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Animal Behavior
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A bee returning from the field performs a dance to communicate information about the position of a food source.

Slide 18

Honeybee dance language

Honeybee dance language

(a) Worker bees

Round dance

(food near)

(b)

Waggle dance

(food distant)

(c)

Beehive

30°

A

C

B

A

B

C

Location

Location

Location

30°

Slide 19

Pheromones

Pheromones

Many animals that communicate through odors emit chemical substances called pheromones.

Pheromones are effective at very low concentrations.

When a minnow or catfish is injured, an alarm substance in the fish’s skin disperses in the water, inducing a fright response among fish in the area.

Slide 20

Minnows responding to the presence

Minnows responding to the presence

of an

alarm substance

Minnows

before

alarm

(a)

Minnows

After pheromone

alarm signal

(b)

Slide 21

Learning establishes specific links between experience and behavior

Learning establishes specific links between experience and behavior

Innate behavior is developmentally fixed and under strong genetic influence / inborn.

Learning is the modification of behavior based on specific experiences.

Slide 22

Habituation

Habituation

Habituation is a simple form of learning that involves loss of responsiveness to stimuli that convey little or no information. Stop attending to a stimulus that is irrelevant.

For example, birds will stop responding to alarm calls from their species if these are not followed by an actual attack.

Slide 23

Imprinting

Imprinting

Imprinting is a behavior that includes a specific critical period learning and innate components and is generally irreversible.

It is distinguished from other learning by a sensitive period.

A sensitive period is a limited developmental phase that is the only time when certain behaviors can be learned.

Slide 24

An example of imprinting is young geese following their mother.

An example of imprinting is young geese following their mother.

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

Conservation biologists have taken advantage of imprinting in programs to save the whooping crane from extinction. Young whooping cranes can imprint on humans in “crane suits” who then lead crane migrations using small aircraft.

Slide 25

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