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University of Toronto Scarborough
Biological Sciences
Connie Soros

Ecology Biology of Animal Behavior (Chp. 39)  Instinctive & Learned Behavior  o Instinctive o  genetically programmed response  complete and functional on first use  Fixed Action Patterns   Often functional; feeding, defense, mating, parental care  repeatable in response to sign stimuli (Smiling at human babies)   in reality a baby would smile even if looking at a mask with just two eyes; two big circles that are the stimulus for a smile  Herring gulls; sign stimuli the red spot on beak; releases begging response  can be modified by experiences (snakes)  genetic basis (snakes)   genetic control of food preference; baby snakes of both coastal and central at the slug extract; the coastal snakes flicked their tongues out; only 17% of the central snakes ate the banana slugs o Learned o  dependent upon particular experience during development   don't always do it right the first time  Process of experiences changing behavior   Imprinting   learn key features of stimuli during 'critical period'  often used for parental recognition   ex. Konrad Lorenz imprinting with Greylag geese; when these geese reached sexual maturity they tried to court humans into mating because of who they imprinted on  Classical conditioning   mental association between unrelated phenomena  Pavlov's dog   response to a conditioned stimulus (bell) when it precedes an unconditional stimulus (food)  Operant conditioning   link voluntary operant with favorable reinforcement  trial-and-error learning   quickly learn; both in positive and stop negative stimuli  Insight learning   uses true problem solving  uses reason  much of the scientific knowledge concerning insight derives from work on animal behavior that was conducted on chimpanzees by the 20th- century by German psychologist Wolfgang Kholer   used problem solving and reason; by stacking up boxes to climb up on and than use a stick to reach over and knock the food source down  Habituation   Lack of response to unimportant stimuli   ignore small birds; react only when there is an actual potential for danger (mice/rodents)  decrease in response to a stimulus after repeated presentations   ex. Sea hares, a new ring tone, movement of a toy   retract their gills in the face of danger  Adaptive Behavior    social or personal behavior; can be adapted into something else   European Starling put pieces of wild carrot in their nests; they have a lot of problems with mites so when there are carrots present there are much less mites  Song birds and their songs; learned or instinctive behavior?   some chicks heard a tape/CD an adult male sing a song; and could almost sing it perfectly  while others didn't hear the male song; were unable to pick up the song or sing a song remotely close to it  reject the hypothesis that sparrows had instinctive   Cuckoo Babies; instinctively know how to replicate and exaggerate stimuli  Neurophysiology and Behavior   research in neuroscience has shown that behavioral responses whether mostly instinctive or mostly learned depend on an elaborate physiological foundation provided by biochemistry and structure of nerve  Although the anatomical and physiological basis for some behaviors is present at birth, an individuals experiences alter the cells of it's nervous system in ways that produce particular patterns of behavior   Singing Behavior in Birds    birds learn songs early in life and produce songs later  Clusters of nerve cells called nuclei make song learning and song production is possible  specific nerve cells are stimulated by specific cues  birds discriminate songs with species by nuclei    territories   Development of Nuclei Regulates a Bird's song   Behavioral gene expression is due to stimuli   song nuclei in birds prepare neural development  Behavioral genes explain territorial behavior   Habituates to singing neighbor  Retains ability to hear and repel invaders  Hormones and Behavior   are chemical signals that can trigger the performance of specific behaviors   by regulating the development of neurons  by stimulating endocrine cells to release chemical signals  Juvenile hormone in bees; the levels increase as age increases while changing task specialization of the bee  Sexual development/behavior hormonally controlled ; high level of certain hormones in the Hypothalamus (GNRH) Biology of Animal Behavior (Chpt. 39)  Neural Anatomy and Behavior  o specific behaviors are produced by anatomical structures in an animals nervous system o information acquired by the senses can be related directly to motor neurons o  ex. providing prey animals with behavior that can save them from attack by predators o Hard-wired connections o   ex. moving arm immediately away from a hot surface  helping animal run away from predators, search for food  Some environmental stimuli cause direct responses in motor neurons   cricket and bat interaction  neural mechanism for escape behavior  have a hard-wired mechanism to fly away from the bats; and have ears on their front legs  different stimuli cause different responses   fiddler crab elevate eyes  divided field of view; can see predators coming from above as well as other crabs at ground level; gulls stimulates receptors on their upper part of the eye; activate neurons controlling escape response to dash for the borrow stimulus at or below eye level, different response   fight or flight when it see something above  Brain anatomy structure is tied to it's functional response to stimuli   star-nosed mole  star is 22 fleshy tentacles covered in tactile; receptors called Eimer's organs  each contain a sensory nerve terminal  used to find food without