Chapter 53 - Chapter 53: Behavior and Behavioral Ecology I....

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Chapter 53: Behavior and Behavioral Ecology I. Interactions between genes and environment a. Ethology - Study of animal behavior from an evolutionary perspective b. Behavior = Genes + life experiences c. Proximate mechanisms i. Neuronal, hormonal, anatomical d. Ultimate causes i. Selection pressures that shaped evolution of the behavior e. Genes do not “encode” behavior f. Stereotypic behavior i. Genetic, unlearned(important if offspring cannot learn from parents), can be adjusted g. Divulging genes involved in behavior h. Deprivation experiments i. Young animals are reared with no experiences related to the behavior under study. i. Genetic experiments i. Interbreeding; insert or knock-out gene j. Interactions between genes and environment k. Environmental signals trigger expression of behavior i. Releaser ” = Object/event/condition required to elicit a behavior 1. e.g., the squirrel with the nut – the nut was a releaser ii. Response to release depends on motivational state l. Critical period i. Learning take place at specific times in an animal’s life m. Imprinting i. Recognition of parents and offspring n. Why do only male birds sing the song? i. Hormones: affect development & the physiological state of an animal ii. Testosterone: alters brain structure and function iii. Female birds treated with testosterone sing the song II. Behavior and Fitness a. Habitat selection: most important decision i. It must provide food, shelter, nest sites, escape routes, etc. ii. Depends on:
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Chapter 53 - Chapter 53: Behavior and Behavioral Ecology I....

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