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Animal Behavior

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					Animal Behavior
What is behavior?
   Humans have studied behavior since the
    dawn of man:
       Hunting
       Predator avoidance
       Animal fascination


   Behavioral ecology
       The control of behavior.
       The evolution, development, and contribution to
        survival and reproductive success.
Ethology

   The study of animal behavior.
       Nobel prize laureates:
           Karl von Frisch
           Konrad Lorenz
           Niko Tinbergen


   Behavior is very complex and hard to
    study.
Nature or Nurture?


   Is your behavior strictly from your
    experience?

   Is your behavior genetically regulated?

   Is it a combination of each?
       Successful strategies are a combination.
       Failure often leads to death.
Selfish Gene?
Is it possible that genes regulate behavior?




   Genes B and b
       BB, Bb, and bb
       The production of
        pheromones “tagged”
        ants, which were then
        killed.
       BB queens were
        routinely killed.
                                   Red Fire Ant (Solenopsis wagneri)
Innate Behavior


   “Inborn” behaviors.
       Genetic


   Defensive Reflex:
       Tail flagging
       Raised snouts
       Jumping
       Kicking Dirt
Fixed Action Pattern


   Innate, stereotyped
    behavior.

       Kitten pouncing on
        leaves.

       Baby birds begging
        for food.            Warbler adult feeding cowbird baby.
Releasers

   Stimuli that carry
    information between
    members of the same
    species.

   Adults and offspring.
   Competing
    individuals.
   Pheromones
Classical Conditioning
   Reward
       Positive reinforcement
       Reinforcement
        increases the chances
        the activity will happen
        again.


   Punishment
       Negative reinforcement
       Increases the chances
        that the activity will not
        happen again.
Imprinting
Types of Behavior


   Orientation and Navigation
   Aggression
   Mating Behavior
   Altruism
Orientation and Navigation
Orientation and Navigation
Aggression


   Animals often
    display aggressive
    acts towards one
    another.

   Aggression
    increases during
    times of stress.
Types of Aggression
Territoriality
Types of Aggression
Dominance Hierarchy
Types of Aggression
Cannibalism
Mating Behavior

   Courtship rituals:
       Sexual selection
       Prevention of
        mating with a
        member of a
        different species.


   Mating systems
       Monogamy
       Polygamy
Courtship Displays
Courtship Displays
Altruism

   “A concern for the
    welfare of others.”

   In animal behavior:
       Any action which
        reduces your
        fitness to increase
        the fitness of
        others.
Kin Selection

   If you help others to
    have babies, and you
    don’t have any,
    shouldn’t this be
    “selected” out?

   Even helping out
    relatives passes on
    your genes.
Is it better to be a loner?
   Advantages:
       Reduces competition
        for resources.


   Disadvantages:
       Your alone.
       Harder to find a mate.
       Loss of any benefit of
        living in a group.
Group Living: Advantages

   More favorable
    surroundings.

   Better defense

   Enhanced reproductive
    success.

   Improved foraging
    efficiency.

   Improved learning.
Group Living: Disadvantages

   Individuals deplete
    food supply.

   Spread of
    infections.

   “Magnet” for
    predators.
    Eusocial Behavior
    Forming a “biological society”



   Main aspects:
       1. Cooperative care of young.
       2. Overlapping generations.
       3. Division of labor.


   Order Hymenoptera
       Classic example.
       Ants, bees, wasps.
        Communication is the key.


   Communication stimuli:
        Chemicals
        Sound
        Touch
        Vision
That’s it!

   The study of animal
    society is difficult.
       Why is this?


   What can studying
    other animals tell us
    about ourselves?

   Should we study
    animals?

				
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posted:9/4/2012
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