Ethogram Lab

Ethogram Lab - Ethogram Laboratory: A Description of the...

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Ethogram Laboratory: A Description of the Behaviors Exhibited by the Canadian Goose, Branta Canadensis , as Observed in its Natural Habitat Joshua Williams Biology 201, 11:00 Lecture December 2, 2009
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Williams 2
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Williams 3 Introduction In his book, Handbook of Ethological Methods , Philip N. Lehner states that enthology was once described as “the study of whole patterns of animal behavior under natural conditions, in ways that emphasize[d] the functions and the evolutionary history of the patterns” (2). Today, ethology can be described simply as “the zoological study of animal behavior” (bellarmine.edu). The behaviors that animals exhibit are the result of natural selection and adaptation. Ethology has made a lot of breakthrough discoveries. In the field of psychology, ethograms are used to draw parallels between animal and human behavior. They use actions exhibited by one species of animals to predict the behavior of another (gender.uk). Through ethology, scientists have been able to further study the correlation between human and primate behavior. Jane Goodall was an important figure in this area of study. Goodall studied chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus) in Tanzania for over 20 years. Before Jane Goodall’s discoveries, chimpanzees were thought to be vegetarians. She observed chimpanzees eating termites. She also saw the chimps using stones and leaves for gathering food and water as well as using sticks to make shoe-like contraptions. By studying those primates and how they behaved, Goodall was able to see that chimpanzees, like humans, are carnivorous and use tools in their everyday life. She also noticed that when an artificial food source was placed in the chimps’ environment, they began to quarrel over the food and sometimes even ambush each other in groups. This led some scientist to believe that war is a natural occurrence. Another woman named Dian Fossey did a study similar to Goodall’s but with mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) . Fossey noticed that gorillas were extremely selfless. They were willing to risk their lives in order to protect their group. This discovery led some scientist
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Williams 4 to believe that the sacrificed gorilla’s genes could be passed down to newer generations through the offspring of its close relatives. This idea is called “inclusive fitness”. Karl von Frisch is also a well-known name in the world of ethology. Von Frisch did a breakthrough discovery dealing with the communication mechanisms that animals use. Von Frisch conducted his research on the common honey bee. He dissected what is known as the “dance language” of bees. He realized that each bee performed a different series of motions to communicate different ideas. For example, worker bees used movement to “communicate the distance, direction, and quality of a feeding place they have found while foraging around the
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Ethogram Lab - Ethogram Laboratory: A Description of the...

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