Musselwhite Ethogram - Musselwhite 1 Ethogram of the Gray...

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Musselwhite 1 Ethogram of the Gray Squirrel Cris Musselwhite Dr. Bill Alexander Biology 201 May 11, 2006
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Musselwhite 2 Introduction : One of the many branches of biology is one called ethology. Ethology is the study of individuals and their national differences in character, on the basis of associationistic psychology. Scientists who study this branch of biology are called ethologist. One of the major concerns in ethology is the evolution of behavior and the understanding of behavior in terms of natural selection (Darwinism). Many consider Charles Darwin to be among the first ethologist with his book The Expression of the Emotions in Animals and Men . Although Darwin was not an avid ethologist, his protégé, George Romanes was. Romanes focused on the investigation that animal learning and intelligence used an anthropomorphic method, but his theory did not gain scientific support. Other early ethologist such as Oskar Heinroth and Julian Huxley focused on instinctive behaviors that occurred in all members of the same species under specific circumstances. It was Heinroth and Huxley who developed the ethogram as a method of description of the main types of natural behavior with their frequency and occurrence (Darwinism). The ethogram provides an objective, cumulative base of behavioral data that later researchers can build upon and add to. One of the most famous ethograms ever done was by the primatologist Dian Fossey. She studied the behaviors of mountain gorillas in the Congo and in the Virunoa Volcanoes in Rwanda. Her ethogram lasted from 1966-1985 (A Wild Woman). In order to gain access to the shy gorilla population she imitated their behaviors and sounds. She eventually became so in tune with the gorillas and proficient with their behavior that they would approach her and interact with her. The site of her research was called Karisoke,
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Musselwhite 3 and it became an international center for gorilla research. Her ethogram came to an end when she was murdered at Karisoke on December 26, 1985 (Fossey, Dian). Methods and Materials : Our Biology 201 instructor, Dr. William C. Alexander provided our group with a pair of Mirador 7x35 binoculars to observe our specimen with. Our group chose to observe members of the North American Gray Squirrel ( Sciurus carolinensis ) population found residing in the back lawn area of the GSSM campus. My lab group consisted of Erin Martin, Abigail Gall, Daniel Ward, and myself. Erin Martin and Daniel Ward served as the watchers who observed the target specimen with the binoculars, and Abigail Gall and I served as the recorders who wrote down the observations to later be transcribed into a spreadsheet on Microsoft Excel. The watchers would focus on one individual of the target species and call out the behaviors of that individual until it was no
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Musselwhite Ethogram - Musselwhite 1 Ethogram of the Gray...

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