Behavior is usually dissected into two components for analysis

Behavior is usually dissected into two components for analysis

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Behavior is usually dissected into two components for analysis: Proximate causes/questions in which one asks how the behavior is performed and ultimate causes/questions in which one asks why the behavior is performed . Tinbergen has identified four questions to pose when analyzing a behavior 1) what is the cause, 2) what is the development (ontogeny), 3) what is the current function 4) what is the phylogenetic history. A strict course on evolution focuses more on the latter two questions (recall adaptation/preadaptation/exaptation discussion and the identification of current utility vs. historical origin). Herring gulls breed is large colonies on the ground and defend territories. Two separate calls used for 1) advertising nest site ("choking" call) and 2) as a territorial claim (the "oblique pose" and "long call"). The Kittiwake also breeds in colonies but nests on vertical cliffs and its nest pad is its territory and breeding site. In this species
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Unformatted text preview: only one behavior serves both functions: "choking" behavior is both defensive and part of mate recognition/pair formation. This is seen as an adaptive behavioral shift wit respect to the nest location (steep cliff). There are many behaviors that at first appearance do not seem "adaptive". Infanticide in lions was first viewed as "aberrant" behavior by abnormal individuals because it was not "good for the species" (male lions displace other males from groups of females and their offspring, and frequently kill the cubs). It is true that killing infants is not, in the short term, an effective means of increasing population numbers of a species. BUT, we now know ( post W.D. Hamilton's 1963, 1964 papers on inclusive fitness and kin selection and G. C. Williams book on Adaptation and Natural Selection) that the more appropriate way to address such problems is to think about them in the context of whether the behavior is good for the individual ....
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