1 Behavior_Lab

1 Behavior_Lab - ANS 150 - Introduction to Animal Science...

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Animal Behavior Laboratory The purpose of this laboratory is to: (a) allow students to observe and participate in several different types of animal behaviors involving interaction between adults and young animals; and (b) introduce students to quantitative techniques used in ethology for studying animal behaviors. In Section I, students will observe sows and baby pigs during lactation. Lactation is an excellent time to observe animal behavior because a variety of different behaviors can be seen. Perhaps, the most compelling reason to understand behaviors is that animals often exhibit a characteristic pattern of behaviors during critical times such as parturition (general name for the birth process in all animals). If the person responsible for the animal’s care understands the normal sequence of behaviors, then he or she can intervene and assist when necessary if the animal is acting abnormally. In Section II, students will be introduced to the some basic principles used in ethology - the study of animal behaviors. Most species of animals exhibit unique behaviors related to their social, physiological, or environmental status. Some of these behaviors are interpreted as being indicative of the animal having a positive experience, while others are associated with a negative experience. Quantification of type and frequency of these behaviors is one technique that is used in ethology - the study of animal behaviors. To examine this, students will observe social interactions among pigs in a pen and use quantification of the type and frequency of certain behaviors to estimate the social dominance or peck order. In Section III, students will participate in a simple experiment that is designed to determine preferences of baby pigs. Typically, when scientists attempt to evaluate animal preferences they conduct experiments using T-mazes. T-mazes have a central area from which branch several arms. The simplest is a T-maze, hence its name. With a T-maze, two different stimuli are placed in each arm; the animal is placed in the common area; and, in theory, will select the arm with the stimulus that it prefers. In this laboratory, a maze with 3 arms will be used instead of a conventional T-maze. One arm will have a heat lamp; one arm will have other baby piglets making noises (hopefully); and the third arm will be empty. Thus, students will attempt to determine whether warm or social contact with other baby piglets is most important for young piglets. By the end of the laboratory, students should be able to: 1) Classify completely any behaviors that they observe between a sow and her litter and between pigs and humans; 2) Estimate social dominance (peck order) in a group of pigs based on objective assessments of behaviors; and 3) Determine whether warm is a more compelling need for baby pigs than social contact with other piglets. Section I – Classification of Behaviors
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2010 for the course ANS 151 taught by Professor Dr.flowers during the Fall '09 term at N.C. State.

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1 Behavior_Lab - ANS 150 - Introduction to Animal Science...

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