Behavioral EcologySummary On Signaling and Communication, we examined ways in which animals convey information to each other. In this on Behavioral ecology we will visit a whole host of ways in which animals can interact with each other and with their environments. No animal is a solitary being. Even generally antisocial animals must at some point interact with others, and are constantly interacting with their environment. Up until now, most of our discussion of animal behavior focused on the mechanisms of animal behavior. Behavioral ecology is set more in an ultimate framework, asking how and why interactive behaviors have evolved. First, we will examine two models describing choices animals must make while searching for food. The contingency theory states that an animal choosing between two food types must maximize the energy it will receive from the food divided by the time it takes to obtain the food.
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