3. Learning EX.Memory of song What Causes Animal Behaviour? Can be explained based on :
Proximate questions how? Ultimate questions why? Ex. Each year, Emperor penguins lay 1 egg, pigeons lay 1-2 eggs, gulls lay 3 eggs, the Canada goose lays 4-6 eggs, and the American merganser lays 10-11 eggs. What determines clutch size in birds? We must distinguish between the proximate and
ultimate causes Proximate Questions Focus on environmental stimuli that triggers a behaviour The how questions Ex: How does each individual bird have a different clutch size?
Based on physiological factors that control ovulation and egg laying Ultimate Questions Address evolutionary significance of a behaviour The why questions Ex: Why do individual birds produce different clutch sizes?
Based on selective factors, and always involve evolutionary arguments about adaptations. Proximate vs. Ultimate Factors Proximal factors that determine clutch size are affected by how an individual bird decodes its genetic info on egg laying Ultimate factors have to do with changes
in this genetic program through time and the reason for the change E.g. modified by age of female, spring weather, habitat sustainability Ethology scientific study of animal behavior Conceptual foundations established by: Niko Tinbergen (1963)
Karl von Frisch Konrad Lorenz Tinbergen suggested 4 questions that must be answered to fully understand any behavior 1. Causation: What is the mechanistic basis of the behaviour (ie.chemical, anatomical & physiological mechanisms)?
2. Development: How does development of the animal from zygote mature individual, influence the behaviour? 3. Evolution: What is the evolutionary history of the behaviour? 4. Function: How does the behaviour contribute to survival and reproduction (fitness)? PROXIMATE
ULTIMATE Fixed Action Patterns (FAP) Type of animal behavior Sequence of unlearned behavioral acts,essentially unchangeable Once initiated, usually carried to completion
Triggered by an external sensory stimulus: sign stimulus Ex. Male stickleback fish attacks other male sticklebacks that invade its nesting territory Stimulus=red underside of intruder Proximal Explanation: red belly sign stimulus releases aggression
Ultimate Explanation: chasing away other fish decreases chances of eggs being fertilized by another male Imprinting Type of behavior including learning & innate components irreversible
Has a sensitive period; limited phase Where bahaviour can be learned Example: young geese following mom Behavioural Traits results of complex interactions of: genetic factors (nature) environmental factors (nurture) NATURE VS. NURTURE
Innate behaviour Behaviour that is developmentally fixed Under strong genetic influence Ex. Suckling, hunting instincts Directed Movements: Many animal movements are influenced by genetics
Kinesis (non-directional response) change in activity / turning rate in response to a stimulus ex. Pill bugs are more active in dry vs. moiste area Taxis (directional response) Automatic/ oriented movement toward/away a stimulus ex. trout facing toward the current in direction of food
Migration Movement of animals over a long distance Research shows that migration is under genetic control and follows a polygenic inheritance pattern Animal Communications & Signals
SIGNAL= a behavior that causes a change in another animals behavior - Animal communication is due to genetics & environment - Animals communicate through visual, auditory, chemical, tactile & electrical signals Chemical Communication
Animals secrete chemical substances called Pheromones ( relates to reproductive behaviours) Phermones are effective at low conc EX.. Canadian lynx urinates on trees and may leave claw marks to mark territory EX. Male drones attracted to queen bee pheromones outside the hive Auditory Communication
Mating rituals in insects and birds include characteristic song that are under strong genetic control/selective pressure EX: Drosophilas mating song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzWIu hXMUko&feature=relmfu Prairie Voles & Genetic Influences
Prairie voles are monogamous ( only 3% of mammalian species) Male P.V. help mates care for young-this is relatively uncommon Monogamous prairie voles Neurotransmitter(AVP) released during mating mediating pair-bond formation &aggression Produces feelings of pleasure and make them addicted to partner Promiscuous montane voles Different distribution of brain receptor
Do not have same feelings of pleasure Environmental Influences on Behaviour Diet plays an importance role in mate selection Social Environment can influence the way animals behave( ie. Aggressive Behaviour) Learning Learning- Habituation
A loss of responsiveness to unimportant stimuli EX: animals stop responding to signals when signals are not followed by predator attack the cry-wolf effect Spatial Learning Modification of behavior based on
experience with spatial structure of environment (ie.nests, hazards, food, mates) EX: Digger wasps found nest entrances by using landmarks (Tinbergen experiment)
Associative Learning Ability to learn to associate one stimulus with another A.k.a.classical conditioning This type of learning plays an important role in helping animals avoid predators Classical Conditioning An animal learns to
associate one of its own behaviours with a reward/punishment Pavlovs Theory Operant Conditioning A.k.a. trial and error learning Animals are given reward/ punishment for behavior Skinners Box experiment
Learning Videos Skinners box https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWtvrPTbQ_c Pavlovs Theory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG2SwE_6uVM
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