Animal Behavior Behavior is what an animal does and how it does it.
Behavior • Two Types of Questions • Proximate: • what triggers the behavior? • Ultimate: • Why was this behavior selected for over others? • Influenced by both • Genes • Environment
What are the different types of Behaviors • Instinct • Imprinting • Conditioning –Associative learning Classical & Operant • Insight
1. Instinct • A behavior that is innate, or inherited. • Genetic Programming w/ influences • Developmentally Fixed Kittiwake Gulls young born on cliff Young innately adverse to cliffs, stay away from edges……WHY? Those genetically not afraid fell off….eliminated from gene pool
Stickleback Fish Innate behavior FAP in Human Infant smile Infant grasping objects • Ethology: study of how animals perform these unique behaviors w/o seeing them done before? • FAP (Fixed Action Pattern) • Unchangeable behavior, carried to completion • External sensory signal (sign stimulus) • Triggers response
Innate Behaviors can be tricked Mayflies lays eggs on water Tar Roads and black plastic reflect as water Mayflies lay eggs on these also
Learning • Modification of behavior from specific experiences • Innate behaviors improve w/ experience • Young give indiscriminant alarms • If false, no adult response • If true, adult also gives alarm • Accuracy improves with age
Maturation • Behavior change b/c of developmental structures • Baby birds restricted to NO use of wings (never flap when young) • Still fly at appropriate age • Neuromuscular skill development
2. Imprinting • A form of learning that occurs during a “Sensitive period.” • Usually irreversible • Example – Salmon, Geese • Ducklings • “Sensitive Period”
Konrad Lorenz1903-1989 • Conducted an experiment with geese that showed imprinting behaviors. • He replaced the mother. • Developed the concept of “sensitive period”
3. Classical Conditioning • Associative learning occurs when an animal recognized that 2 or more events are connected.
Ivan Pavlov1849-1936 • Using dogs demonstrated the phenomenon of conditioned reflex. • Made his dog salivate by ringing a bell. • First, gave dog food when bell rang. • Second, rang bell no food.
Operant Conditioning • Trial and error learning. • Learn in order to receive a reward. • Habituation is another form, occurs when an animal learns not to respond to a stimulus. • Skinner Box
B.F.Skinner • Introduced trial and error learning or operant conditioning. • Placed mice in a “Skinner box” that had levers. Some levers lead to a reward. Mice learned to push these levers.
InsightAnimal Cognition • The highest form of learning. Usually by higher animals. • The ability to figure out a behavior that generates a desired outcome. • Reasoning
Cognitive Mechanisms • Kinesis: change in activity, sow bugs activity change w/ humidity • Taxis: Movement, orientation of trout upstream • Landmarks (Tinbergen Exp) • Cognitive Maps: Jays and cache location • Migration Behavior • Piloting • Orientation • Navigation
Social Behaviors • Interactions • Aggression • Courtship • Deception • Sociobiology • Evolutionary theory • Social behavior • Conflict and Competition
Agonistic Behavior • Agonistic behavior is a contest involving threats. • Submissive behavior. • Ritual: the use of symbolic activity. • Test of strength • Generally, no harm is done. • Reconciliation Behavior
Dominance Hierarchies • Dominance hierarchies involve a ranking of individuals in a social group (a “pecking order”). • Alpha, beta rankings exist. • The alpha organisms control the behavior of others.
Territoriality • Territoriality is behavior where an individual defends a particular area, called the territory. • Territories are typically used for feeding, mating, and rearing young and are fixed in location.
Courtship • Behavior that leads to copulation • Establishes maturity readiness • Establishes opposite sex • Establishes health condition
Ways Animals Communicate • Chemical • Visual • Auditory • Tactile
Chemical • Use pheromones to trigger a behavior. • Releasers – immediate • Moths use these to attract a mate. • Ants mark trails • Primer – physiological changes. • Territorial uses – dogs, cats, mice, etc..
Visual • Many visual displays are observed during acts of agonistic behaviors as well as courtship.
Auditory • Use to communicate over long distances, through water and at night. • Whales • Elephants • Frogs • Birds
Tactile • Touching promotes social bonding, infant care grooming and mating.
Altruistic BehaviorUnselfish Behavior • Altruism is defined as behavior that mightdecrease individual fitness, but increase the fitness of others.