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Behavioral Ecology Behavior-what an animal does and how it does it Behavioral ecology-is a scientific field of study that looks at how behavior is controlled.

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Presentation on theme: "Behavioral Ecology Behavior-what an animal does and how it does it Behavioral ecology-is a scientific field of study that looks at how behavior is controlled."— Presentation transcript:

1 Behavioral Ecology Behavior-what an animal does and how it does it Behavioral ecology-is a scientific field of study that looks at how behavior is controlled and how it contributes to survival and reproductive success

2 Behavioral ecologists distinguish between proximate and ultimate causes of behavior Proximate causes of behavior focus on –Environmental stimuli that trigger a behavior –Genetic and sensory motor mechanisms underlying a behavior Ultimate causes of behavior focus on –The evolutionary significance of a behavior

3 Ethology-study of animal behavior, particularly in their natural environments

4 Types of Behavior Innate behaviors –Automatic, developmentally fixed Learned behaviors –Modified by experience

5 Innate Behavior Fixed action patterns (FAP) –Sequence of innate behaviors that is essentially unchangeable & usually carried to completion once it is initiated/triggered by a stimulus –Example: in male stickleback fish, the stimulus for attach behavior is the red underside of an intruder

6 (a)Without a red underside, no aggressive response (b)With a red underside, strong response is produced

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8 Imprinting Type of behavior that includes both learning and innate components Generally irreversible Distinguished from other types of learning by a sensitive period –Limited phase in an animals development that is the only time when certain behaviors can be learned –Example: young geese

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11 Konrad Lorenz showed that when baby geese spent the first few hours of their life with him, they imprinted on him as their parent

12 Conservationists have taken advantage of imprinting in programs to save the whooping crane from extinction.

13 Many behaviors have a strong genetic component –Many animal movements are under substantial genetic influences –These types of movements are called directed movements

14 Directed Movements Kinesis –A simple change in activity or turning rate in response to a stimulus Example: Sow bugs Taxis –More or less automatic, oriented movement toward or away from a stimulus Example: many stream fish

15 -become more active in dry areas and less active in humid areas -automatically swim in an upstream direction

16 Animal Signals and Communication A signal is a behavior that causes a change in another animals behavior –Many animals communicate through odors by emitting chemical signals called pheromones pheromone perfume

17 Environment Influences the Development of Behaviors Learning-is the modification of behavior based on specific experiences Habituation-is a loss of responsiveness to stimuli –cry-wolf effect

18 Environmental Influences continued… Associative learning-learning to associate one feature of the environment with another feature –Classical conditioning-learning to associate certain stimuli with reward or punishment pavlov/index.htmlhttp://nobelprize.org/educational_games/medicine/ pavlov/index.html –Operant conditioning-occurs as an animal learns to associate one of its behaviors with a reward or punishment

19 Operant learning-associate behavior with a reward or punishment

20 Behavioral Influences continued… Cognition-the ability of an animals nervous system to perceive, store, process, and use information from sensory receptors

21 Natural selection favors behaviors that increase survival and reproductive success Foraging behavior-includes not only eating, but also mechanisms used in searching for, recognizing, and capturing food. It represents a compromise between the benefits of nutrition and the cost of obtaining food. Mating behavior and mate choice- include the seeking or attracting of mates, selecting a mate, and competing for a mate

22 Agonistic behaviors-are often ritualized contests that determine which competitor gains access to a resource, such as food or mates.

23 Social Behaviors Altruism–occurs when animals behave in ways that reduce their individual fitness but 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 The natural selection that favors altruistic behavior by enhancing reproductive success of relative is called- kin selection

24 Social learning-learning through observing others


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