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18-ch35-behavior - Chapter 35 Behavioral Adaptations Late...

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Chapter 35 Behavioral Adaptations “Late again! ... This better be good!”
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behavior – everything an animal does, and how it does it; why? ethology – study of animal behavior behavioral ecology – study of behavior (as an adaptation) in the context of ecology (in the present) and evolution (over time) why / how (in ecological time); what are the environmental stimuli? what are the mechanisms for the resulting behavior (genetic, physiological, anatomical)? why (evolutionary time) evolutionary significance of behavior; what are the selective pressures that favored this behavior over alternative possibilites? (assumption: behavior increases fitness) Behavioral ecologists ask proximate & ultimate questions
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Both genes & environmental factors influence behavior California mouse = monogamous with biparental care (vs. white-footed mouse) large genetic component to monogamy (brain chemistry); but also... California mice fostered by white-footed mice were not very good parents!
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fixed action pattern – unchangeable sequence of unlearned (innate) behavioral acts; carried to completion once initiated by: sign stimulus – external sensory trigger
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learning -- modification of behavior based on specific experiences habituation – loss of responsiveness to stimuli that convey very little information “cry wolf” effect spatial learning -- modification of behavior based on experience with spatial structure of environment landmarks – location indicators cognitive map – internal representation of spatial relationships between objects I memorize where to find my buried food caches. I don’t even bother unburying the ones that are too old.
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