Lecture 15 And 16 Behavioral Ecology 1 Flashcards Preview

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What is the ethology?

The study of animal behavior from an evolutionary perspective


To gain understanding of a behavior, what should be understood?

Behavior patterns, proximate mechanisms, acquisition of behavior, ultimate causes of behavior


What are proximate mechanisms?

The name given to the neuronal, hormonal and anatomical mechanisms that underlie behavior


What are most behaviors the result of?

Complex interactions between inherited anatomical and physiological mechanisms and the ability to modify behaviors as the result of experience.


What are the ultimate causes of behavior?

The selection pressures that shaped its evolution


What describes most animal behavior?

Highly stereotypic


What is stereotypic behavior?

Always the same


Give an example of sterotypic, species specific behavior

Web spinning behavior of spiders- species can be identified by pattern of web


When may an animal fail to perform a genetically controlled behavior?

When environmental conditions needed to stimulate it are absent


Why might all individuals behave in the same way not due to genetically controlled behavior?

Because they all imitated the same teacher


How do genes cause a behavior?

Genes do not encode behavior
Gene products such as enzymes affect behavior by setting in motion interactions that underlie proximate mechanisms


How can genetic and environmental influences on the development of behavior be distinguished?

Deprivation experiments
Genetic experiments


What are deprivation experiments?

Investigators rear young so its deprived of all experience relevant of the behavior under study


What can be assumed if a behavior is still displayed during deprivation experiments?

The behavior develops without opportunities to learn it


What are genetic experiments?

Investigators alter the genomes of organisms by interbreeding closely related species, by comparing individuals that differ by only one or a few genes, or by knocking out/inserting specific genes


What were the conditions used for the deprivation experiment?

Newborn tree squirrel was reared in isolation on a liquid diet, in a cage without soil/particulate matter


What was the newborn squirrel given and what happened next?

A nut
Squirrel ran around cage and then resorted to stereotypic digging movements, then placed the nut in an imaginary hole and refilled the hole


What did the squirrel experiment show?

Heredity underlies food-storing behavior of this tree squirrel species, but is only expressed when environmental conditions allowed


What is selective breeding used for?

Select for anatomical traits and behavior


What does selective breeding provide an insight into?

Effects of genetic constitution on behavior


How did Konrad Lorenz investigate courtship displays of duck species?



What duck species are closely related and can interbreed?

Mallards, teals, pintails, gadwalls


How does the courtship displays of ducks work?

Male duck performs a choreographed water ballet typical of his species
Female accepts his advance only if entire display is successful and completed, skill judges quality


What happened when Lorenz crossbred different species of duck?

Hybrid offspring expressed elements of each parents courtship display in new combinations, as well as elements from neither species repitoire


What did Lorenz's hybridization experiments show?

Stereotypic motor patterns of courtship displays are inherited


What did the observation that females are not interested in males performing hybrid displays give evidence to?

Sexual selection helped shape genetically determined behaviors


How have gene mutations that effect behaviors been studied?

On fruit flies and rodents using gene knockout and gene silencing techniques


What gene was studied in gene knockout experiments on rodents?

fosB gene


What behavior does a female house mice perform with an active fosB gene?

Gather her pups together, keep them warm and nurse them


What is the result of a mutated, inactivated fosB gene?

Mouse appears normal, but differs in how she treats new born pups