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Chapter 1


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Life Sciences
Rashid Khan

Chapter 1 The Science of Animal Behaviour 11Animals and Their Behaviour Are An Integral Part of Human SocietyBeginning in prehistoric times and continuing for tens of thousands of years humans painted images of animals on cave walls all over the world The drawings are detailed enough to allow us to identify different species both extinct and extant and many images depict animals exhibiting behaviors like eating sleeping and engaging in acts of aggression o Recent research indicates that these paintings likely aimed to present realistic depictions of animals and their behavior rather than symbolic connotations Pruvost et al 2011 Because humans in prehistoric times relied on animals for food knowledge about animal behavior was important for survival Shipman 2010RECOGNIZING AND DEFINING BEHAVIOURAnimal behaviour any internally coordinated externally visible pattern of activity that responds to changing external or internal conditions o Internally coordinated refers to internal information processing such as endocrine signaling sensory information processing or the action of neurotransmitters When two male giraffes meet during the breeding season such processes coordinate their aggressive behavior o Externally visible activity refers to patterns that we can observe and measure For example we can observe a squirrel eating an acorn and can quantify this behavior We cannot externally observe the variation in a lizards heart rateWe can however observe an animals behavioral response to changing conditions For example male crickets frogs and birds vocalize in response to changes in day length temperature or moisture at specific times of the year Similarly during a summer day a desert lizard moves from the top of a hot rock to the underside of a cool ledge to reduce its body temperatureMEASURING BEHAVIOUR ELEPHANT ETHOGRAMSEthogram a formal description or inventory of an animals behaviours
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