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BIOL488 (31)

chap 56.doc

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University of Regina
Maryann Vaughan

• culture: set of behaviours shared by members of a population, transmitted through learning • when generations do not overlap, parental guidance is not factor is acquisition of behaviour • stereotypic: performed almost exactly the same way each time (ex spider spinning web) o stereotypic behaviour is often species-specific: individuals of given species perform it in same way • ethology: the study of animal behaviour from an evolutionary perspective o addresses behaviour patters, how and when to perform them o proximate mechanisms that underlie behaviour: neuronal, hormonal, anatomical o ultimate causes of behaviour: selection pressure that shaped evolution • most behaviours result from interactions btwn inherited anatomical and physiological mechanisms and the ability to modify behaviour as a result of experience • many animals’ behaviour is unlearned and highly stereotypic • stereotypic behaviour tells biologists little about genes and experience in development • animal may fail to perform behaviour if the environmental conditions needed to stimulate it are absent; may perform behaviour if they imitate the same teacher • genes do NOT encode behaviours; gene products (enzymes) set in motion a series of gene- environment interactions that underlie development of proximate mechanisms that enable individuals to make certain behavioural responses • experiments help distinguish btwn genetic and environmental influences • deprivation experiment: rears a young animal so its deprived of all experience relevant to behaviour; if it exhibits behaviour, it can be developed without learning o heredity underlies food-storing behaviour of tree squirrel species, but behaviour was expressed only when environment provided situations that stimulated behaviour • genetic experiments: alters genomes by o interbreeding closely related species  selective breeding: means of genetic manipulating; used to select for both anatomical traits and behaviours; approach is applied and not theoretical, but does provide insight about effect genes have on behaviour o comparing individuals that differ in few genes  interbreedingwhen Lorenz crossbred ducks, hybrid offspring had some elements of each parents courtship display in new combinations. Hybrids exhibited display elements characteristic of other species; motor patterns of courtship displays are inherited; sexual selection has shaped these genetically determined behaviours o by knocking out/inserting gene sequences 
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