3. Approaches&methods

3. Approaches&methods - By viewing the old we learn...

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By viewing the old we learn the new. Chinese Proverb
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Empirical Theoretical Conceptual Ethology Approaches to the study of animal behavior These descriptions represent broad categories of contributing ideas in Animal Behavior.
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Conceptual: Import ideas generated from other subdisciplines and combine them in a new, cohesive way. Example: Hamilton’s inclusive fitness model Cost/Benefit Economic Model Theoretical: Generation of a (usually) mathematical model. Example: Optimal foraging (Pianka) Definitions Empirical: Experiments either manipulative or observational designed to test a concept. Example: Lots! Remember: Correlation is not equal to causation! Manipulation is usually necessary to establish causation.
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Niko Tinbergen 1907-1988 Karl von Frisch 1886-1982 Konrad Lorenz 1903-1989 Classical Ethology Ethology pre-dates behavioral ecology. Relying on descriptive studies, ethologists discovered that many behaviors were innate .
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INNATE COMPONENTS OF BEHAVIOR Ethology = Descriptive science based on studies of animals in the natural environment. Innate : Behavior that has either a fixed genetic basis or a high degree of genetic preprogramming. Innate behaviors may seem purposeful, but animals with innate behaviors are unaware of the significance of their actions.
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There are 2 key categories of behavior patterns identified in Ethology (after Craig 1876-1954): 1. Appetitive Behavior. The variable actions of an animal, such as its searching behavior to find food, a nest site or mate. 2. Consummatory Behavior. Stereotypical actions that are repeated without variation, such as the act of mating or killing prey. (Consummatory in this sense does not just refer to eating).
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Fixed-Action Patterns The most fundamental concept in classical ethology is the fixed-action pattern ( FAP ). Fixed-action pattern = A highly stereotyped, innate behavior.
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Fixed Action Patterns can occur in response to: Intraspecific Social Stimuli from conspecifics. Example – Courtship behaviors Feeding young Male threat displays Interspecific Stimuli from other species. Example – Startle response Predator avoidance Stimuli from the environment. Example – Migratory behavior Diurnal/Nocturnal cycles
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Ethological studies usually begin with the creation of an ethogram of the Fixed Action Patterns. Ethograms can be modified as additional information becomes available and is incorporated in the whole picture.
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The courtship behavior of the 3-spined stickleback is an elaborate example of Fixed Action Patterns.
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This appears to be an innate behaviour: a sequence of fixed action patterns shown by all males in breeding condition, each behaviour triggered by a specific external stimulus. When a ripe female swollen with eggs enters his territory, the male darts towards - and away from - the female in a so-called zigzag dance (2). The female is led by the male to a nest he has constructed on the floor of the pond or stream (2-4). She may creep through the nest and spawn (5-7). The male then follows and fertilizes the eggs
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3. Approaches&methods - By viewing the old we learn...

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