli

  • Ivan Pavlov-Classical conditioning

  • Involves associating arbitrary stimuli with either a reward or punishment.

  • Skinner-Operant Conditioning-trial and error

  • Induced manipulation of levers by rats after awarding them with food.

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Associative Learning

  • •classical conditioning~ Pavlov’s dogs •operant conditioning (trial and error)~ “Skinner’s box”

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Social behavior

  • Sociobiology~evolutionary theory applied to social behavior (Hamilton)

  • Agonistic behavior~ contest behavior determining access to resources

  • Dominance hierarchy~linear “pecking order”

  • Territoriality~ an area an individual defends excluding others

  • Mating systems: •promiscuous~ no strong pair bonds •monogamous~ one male/one female

  • •polygamous~ one with many •polygyny~ one male/many females •polyandry~ one female/many males

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Agnostic Behavior

  • Competition for a resource

  • Sometimes simply ritual

  • Signifies intent but causes no harm

  • Causes social hierarchies to develop in some animals

  • Dominance hierarchy

  • Territoriality

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Mating behavior

  • Parental investment-time and resources required to produce an offspring.

  • Female usually has higher parental investment-eggs more costly to produce

  • Sexual selection-competition among males for the female to choice him.

  • Females usually care for young. Paternity not always know. Very few have only male paternal care.

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Altruistic behavior-reducing individual fitness to increase that of another

  • Inclusive fitness~ total effect an individual has on proliferating its genes by its own offspring and aid to close relatives

  • Coefficient of relatedness~measures inclusive fitness by proportion of genes that are identical because of common ancestors

  • Kin selection~ aiding related individuals altruistically can result in more identical genes

  • Reciprocal altruism~exchange of aid; humans?