Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Approaches to studying animal behavior Niko...

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Approaches to studying animal behavior Niko Tinbergen’s 4 questions Important aside: Today’s researchers typically must integrate their work among more than one “level of analysis”. Proximate questions and approaches inform “ultimate” hypotheses and vice versa Hypothesis Testing Constructing an ethogram Ethogram is an inventory f the behavior performed by an animal 1. How do you build an ethogram? a. Identify broad, descriptive categories of behavior (courtship, nesting, feeding) b. Or identify descriptive units of behavior (req’s extensive observation beforehand) Ethogram serves as a basis for posing a question or hypothesis about some aspect of the organism’s behavior Ex. Showing courtship pattern Charging, tail beating, quivering, nipping, skimming An ex of a testable hypothesis from a classic study of Tinbergen - Herring gull - Black-headed gull (lay eggs) o Noticed they nest on ground, chicks hatch, pick up eggshell & move it far from where the babies hatch - Hyp: white is a cue for predators o Experiment white color eggs vs natural color o Shows more of the painted white taken by predators (doesn’t prove hyp) o Gull eggs will be predated at a higher rate if they are near white eggshells (experimental) Experimental is an idea that predicts specific outcomes
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Lecture 2 - Approaches to studying animal behavior Niko...

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