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Behavioral Ecology

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What is the evolutionary significance. Case why do birds ... Lorenz's geese. Distinguished by a sensitive period. Bird Song: Model for understanding Learning ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Behavioral Ecology


1
Chapter 51
  • Behavioral Ecology

2
Behavior
  • What an animal does, and how it does it.
  • Proximate causes
  • What stimuli trigger the behavior
  • Ultimate causes
  • What is the evolutionary significance
  • Case why do birds breed in spring?

3
Behavior Genes or Environment
  • Myth Behavior is either genetic or learned
  • Behavior is influenced by both

4
Innate Behavior
  • Innate instinct behavior
  • All organisms of the species exhibit the behavior
    regardless of differences in environment
  • Ultimate question (why? question)
  • Some behaviors are needed for survival of the
    organism

5
Evolutionary approach to Ethology
  • Ethologist not only study behaviors but what
    caused the behaviors to arise (evolution)
  • Early research focused on how an organism
    performs a behavior without having been exposed
    to the behavior

6
Fixed Action Pattern
  • FAP sequence of behavior that is unchangeable
    and carried to completion once initiated
  • Triggered by sign stimulus

7
FAPs and Sign Stimuli
  • Many animals use a limited subset of sensory
    information available and behave stereotypically
    in many situations
  • Simple stimuli produce repeated results
  • Humans respond to entire situations and base our
    actions of more diverse information
  • Human infants are exceptions
  • Smile at rudimentary drawings of a face
  • Sign stimuli are important to organisms
    environment
  • Allows the organism to react quickly and
    appropriately
  • This allows the animal to be tricked
  • Sometimes detrimental to organism mayfly example

8
Evolution and Behavior
  • Key natural selection will favor behavioral
    patterns that enhance survival and reproductive
    success

9
Examples of Research in Behavioral Ecology
  • Songbird Repertoires multiple songs
  • Why has natural selection favored multiple songs?
  • H1 it make older more experienced males more
    attractive to females
  • If true males learn songs as they age
  • And females prefer males with more songs

10
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11
Cost-benefit Analysis of Foraging Behavior
  • Feeding costs vs. Feeding Benefits
  • Crows and whelks example
  • Crows have to open the shell to get to the food
  • They fly up and drop the shell on the ground to
    break open the whelk.
  • Short drops dont crack the shell
  • High drops do
  • But flying costs energy

12
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13
Learning
  • Experience based modification of behavior
  • Innate behaviors are modified based on experience
  • Vervet monkeys and alarm calls
  • Infant monkeys and social confirmation

14
Learning vs. Maturation
  • Learning change in behavior modified by
    experience
  • Maturation change in behavior due to
    developmental changes
  • Birds learning to fly

15
Habituation
  • Loss of responsiveness to stimuli that convey
    little or no information
  • Crying wolf effect

16
Imprinting
  • Learning that is limited to a specific time
    period in an animals life, and generally
    irreversible.
  • Lorenzs geese
  • Distinguished by a sensitive period

17
Bird Song Model for understanding Learning
  • White-crowned Sparrow sensitive period for
    developing song is 50 days
  • Listens to other birds of the species sing and
    develops a template
  • If no song is heard during the 50 days then no
    song is formed
  • Template is followed by subsong
  • Juvenile bird sings tentative notes of the song
  • Deafened birds during subsong fail to reach
    complete song of species
  • Subsong is followed by crystallized song
  • Once sparrows subsong matches the template the
    song crystallizes

18
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19
Bird Song cont.
  • Open ended songs of canaries
  • Deafened phoebes still learn song

20
Associative Learning
  • Associate one stimulus with another
  • Classical conditioning associate an arbitrary
    stimulus with a reward or punishment
  • Pavlovs dog
  • Operant conditioning trial and error learning
  • Skinner boxes

21
Animal Cognition
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Nervous system takes in vast amounts of
    information and stores and sorts it to reach a
    goal.

22
Cognition to move through space
  • Kinesis and Taxis
  • Kinesis simple change in activity or turning
    rate in response to a stimuli
  • Sow bugs and wood lice
  • Taxis oriented movement toward or away from a
    stimulus
  • Housefly larvae
  • Use of Landmarks
  • More complex due to arbitrary stimuli memorization

23
Migration Behavior
  • Regular movement over long distances
  • Organisms use three tools
  • piloting one landmark to another
  • Orientation detects bearing, and travels a
    straight line
  • Navigation detecting position and then heading
    toward goal

24
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25
Social Behavior
  • Any interaction between two organisms, usually
    same species
  • How is being social adaptive?
  • Living together poses disadvantages
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?

26
Agonistic Behavior
  • Contest involving two individuals to compete for
    a resource
  • Involves rituals and displays
  • Baring teeth
  • Standing upright
  • Staring

27
Dominance Hierarchy
  • Social group maintained through agonistic
    behaviors
  • Establishes a pecking order

28
Territoriality
  • Territory place an individual will defend for
    breeding, foraging, etc.
  • Owners usually win contests Why?
  • Ownership is usually proclaimed.
  • Singing
  • Marking

29
Reproductive Behaviors
  • Natural selection favors mating behaviors which
    maximize the quantity and quality of partners.
  • Courtship behaviors which lead to copulation or
    gamete release

30
Sexual Differences in Courtship
  • Parental investment time and resources an
    individual spends to produce and nourish
    offspring
  • Male competition/Female choice
  • Males are usually elaborate to confer genetic
    superiority

31
Mating Systems
  • Relationship between males and females
  • Promiscuous no strong pair bond
  • Monogamous one male mating with one female
  • Polygamous an individual of one sex mating with
    several of the other
  • Most are of the polygyny type (one male many
    females)
  • Rare occasion is polyandry (one female many males)

32
Mating Systems
  • What determines mating systems among species
  • Male may leave more viable offspring if he cares
    for a single group of offspring
  • Results in monogamy
  • Some offspring can fend for themselves at once
  • Results in promiscuous behavior
  • Some species rely on a male for defense
  • Polygamy
  • Male parental care is dictated by certainty of
    paternity
  • 7 of internal fertilizing males give care
  • 69 of external fertilizing males give care

33
Social Interactions Depend on Communication
  • Signals information transmitted from one
    individual to another that causes a change in
    that individual
  • Communication transmission of, reception of,
    and response to a signal
  • Singing by birds is a signal this is my
    territory keep out.
  • Organisms use
  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Chemical
  • Tactile
  • Electrical signals

34
Modes of Communication
  • Mode is determined by lifestyle
  • Nocturnal mammals use auditory and olfactory
  • Birds are diurnal and use visual and auditory
    signals
  • Humans use auditory and visual signals as well

35
Pheromones
  • The odor portion of chemical communication
  • Common among mammals and insects
  • Trailing behavior of ants
  • Complex communication systems
  • Social bees
  • Pheromones maintain social order

36
Dance of the Honeybee
  • Maximum foraging efficiency relies on the
    communication of good food spots
  • Bees communicate using a waggle dance
  • Scout bee becomes center of attention by follower
    bees once he returns

37
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38
Altruism Case of Inclusive Fitness
  • Altruism behaving in a way that reduces your
    own fitness to the benefit of another organism
  • I would lay down my life for 2 brothers or 8
    cousins.
  • Haldane
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