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Animal Behavior
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Slide 1

Shall We Dance?

Shall We Dance?

Animal behavior is based on physiological systems and processes.

A behavior is the nervous systems response to a stimulus and is carried out by the muscular or the hormonal system.

Behavior helps an animal

Obtain food

Find a partner for sexual reproduction

Maintain homeostasis.

Slide 2

An animals behavior is its response to external and internal stimuli.

An animals behavior is its response to external and internal stimuli.

Ethology is the scientific study of animal behavior, particularly in natural environments.

According to early ethologist Niko Tinbergen, four questions should be asked about behavior:

What stimulus elicits the behavior, and what physiological mechanisms mediate the response?

How does the animals experience during growth and development influence the response mechanisms?

Animal Behavior is subject to Natural Selection.

Slide 3

How does the behavior aid survival and reproduction? Survival value

How does the behavior aid survival and reproduction? Survival value

What is the behaviors evolutionary history?

These questions highlight the complementary nature of proximate and ultimate perspectives.

Behavioral ecology is the study of the ecological and evolutionary basis for animal behavior.

It integrates proximate and ultimate explanations for animal behavior.

Slide 4

Proximate causation, or how explanations, focus on

Proximate causation, or how explanations, focus on

Environmental stimuli that trigger a behavior

Genetic, physiological, and anatomical mechanisms underlying a behavior.

Ultimate causation, or why explanations, focus on

Evolutionary significance of a behavior.

Slide 5

Fixed Action Patterns FAP

Fixed Action Patterns FAP

A fixed action pattern is a sequence of unlearned, innate behaviors that is unchangeable.

Once initiated, it is usually carried to completion.

A fixed action pattern is triggered by an external cue known as a sign stimulus.

Slide 6

In male stickleback fish, the stimulus for attack behavior is the red underside of an intruder.

In male stickleback fish, the stimulus for attack behavior is the red underside of an intruder.

When presented with unrealistic models, as long as some red is present, the attack behavior occurs.

Slide 7

Sign stimuli in a classic FAP fixed action pattern

Sign stimuli in a classic FAP fixed action pattern

(b)

(a)

Slide 8

Oriented / Directional Movement = Taxis

Oriented / Directional Movement = Taxis

Environmental cues can trigger movement in a particular direction.

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