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Behavior Ecology

Topic Review on "Title":

Studying Behavior
Ethology is the study of animal behavior in their natural environment. Anthropomorphism is the tendency to consider human feelings, reasoning and motivation to other animals. Behavioral patterns are inherited to some extent and are subjected to environmental influence and modification by experience. Concepts of innate releasing mechanisms and drive do not explain actual behavior mechanisms.

Learning and Behavior
Behavior can be modified by learning in various ways. Habituation is a simple kind of learning involving loss of sensitivity to unimportant stimuli. Imprinting is a type of learned behavior with a significant innate component, acquired during a limited critical period. Classical conditioning involves linking one stimulus with another. Operant conditioning is a type of associative learning exhibited by many animals. Insight learning involves the ability to reason by correctly performing a task on the first attempt in a situation in which the animal had no earlier experience.

Behavior Rhythms
Endogenous clocks dictate various daily behaviors which in turn require exogenous cues to keep the behavior properly times with the real world. Circannual behaviors such as breeding and hibernation are directed by physiological and hormonal changes, influenced by exogenous factors like day length.

Orientation and Navigation
Various behaviors involving orientation and navigation are important determinants of animal distribution. Kinesis is a random movement displaying a stimulus – specific change in activity rate.

Foraging Behavior and competitive Social Interaction
The large array of animal feeding patterns has generated a varied performance of foraging behaviors. Agonistic behavior involves a contest in which competitor gains an advantage in obtaining access to a limited resource like food or mates. Dominance hierarchies are shown by some animals with clear cut linear dominance. Territoriality is the behavior in which an animal defends a specific fixed portion of its home range against intrusion by other animals of the same species through agonistic interactions.

Mating Behavior and Communication
Courtship interactions are complex, species specific behaviors. Mating relationships which change widely among different species include promiscuity, monogamy and polygamy. Females invest much time and energy in carrying the young before birth, thus discriminate selection of a mate is important. Animals communicate with one another through their various senses. Odors are particularly effective signals in many species as shown by the evolution of pheromones.

Altruistic Behavior and Human Sociobiology
Altruistic behavior benefits animals of the same species at the expense of the helpful individual. Human behavior is probably more plastic than that of any other animal. Sociobiologists view social behavior as having a genetic basis.


Rapid Study Kit for "Title":
Flash Movie Flash Game Flash Card
Core Concept Tutorial Problem Solving Drill Review Cheat Sheet

"Title" Tutorial Summary :

Ethology is the study of animal behavior in their natural environment. Behavioral patterns are inherited to some extent and are subjected to environmental influence and modification by experience. Behavior can be modified by learning in various ways. Habituation is a simple kind of learning involving loss of sensitivity to unimportant stimuli. Endogenous clocks dictate various daily behaviors which in turn require exogenous cues to keep the behavior properly times with the real world. Circannual behaviors such as breeding and hibernation are directed by physiological and hormonal changes, influenced by exogenous factors like day length. Various behaviors involving orientation and navigation are important determinants of animal distribution. The large array of animal feeding patterns has generated a varied performance of foraging behaviors. Courtship interactions are complex, species specific behaviors. Mating relationships which change widely among different species include promiscuity, monogamy and polygamy. Animals communicate with one another through their various senses. Altruistic behavior benefits animals of the same species at the expense of the helpful individual. Human behavior is probably more plastic than that of any other animal. Sociobiologists view social behavior as having a genetic basis.


Tutorial Features:
  • General concept map of behavioral ecology
  • Concept map of studying behavior and learning behavior is depicted
  • Colorful flowcharts to learn behavioral patterns
  • Suitable examples with pictures for all types of behavior

"Title" Topic List:

Studying Behavior

  • Introduction
  • Anthropomorphism
  • Ultimate and Proximate causes
  • Behavioral Patterns
  • Innate Components of Behavior

Learning and Behavior

  • Introduction
  • Imprinting
  • Classical Conditioning
  • Operant Conditioning
  • Insight Learning

Behavior Rhythms

  • Rhythmic Behavior
  • Circannual Behavior

Orientation and Navigation

  • Taxis
  • Kinesis

Foraging Behavior and competitive Social Interaction

  • Foraging Behavior
  • Agonistic Behavior
  • Dominance Hierarchies
  • Territoriality

Mating Behavior and Communication

  • Courtship
  • Mating Systems
  • Communication

Altruistic Behavior and Human Sociobiology

  • Altruistic Behavior
  • Human Sociobiology

See all 24 lessons in College Biology, including concept tutorials, problem drills and cheat sheets:
Teach Yourself College Biology Visually in 24 Hours


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