Jenn's Mockingbird Ethogram

Jenn's Mockingbird Ethogram - Ethogram Jennifer Swiantek...

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Ethogram Jennifer Swiantek Partners: Sonny Bivona and Erik Devaun Monday 2:00 Laboratory 10:00 Lecture
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INTRODUCTION The way an animal behaves seems to be a complete mystery in many respects, and mankind has strived for centuries to understand, interpret, and sometimes predict animal behavior. Two types of scientists emerge in the study of animal behavior: ethologists and animal behaviorists. Though similar in many respects there are also many differences which make these two professions quite unique. An ethologist is “concerned with identifying and describing species specific behaviors” (Kenyon). Many of the emerging ethologists like Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen were European scientists who were trained in the science of zoology. They make their studies via the use of ethograms, a behavioral inventory often using videotapes or audiotapes. Ethogram studies are field studies performed in the animal’s natural habitat with as little interaction and disruption as possible. Often the ethologist follows along with the understanding that that evolutionary pathway for behavior came about on a genetic basis. Animal behaviorists, on the other hand, are North American scientists trained mainly in psychology. Behaviorists, unlike ethologists, perform their studies in a laboratory with controlled settings and variables. A behaviorist argues that animal behavior is a development of learned responses, which is quite contrary to the ethologists’ view point. With the conflicting theories of ethologists and behaviorists, two schools of thinking arose and the “nature” versus “nurture” continues even today. According to the nature viewpoint argued by the ethologists, “behavior develops without the animal experiencing the stimuli to which it will respond, or without practice of the motor
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patterns that is will perform” (Kenyon). Whereas the behaviorists believe that the behavior has nothing to do with genetic inheritance of behavioral patterns. Instead, the witnessed behaviors are learned and acquired from experience and such. Nowadays, the nature versus nurture dichotomy is less defined between ethologists and behaviorists and instead there is more of a blending of the two ideas upon which we base most all of animal behavior. METHODS AND MATERIALS The materials used in the data collection of this ethogram on the Northern Mockingbird include pencil and paper to record observations, and binoculars when necessary to observe the bird. The Northern Mockingbirds were observed in front of the SC Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. The weather on each observation session was sunny, with scattered clouds, and with temperatures usually in the eighties. These periods of observation lasted from thirty minutes to an hour at a time, depending on the amount of activity present. Birds were randomly selected and observed. Each movement or action
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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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Jenn's Mockingbird Ethogram - Ethogram Jennifer Swiantek...

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