Ethogram Lab- Kate Cummings

Ethogram Lab- Kate Cummings - Ethogram Lab Kate Cummings...

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Ethogram Lab Kate Cummings Spring 2006 Biology 202 11:00
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Introduction Ethology is “the science of animal behavior in their natural, or wild, state” and more recently in the laboratory as scientists begin to examine patterns in the brain and related genetics (Pettijohn). Scientists in this field mainly concentrate on instinctual mannerisms instead of learned behavior. It is mainly composed of writing an ethogram which details characteristics and all of the behaviors of a single species, especially those behaviors that are stimulated by “releaser stimuli” and carried out by the nervous system. A full ethogram takes several years and investigates the behavior and its underlying biological causes, survival value for the species, probable evolutionary origin, relationship to ecology, and development during an animal's entire life. Quantitative data that the scientists collect during their time in research includes body patterns, behavioral ecology, feeding behavior, intraspecific geologic variation, sexual behavior, communication, and competition. Ethology was initiated by scientists in the early 1900’s who wanted to gain some insight into the origins of human instincts and ethics. Later, zoologists began observing animals in their natural habitat and finding animal behavior patterns. Early ethologists include Adam von Pernau, Charles Darwin, and Jakob von Uexküll. More independent work was done later by Charles Whitman and Oskar Heinroth who separately developed the method of cataloging behaviors, systematically studying and evaluating them, which is seen as the beginning of modern ethology. Konrad Lorenz started the concept of releaser stimuli, mentioned previously, which corresponds to innate releasing mechanisms and action-specific energy (Hess). Controversially, the evolutionary theory advocated by this field of research is being applied to human behaviors. Critics dislike the idea that human behavior is a collection of closed instincts and it is morally correct to try to have as many offspring as possible. This is more
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commonly called sociobiology or comparative psychology and is what ethology originally started out as; scientists today prefer to separate the human aspect from other animals. In recent years with more advanced technology and knowledge changing the scientific field, there has been a move to investigate animal behavior with a genetic and neurophysiological approach (Hess). There is still a lot to learn about the mechanisms and significance of most behaviors and how some are triggered by genes associated with the nervous system. Future studies will focus on how neural and hormonal systems control behavior patterns and finding a definite and useful link between genetics and behaviors (Pettijohn). Methods and Materials
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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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Ethogram Lab- Kate Cummings - Ethogram Lab Kate Cummings...

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