sight  locates earthworms with its nose using sensory nerve terminals in the Eimer's organs  brain contains most cerebral cells devoted to tentacles and front digging feet  nervous system offers a distorted picture of environment unbalanced toward perceptions of the world that are more advantageous for survival and reproductive success o Communication o  one individual produces a signal (transmitted)  another individual receives the signal  the behavior of one or both individuals is changed in a way that benefits one or both  Types of Signals   Acoustical   Bird songs; heard by the signal receivers  females for mating  other males for territorial display  young in the nest trying to learn  some birds use feather stridulations as courting signals (rubbing body parts together)  insects and rattlesnakes use sounds as signals  Pacific herring communicate with little bursts of gas through the anus  Visual   Striped skunk  Royal Flycatcher  Peacock  Human facial expression  Bio-Luminescent lure of Anglerfish  Chemical (pheromones)   The body of a worker ant contains a battery of glands each releasing a different pheromone for initiating tasks such as battling colony invaders or collecting food that was discovered outside the colony by the other ants  Tactile   Operate over only very short distances  cleaning, grooming each other (friendly atmosphere)  play a significant role in the development of friendly bonds between individuals living in close company  Electrical   the electric eel has electric organs that can release charges of variable intensity, duration and frequency. These can be used to signal threats, submission or readiness to breed  Combinations of types   dance of the honeybee's which involves tactile, acoustical and chemical component (and visual)  when a foraging honey bee discovers a source of pollen or nectar; returns to its colony  There in the darkness of the hive it performs a dance on the vertical surface of the honey comb; the dance delivers information about the food source, its quality and direction observers will need to fly to locate it  If the food is close to the hive it performs 'the round dance"  Surrounding bees make an acoustical signal to the bee to regurgitate the sample  Waggle Dance; when the bee moves down the source is away from the sun; when it moves 45 degrees to the right bees fly 45 degrees angle to the right of the sun and when the bee moves straight up the comb other bees will fly towards the sun  Sometimes the animal itself is the signal   Threat Display   young male baboon's and mandrills will often retreat without a fight when they see the visual threat display of an older dominant male o Language: Syntax and Symbols o  although language is communication, not all communication is language  Dance of honey bees contain both syntax (order in which information is presented) and symbols (display that represents something else)   Considered by many to meet criteria for language  Velvet monkeys ; have a repertoire of signals to alert others to different predators   one signal for snakes, another for leopards and still another for raptors  show different predator-specific defensive behaviors  Chickadees   use different alarm calls to alert others about danger  Chimpanzees and gorillas   that are captive can be trained to use American sign Language o Migration o  travel from birth area to distant area and back  usually season schedule  ex. Arctic Rern 40,000 km (longest animal migration)  Piloting ; using landmarks   simplest way-finding mechanism, involving the use of familiar landmarks to guide a journey  Compass orientation; used to move a particular distance/time   some day-flying migratory birds orient themselves using the sun's position in the sky in conjunction with an internal biological clock  internal clock allows birds to use the Sun as a compass compensating for changes in its position through the day  Some animals use Earth's magnetic field  Navigation; uses compass and mental map Population Ecology (Chp. 44)  Ecology  o  the study of the interactions between organisms and their environments (biotic and living components)  o Basic Ecology  o  focuses on undisturbed natural systems o   distribution and abundance of species and how they interact with each other and the physical environment  o Applied Ecology  o  Considers effects on human disturbance o   development of conservation plans to stop and repair ecological damage caused by humans  Levels of Organization  Organismal Ecolgoy (genetic, biochemical, physiological, morphological, behavioral adpatations to the environment) Population Ecology (groups of individuals of the same species that live together Community Ecology (population of different species that occur together in one area) Ecosystem Ecology (how nutrients cycle and energy flows between the biotic and abiotic community) Biosphere  Seven Characteristics of Population  o 1. Geographical Range is determined by the Boundaries of distribution (individuals in the population often live in a specific habitat within the range) o  Geographic Range   Overall spatial boundaries within which a population lives  Habitat   specific environment in which a population lives, as characterized by it's biotic and abiotic features  ex. Population of snails that may only inhabit a small pool of water o 2. Population Density is based on the Number of Individuals per Unit Area o  Species with large body size generally have lower population densities than those with smaller body size  a lower population density means that individuals have greater access to resources such as sunlight, water and food   ex. Only a small handful of elephants in said area; but potentially millions of flies in the same said area o 