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BIOA02ch53 .doc

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University of Waterloo
BIOL 331
Barry Mc Clinchey

53.1 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 53.2 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 interbreedingwhen 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 fosB is involved in stimulating neural changes in hypothalamus of mothers brain, possibly odor clues upon initial inspection of pups. It plays a part in motivating mother to retrieve and care for pups; neural changes do not occur if fosB gene is inactivated without role models and opportunities for learning, individuals might fail to acquire appropriate behaviour, if genes didnt exert strong influences on development of behaviour inherited behaviour is also adaptive when mistakes are costly or dangerous patterns used to avoid predators is adaptive some behaviours are expressed only under certain conditions (Red feathers of Robins) o releaser: object, event, condition required to elicit behaviour complete stereotypy may not be adaptive (spiders adjust details of web for objects) critical period: learning takes place only at specific time imprinting: an animal learns a set of stimuli during a limited critical period; requires only brief exposure but its effects are strong and can last a lifetime (ex recognizing call of chicks) o critical period may be determined by brief developmental or hormonal state (ex at birth, mother goat must lick newborns neck to recognize it later on) species-specific song in territorial displays and courtship is learned (birds hear it as nestlings, form a song memory in nervous system; matches his stored song memory when mature. If he is deafened after he sings SSS, he can sing it normally but if deafened before he sings before he learns it, he will not develop SSS2 critical stages: nestling, approaching sexual maturity) deprivations experiments demonstrate that young male sparrows do not learn songs of other species, but exposure to few songs of their own is enough for imprinting o genes make it difficult to learn songs of other species in multicellular organisms, all behaviour depends on nervous system for initiation, coordination, execution o hormones of endocrine system determine when behaviour is performed and when they can be learned
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