How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

47 terms

Bio Ch. 51 Animal Behavior

an action carried out by muscle or glands under control of the nervous system in response to a stimulus
the scientific study of how animals behave, particulary in their natural environments
proximate causation
how' a behavior occurs or is modified
ultimate causation
why' a behavior occurs in the context of natural selection
nehavioral ecology
the study of the ecological and evolutionary basis for animal behavior
fixed action pattern
a sequence of unlearned acts that is essentially unchangeable and, once initiated, usually carried to completion
sign stimulus
an external cue that triggers a fixed action pattern
a change in activity or turning rate in response to a stimulus
an oriented movement toward (positive taxis) or away from (negative taxis) some stimulus
a regular, long-distance change in location - it is observed in a wide variety of birds, fishes, and other animals
a stimulus transmitted from one animal to another
the transmission and reception of signals constitues this animal communication; it is an essential element of interaction between individuals
animals that communite odors emit these chemical substances
innate behavior
behavior that is developmentally fixed in one way
the modification of behavior based on specific experiences
a loss of responsiveness to stimuli that convey little or no new information (eg. A cry that persists is no longer heard after some time); this is one of the simplest forms of learning
includes both learned and innate components; it is the formation at a spicific stage in life of a long-lastin behavioral response to a particular individual or object
sensitive period
a type of learning distinguised from imprinting; it is also called a critical period, a limited developmental phase when certain behaviors can be learned
spatial learning
the establisment of a memory that reflects the environment's spatial structure
location indicators
cognitive map
a representation in the nervous system of the spatial relationships between objects in an animal's surroundings; this allows animals to navigate more flexibly and efficiently by relating landmark positions to one anothers
associative learning
the ability to associate one environmental feature (such as a color) with another (such as a foul taste)
classical conditioning
division of associative learning; an arbirary stimulus becomes associated with a particular outcome. Eg. A dog is tought to recognize when dinner is about to be served by recognizing the ringing of a bell
operant conditioning
also called trial-and-error learning, an animal learns to associate one of its behaviors with a reward or punishment and then tends to repeat or avoid that kind of behavior
the process of knowing represented by awareness, reasoning, recollection, and judgement. In addition to primates, some insects have been shown to exhibit cognition
problem solving
the cognitive activity of devising a method to proceed from one state to another in the face of real or apparent obstacles. Eg a chimpanzee in a room with boxes and a banana high up, will stack the boxes and climb them to reach the banana; other animals that can problem solve are dolphins, ravens, crows, and jays
cross-fostering study
a young of one species are placed in the care of adults from another species
twin study
researchers compare the behavior of idential twins raised apart with those raised in the same household; studies the influence of genetics and environment on behavior
food-obtaining behavior; includes not only eating but also any activities an animal uses to search for, recognize, and capture food items
optimal forgaging model
natural selection should favor foraging behavior that minimizes the costs of foraging and maximizes the benefits
mating with no strong pair-bonds or lasting relationships
one male mating with one female
an individual of one sex mating with several of the other
polygamous male with many females
polygamous female with many males
agnostic behavior
an often ritualized contest that determines which competitor gains access to a resource, such as food or mates
game theory
evaluates alternative strategies in situations where the outcome depends on the strategies of all the individuals involved
selflessness; functional in animals is when one individual reduces their individual fitness to increase the fitness of other individuals in the population
inclusive fitness
the total effect an individual has on proliferating its genes by producing its own offspring and by providing aid that enables other close relatives, who share many of those genes, to produce offspring
coefficient of relatedness
r; equals the fraction of genes that, on average, are shared
Hamilton's rule
rB > C; C=how many fewer offspring the altruist produces; B=the average number of extra offspring that the beneficiary of an altruistic act produces; calculation for estimating the benefits of alturism
kin selection
the natural selection that favors altruistic behavior by enhancing reproductive success of relatives; it weakens with hereditary distance
reciprocal altruism
altruism between non-kin animals in exchange for a favor in the future
social learning
type of learning through observing others, it forms the roots for culture
a system of information transfer through social learning or teaching that influences the behavior of individuals in a population
mate-choice copying
a behavior in which individuals in a populaiton copy the mate choice of others
the main premise of sociobiology is that certain behavioral characteristics exist because they are expressions of genes that have been perpetuated by natural selection