3. Population Dispersion is the Distribution of Individuals in Space o  Clumped Dispersion; is common and occurs in three situations   Patchily distributed (cowpats)  social populations live together to cooperate in rearing offspring, feeding or defending themselves from predators (fish)  When species reproduce by asexual clones (aspen trees and sea anemones)  Uniform distributed   can occur when individuals repel one another because resources are in short supply; this type of chemical warfare is called allelopathy; deplete surrounding soil of nutrients and water, secrete toxic chemicals and making it impossible for seedlings to grow  Random   patterns of dispersion tend to be rare but can occur when environmental conditions do not vary much within habitat and individuals are neither attracted or repelled by others  Some spiders, clams and rain-forest trees exhibit random dispersion  each individual may seem random but sometimes the clump itself is random; but taking a look at everything at a different scale helps you determine if it is random or clumped o 4. Age Structure is the Number of Individuals of Different ages o  Statistical description of the relative numbers of individuals in different age classes   Pre-reproductive (younger than the age of sexual maturity)  Reproductive  Post-reproductive (older than the maximum age of reproduction  A population's age structure reflects its recent growth and predicts it's future growth o 5. Generation Time is the Average Time between birth and death o  Generation time increases with body size among bacteria, protists, plants and animals  usually the larger the body size the longer the life expectancy o 6. Sex Ratio: Females: Males o  in general the number of females in a population has a greater impact on population growth than males: only females can produce offspring, one male can mate with several females  Life long pair bonds (geese and swans) o 7. Proportion of Individuals that are Reproducing o  this issue is particularly relevant to conservation of any species in which individuals are rare or widely dispersed in the habitat  Demography  o  statistical study of processes that change a populations size and density through time o Population growth factors o  births and immigration (movement into the population from neighboring populations) o Population decline factors o  deaths and emigration (movement out of a population) o   Ecologists use demographic analysis to predict a populations growth (human populations to predict the need for social services, for animals to help develop plans to protect endangered species)  Life Tables  o summarize demographics of a population o  Age-Specific mortality   proportion of individuals alive at the start of the interval that died during the age interval  Age-specific Survivorship   individuals that are still alive until the start of the next interval  Age-specific fecundity   the average number of offspring produced by surviving females during the age interval o Cohort o  group of individuals of similar age o Life table will monitor the survival of an age group  Survivorship Curves  o  graphically depict the rate of survival for individuals over the species average lifespane (the timing of deaths of individuals in a population) o Type 1 Survivorship Curve o  High survivorship until late in life o Type II Survivorship Curve o  constant rate of mortality in all age classes; all ages are vulnerable to starving, predation, disease etc.   mostly lizards, small mammals, birds o Type III Survivorship Curve o  high juvenile mortality, follow by low mortality after critical age and size   ex. Sea turtles, perennial desert shrub Population Ecology  Evolution of Life History  o Analysis of life tables and survival curves; reveal how natural selection affects an organisms life history o  Life history includes patterns of:   Growth  Maintenance (preservation of good health)  reproduction  Allocations of resources (finite energy budget- total amount of energy the organism can accumulate and use to fuel it's activities) influences evolution of these traits  Usually adjusted to maximize an individuals number of surviving offspring o Life History Patterns o  Coho Salmon (Type 3)   hatch in stream  feed and grow for about a year before obtaining their full adult body and than swim off to the ocean  remain in the ocean than swim back to the stream where they hatched bu using the sun as a compass and geomagnetic and chemical cues to return  males prep. nests and females lat hundreds-thousands of tiny eggs; the breeding adults die and there is no parental care for the young  European red deer (Type 1; close to humans)   are born in spring, and young remain with their mothers for an extended period of prenatal care, nursing and rapid growing  young than feed on their own after weaning  female reach breeding size in their third year and produce one-two offspring per year until they reach about the age of 16, where they reach their maximum life span and die  Oak trees (combination of the deer and salmon's life history pattern)   begin their lives as seeds, which remain metabolically inactive until the following spring  once germinated seedling trees collect nutrients and energy and continue to grow throughout their lives; once they reach a critical size they produce thousands of acorns for many years on end  there is no active parental care for the young; growth and reproduction occur simultaneously throughout most of the tree's life o Fecundity vs. Parental Care o  trade-off between fecundity and parental care   Passive parental care   before offspring born  in eggs; yolk, seeds; endosperm, placenta nutrients throughout  Ac
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