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Behavioral Ecology: A Summary

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1 Behavioral Ecology: A Summary
Chapter 49 Behavioral Ecology: A Summary AP Biology Spring 2011

2 Behavioral Genetics Animals react to different stimuli which are genetic in nature Experiments performed by mating two types of garter snakes with different food preferences helped to prove this Fruit flies show an identified genetic marker to indicate if they are “rovers” or “sitters”

3 Behavioral Genetics Hormone production, which is genetic, influences animal behavior Studies were performed on voles relating to oxytocin levels and animal’s preference for monogamy Additional studies indicated a link between antidiuretic hormone and promiscuity in voles

4 Behavioral Genetics Mutations can cause changes in behavior
Mutation in fruit flies results in an inability to perform normal courtship activities In mice a mutation relating to oxytocin receptors results in subnormal maternal behavior

5 Instinct and Learning Animals are born with some instinctive behavior
Ex. Procedure by which cuckoo birds discard other eggs in foster parents nests

6 Instinct and Learning Some animal behaviors are learned
Imprinting is when a particular behavior is learned during a certain time period Ex. Baby geese following any maternal type figure when exposed at an early age There appears to be a window of opportunity for birds to learn a species-specific song

7 Instinct and Learning Animals can learn throughout life based on a positive and negative reward system

8 Instinct and Learning Classical conditioning: an animal connecting two stimuli together when presented at the same time Pavlov’s dogs salivating due to the anticipation of food

9 Instinct and Learning Operant conditioning: occurs when an animal changes his behavior based on a positive- negative reward system

10 Instinct and Learning Habituation: when an animal learns a behavior even though it has not been exposed to a reward system Lobsters lean to recognize another lobster that they have battled

11 Instinct and Learning Observational learning: occurs when an animal learns to mimic an activity performed by another animal

12 Adaptive Behavior Organisms can adopt behavior that benefits the individual’s reproduction Study showed that birds include wild carrot into their nest construction materials to deter mite infestation

13 Communication Signals
Animals use various means of communication to relay information to another of their species Pheromones are chemical signals and often active in mate selection Animals emit auditory signals to signal prospective mates or to warn other of danger Tactile display involves one individual transmitting a message by touching another Bees waggle dance relates the distance and location of a food source to other bees

14 Mates, Offspring, and Reproductive Success
Individuals often compete in various ways for mating privileges known as sexual selection Male hangflies must bring large gifts of food to win over females Females observe the male fiddler crabs waving their large claw Male birds put on a colourful display to impress females

15 Mates, Offspring, and Reproductive Success
Many species involve parental care duties Many birds and some mammals are cared for by both parents Young reptiles, with the exception of crocodiles, do not require parental care

16 Living in Groups Often groups of animals deter predators
Ex. Sawfish caterpillars and other animals such as prairie dogs who give a warning call A selfish herd is when the members of a group of animals tend to hide behind one another

17 Living in Groups Animals in groups may have advantageous feeding opportunities Group hunting may not actually provide more food, but may be better for protection Animals in groups may learn behaviors from each other like the utilization of tools in primates

18 Living in Groups Some animals establish hierarchies in their group structure Wolves develop packs and only the dominant member can mate

19 Living in Groups In some circumstances, living in groups is disadvantageous Groups may attract predators and spread diseases more readily

20 Why Sacrifice Yourself?
Eusocial animals have developed a system where there are only a few breeding individuals Insects that have this system: ants, termites, bees Other insects have auxiliary functions to support the queen African mole-rats are the only mammals with this organizational structure

21 Why Sacrifice Yourself?
Works in eusocial society show altruistic behavior, which means working towards the good of the group Theory of inclusive fitness explains that this behavior helps to promote reproductive success of relatives Since relatives share the same gene pool, this behavior helps promote reproductive success of their own genes

22 Human Behavior Like many other animals, humans are affected by hormones and pheromones It is felt that a lock of the hormone oxytocin may result in a defective bonding pattern Pheromones may be active in regulating the menstrual cycles of women living in close proximity Humans can perform infanticide under extreme conditions even though it is a practice considered to be amoral behavior

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