Ex12revised - Behavior of the House Cricket, Acheta...

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E xercise 12* Behavior of the House Cricket, Acheta domesticus * Analysis to be submitted as the Formal Lab Write-up (due during week of April 26th)  Background The Study of Animal Behavior All animals interact with their environment, including individuals or groups of either the same or different species. These behavioral interactions, whether with the environment or other animals, have fascinated researchers for a long time. However, it was not until the early decades of the 20 th century when the study of animal behavior gained a coherent conceptual framework and a clearly spelled out research program, which eventually developed into a discipline that we now call “classical ethology”. This field was internationally recognized in 1973 when the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Karl von Frisch, Konrad Lorenz, and Nikolaas Tinbergen “for their discoveries concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behavior patterns”. Many would argue that these three are the most prominent historical figures in the field of behavioral biology. Karl von Frisch pioneered the research on the communication mechanisms amongst bees about a food source, discovering the honeybee “dance language” (von Frisch, 1967). Konrad Lorenz conducted many studies examining instinctual and fixed action patterns of behaviors in animals as well as imprinting (Lorenz, 1952). Nikolaas Tinbergen examined the degree of behavioral responses to various stimuli in many animals; some behavioral responses could be elicited more strongly using an exaggerated stimulus (supernormal stimulus) compared to the natural stimulus (Tinbergen, 1951). Tinbergen’s Four Questions In 1963, Tinbergen proposed a framework that united all aspects of animal behavior research. To this day it inspires students of animal behavior, as it delineates very clearly the approaches that are necessary to answer the seemingly simple question: Why do animals behave the way they do? According to this framework, the mechanisms underlying animal behavior can be broadly divided into four categories, also known as Tinbergen’s (1963) four questions: Causation, Ontogeny, Survival Value (Function) and Evolution . The processes underlying causation and ontogeny (development) of behavior are considered to be proximate mechanisms, whereas the processes underlying survival value (function) and evolution of behavior are known as ultimate mechanisms. Studying causal mechanisms aims to understand the underlying internal factors (e.g. neural, genetic, hormonal) for a behavior. Ontogenetic mechanisms of behavior examine how behavior develops in relation to genetic and
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Ex12revised - Behavior of the House Cricket, Acheta...

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