Ethogram Final - Introduction: Animal behavior is a complex...

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Introduction : Animal behavior is a complex multidisciplinary study rooted in instincts inherited from a species’ oldest ancestors. The study of animal behavior involves the fields of psychology and biology to understand the overall origin and effect of various animals’ actions. Animal behavior can be categorized many different ways, with two main divisions being closed and open instincts. “One of the many possible categories of behavior could be called closed instincts- behavior patterns produced in complete and functional form the first time they are given and that cannot be altered by experiences associated with their performance” (Alcock). Mating display is a type of “closed” instinct. On the other hand, “open instincts may be altered as a result of the consequences of these behaviors” (Alcock). Open instincts, in their most basic form, are learned behaviors. Examples of open instincts include nest building, song learning, and reward and punishment methods of learning. To study these behaviors in animals, a branch of science called ethology emerged. “Early in the 20 th century, several European zoologists…began systematically observing animals in their natural surroundings” (Pettijohn). Ethologists seek to explain the behaviors of animals in terms of their environment and drive for reproduction. “Following the lead of early ethologists, many researchers have explored the relation between behavior patterns, the environment, and the reproductive success of the individual” (Alcock). This has been accomplished by the ethogram, a working catalogue of an individual’s behaviors and actions. By compiling ethograms on various species, ethologists hope to further understand each species’ unique behaviors and the reason and purpose behind each act. By further understanding species’
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behavior, scientists can form a broader understanding of the world around us, drawing on animals’ actions to understand basic human needs and functions. Methods and Materials : The observations catalogued in this ethogram were made by Jenny Burnett, Emilie Rosset, Megan O’Kelly, and Michael Waites. These behaviors were recorded and catalogued on three separate days. On November 7 th , the observations were made starting at 2:30 P.M. The skies were clear and sunny, though the weather was windy and brisk. The predicted high for the day was 57 degrees Fahrenheit. On November 8 th , the observations were made from 8:30 to 9:30 A.M. on the GSSM campus along McNair Avenue. The skies were clear and sunny. The weather was quite cold and the predicted high was, once again, 57 degrees Fahrenheit. On November 12 th , the observations were made from 4:30 to 5:15 P.M. along Laurel Oak in Hartsville. The skies were clear with moderate temperatures. The predicted high was 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The observations on the 7
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Ethogram Final - Introduction: Animal behavior is a complex...

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