BIOL211#23 - Chapter 55 Behavior is the observable response...

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1 Chapter 55 Behavioral Ecology Behavior is the observable response of animals to external and internal stimuli Behavior is everything an animal does and how it does it Behavioral ecology – The study of how behavior contributes to survival and reproduction Ethology – The study of how animals behave, particularly in their natural environments Understanding behavior requires answering both proximate causation questions and ultimate causation questions – Proximate causation: “How” questions – Ultimate causation: “Why” questions Proximate caution questions – What stimulus elicits the behavior, and what physiological mechanisms mediate the response? – How does the animal’s experience during growth and development influence the response? Ultimate causation questions – Does the behavior aid survival and reproduction? – What is the behavior’s evolutionary history?
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2 Impact of Genetics Behavior is controlled by both genetics and the environment Changes in behavior may be caused by variations in just one gene Behavior that is developmentally fixed in all individuals in a population is called innate behavior Also referred to as instinctual behavior Orb Webs Fixed action pattern (FAP) – A sequence of unlearned acts that is unchangeable – Once initiated it is usually carried to completion – Triggered by an external sensory stimulus known as a sign stimulus FAP in male stickleback fish Learning is the modification of behavior based on specific experiences Nonassociative learning – Habituation
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3 Habituation – A loss of responsiveness to stimuli that convey little or no new information – One of the simplest forms of learning – The “cry-wolf” effect
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BIOL211#23 - Chapter 55 Behavior is the observable response...

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