Animal Behavior AP Biology meerkats
What is behavior? § Behavior u everything an animal does & how it does it § response to stimuli in its environment u innate § inherited, “instinctive” § automatic & consistent u learned § ability to learn is inherited, but the behavior develops during animal’s lifetime § variable & flexible w change with experience & environment AP Biology
Why study behavior? § Evolutionary perspective… u u part of phenotype acted upon by natural selection § lead to greater fitness? § lead to greater survival? § lead to greater reproductive success? AP Biology
Evolutionary perspective § Adaptive advantage? u innate behaviors § automatic, fixed, “built-in”, no “learning curve” § despite different environments, all individuals exhibit the behavior § ex. early survival, reproduction, kinesis, taxis u learned behaviors § modified by experience § variable, changeable § flexible with a complex & changing environment AP Biology
What questions can we ask? § Proximate causes u u immediate stimulus & mechanism “how” & “what” questions § Ultimate causes u u evolutionary significance how does behavior contribute to survival & reproduction male songbird ® what triggers singing? how does he sing? why does he sing? § adaptive value u “why” questions Courtship behavior in cranes how does daylength influence breeding? what…how… & why questions AP Biology why do cranes breed in spring?
Ethology pioneers in the study of animal behavior Niko Tinbergen AP Biology Konrad Lorenz
Innate behaviors § Fixed action patterns (FAP) u u sequence of behaviors essentially unchangeable & usually conducted to completion once started sign stimulus § the releaser that triggers a FAP AP Biology male sticklebacks exhibit aggressive territoriality
§ Proximate and ultimate causes for the FAP attack behavior in male stickleback fish BEHAVIOR: A male stickleback fish attacks other male sticklebacks that invade its nesting territory. PROXIMATE CAUSE: The red belly of the intruding male acts as a sign stimulus that releases aggression in a male stickleback. Figure 51. 4 AP Biology ULTIMATE CAUSE: By chasing away other male sticklebacks, a male decreases the chance that eggs laid in his nesting territory will be fertilized by another male.
Innate & Learning: Imprinting § Learning to form social attachments at a specific critical period u AP Biology both learning & innate components Konrad Lorenz
§ There are proximate and ultimate causes for this type of behavior BEHAVIOR: Young geese follow and imprint on their mother. PROXIMATE CAUSE: During an early, critical developmental stage, the young geese observe their mother moving away from them and calling. ULTIMATE CAUSE: On average, geese that follow and imprint on their mother receive more care and learn necessary skills, and thus have a greater chance of surviving than those that do not follow their mother. Figure 51. 5 AP Biology
Conservation biologists have taken advantage of imprinting by young whooping cranes as a means to teach the birds a migration route. A pilot wearing a crane suit in an Ultralight plane acts as a surrogate parent. AP Biology teaching cranes to migrate
Critical period § Sensitive phase for optimal imprinting u AP Biology some behavior must be learned during a receptive time period As a brood parasite, the Cuckoo never learn the song of their species as a nestling. Song development is totally innate. imprinting/critical period in humans?
Learned behavior § Associative learning u learning to associate a stimulus with a consequence § operant conditioning w trial & error learning w associate behavior with reward or punishment w ex: learning what to eat § classical conditioning w Pavlovian conditioning w associate a “neutral stimulus” with a “significant stimulus” AP Biology
Operant conditioning § Skinner box B. F. Skinner mouse learns to associate behavior (pressing lever) with reward (food pellet) AP Biology
Classical conditioning § Ivan Pavlov’s dogs u AP Biology connect reflex behavior (salivating at sight of food) to associated stimulus (ringing bell)
Animal Behavior Review Questions § Match the description/example with the correct behavior category § § A. B. C. D. Classical conditioning Fixed Action Pattern Imprinting Operant conditioning 1. Highly stereotyped sequence of behaviors that, once begun, is 2. 3. 4. 5. usually carried to completion Learning that occurs during a specific time period; generally irreversible Triggered by a sign stimulus Association with irrelevant stimulus with a fixed physiological response Trial and Error learning AP Biology
Mating Behavior and Mate Choice § Mating behavior u Is the product of a form of natural selection call sexual selection § The mating relationship between males and females u Varies a great deal from species to species AP Biology
§ In monogamous relationships u One male mates with one female (a) Since monogamous species, such as these trumpeter swans, are often monomorphic, males and females are difficult to distinguish using external characteristics only. AP Biology Figure 51. 25 a
§ In a system called polygyny One male mates with many females u The males are often more showy and larger than the females u AP Biology Figure 51. 25 b (b) Among polygynous species, such as elk, the male (left) is often highly ornamented.
§ In polyandrous systems One female mates with many males u The females are often more showy than the males u Figure 51. 25 c AP Biology (c) In polyandrous species, such as these Wilson’s phalaropes, females (top) are generally more ornamented than males.
Learning: Problem-solving § Do other animals reason? chimpanzee problem-solving tool use sea AP Biology otter crow
Social behaviors § Interactions between individuals u u u AP Biology develop as evolutionary adaptations communication / language agonistic behaviors dominance hierarchy cooperation altruistic behavior
Language § Honey bee communication dance to communicate location of food source u waggle dance u AP Biology
Communication by song § Bird song species identification & mating ritual u mixed learned & innate u critical learning period u § Insect song mating ritual & song u innate, genetically controlled u AP Biology Red-winged blackbird
Social behaviors § Agonistic behaviors u threatening & submissive rituals § symbolic, usually no harm done u AP Biology ex: territoriality, competitor aggression
Social behaviors § Dominance hierarchy u social ranking within a group § pecking order AP Biology
Social behaviors § Cooperation u working together in coordination Pack of African dogs hunting wildebeest cooperatively AP Biology White pelicans “herding” school of fish
Social behaviors § Altruistic behavior u u reduces individual fitness but increases fitness of others kin selection § increasing survival of close relatives passes these genes on to the next generation I would lay down my life for 2 brothers or 8 cousins! AP Biology How can this be of adaptive value? Belding ground squirrel
§ In naked mole rat populations u Nonreproductive individuals may sacrifice their lives protecting the reproductive individuals from predators Figure 51. 33 AP Biology