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Animal Behavior
Chapter 51
What you need to know!
 The difference between a kinesis and a taxis.
 Various forms of animal communication.
 The role of altruism and inclusive fitness in kin selection.
 Study of animal behavior
 What an animal does and how it does it
 Proximate causation = how?
 Ultimate causation = why?
 Results of genetic and environmental factors
 How much of you is genetic versus environmental?
 Between 20% and 80% for mental conditions (twin studies)
 Niko Tinbergen animal behavior Q’s:
1. What stimulus elicits the behavior, and what physiological
mechanisms mediate the response? (proximate)
2. How does the animal’s experience during growth and development
influence the response? (proximate)
3. How does the behavior aid survival and reproduction? (ultimate)
4. What is the behavior’s evolutionary history? (ultimate)
Innate Behavior
 Instinct
 Fixed Action Patterns are a series of unlearned behaviors
in response to a sign stimulus
 Taxis is a movement directly toward or away from a
 Toward food (positive taxis)
 Away from a predator (negative taxis)
 Kinesis is a series of (what appear to be) random
movements in response to a stimuli
 Pill bugs in a dry environment
Behavioral Rhythms
 Responses based on times of day, year, lunar cycle, etc.
 Circadian clock is linked to the day and night cycle and
governs behaviors associated with times of day
 Circannual rhythms are linked to day-length and govern
migratory and hibernation behaviors
Animal Communication
 A signal from one animal and the reception by another
 Signals include pheromones, visual signals, and auditory
 Courtship behavior
 Waggle dance
 Modification of behavior based on experience
 Habituation – loss of response to insignificant stimuli
 Imprinting – combination of both innate and learned
 Sensitive or critical period of learning
 Spatial Learning – memory based on environmental
 Cognitive map is a neural map of the spatial relationships in
an environment
 Associative Learning – connecting one environmental
feature with another
 Classical conditioning (Pavlov) and operant conditioning
 Cognition – problem solving
Evolutionary Link
 Selection for individual survival and reproduction
account for most behaviors:
 Foraging behavior – optimal foraging model
 Mating systems – promiscuity, monogamy, polygamy
 Agonistic behaviors – ritualized contests for territory and/or
 Altruism – an animal behaves in ways that reduce their
individual fitness but increase the fitness of others
 Inclusive fitness – aiding offspring and family to successful
reproduce and mature aka kin selection