f07HW1key - Bio 132 Question Set 1 Key 1 At this time of...

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Bio 132: Question Set 1 Key 1. At this time of year, you may see squirrels burying nuts and seeds. Using the four categories of questions discussed in class, pose at least 1 question per category specific to this behavior . Identify which of these questions are proximate and which are ultimate. A. Some Proximate questions: --mechanisms- What stimulus caused the squirrels to bury food; does it have to do with a seasonal cue from the environment? What sensory information does the squirrel use to find a storage location for food or to retrieve the food later? What kind of muscles and skeletal structure allows the squirrels to bury the food? Do any hormones increase the frequency of this behavior? --development –Do the squirrels learn to bury food? If so, is the behavior acquired through conditioning and/or observation of others? Do young squirrels exhibit this behavior? Is there a genetic basis to this behavior? Can we identify any genes that impact this behavior? B. Some Ultimate questions: -- function- What is the function of burying food?, Does this behavior affect the animal’s ability to survive? What are the benefits of burying the food versus the costs involved in performing the behavior? --evolution- What is the evolutionary history of food caching in these animals? Do closely related species show similar behavior? Does the behavior vary depending on the type of animal studied? 2. Ethologists study stereotyped behaviors called Fixed Action Patterns. The ethologists mostly studied the function of innate behaviors in natural settings. Comparative Psychologists study quantifiable behaviors under controlled laboratory conditions. They were interested in the mechanism and development of learning. 3. FAPs are patterns of behavior that occur in the same manner by the same types of animals in response to the same types of stimuli. A releaser is the stimulus that elicits a fixed action pattern.
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