Biester's Ethogram Lab (Use Carefully)

Biester's Ethogram - Ethogram Lab Nathanael Biester Biology 201 10:00 a.m Biester Introduction The field of zoology that specifically studies an

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Ethogram Lab Nathanael Biester Biology 201 November 25, 2008 10:00 a.m.
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Biester Introduction: The field of zoology that specifically studies an animal’s behavior is referred to as ethology. Ethology is a rather recent field of study, focusing on behavior, and may include learning, instinctual behavior, communication, aggression, and other forms of social behaviors. The goal of ethology, not everyone may be quite as philosophical about it, is for us to “discover ad assimilate the truth about nature” so we can accomplish the “apparently contradictory but essential task of re-establishing our unity with nature” (Lorenz XI). Sociobiology is an interesting part of ethology. Sociobiology deals with the interactions between individuals in a certain group. A society can be defined as “a group of individuals belonging to the same species and organized in a cooperative manner” (Wilson 7). A social relationship is established if animals of the same species act towards others as individuals in ways that are more than “a series of independent, isolated interactions” (Halliday & Slater 114). Arguably, a group of males attracted to a female do not make a society, as they do not do anything in a cooperative manner, and are there just as a response to the same stimulus. Many animals prefer to live in groups for reasons such as safety in numbers, the presence of potential mates, and cooperation in basic necessities for life such as hunting, foraging, grooming. Hunting together may decrease the food gained per individual, but the cooperation displayed by packs of wolves or pride of lions increases the amount of prey they can take. Communication can also be a big part of foraging, as the bees in the tail-wagging dance do. Karl von Frisch, a notable zoologist from Munich discovered that the intricate dance bees do actually tells its hive-mates the location of a food source (Tinbergen 59). A rather puzzling aspect of behavior a sociobiologist could come across is play behavior. Play behavior is usually displayed among younger individuals of a species. For young baboons,
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Biester wrestling is a very good way to hold and mouth objecects. This kind of interaction helps young baboons learn the difference between fellow baboons (that can be wrestled with), inanimate inedible and inanimate edible objects (Halliday & Slater 144). Two main theories of why play behavior is important are that it helps develop motor skill as well as social skill regarding interaction with other individuals. It is clear, across all mammalian species, play serves as a very useful social aspect. The more intelligent a species is, the more complex their play behavior (Wilson 164). Sociobiology clearly is a field that has a lot potential for research. The field of ethology
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This note was uploaded on 10/12/2011 for the course BIOLOGY 100 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '11 term at South Carolina Upstate.

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Biester's Ethogram - Ethogram Lab Nathanael Biester Biology 201 10:00 a.m Biester Introduction The field of zoology that specifically studies an

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