LIFESCI 2D03 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Behaviorism, Mecha, Greylag Goose

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3.1 Scientists study both the proximate mechanisms that generate behavior and the
ultimate reasons why the behavior evolved
What causes migration? Initiated by season changes in day length, trigger
hormonal responses that lead to increase feeding and fat deposition and onset of
long distance movement
Some species require learning while others don’t, meaning genetically determined
Why do they migrate? Allows them to track resources and avoid places where
resource availability is greatly limited in some seasons, promotes survival
Researchers examine migration patterns differences among different population of
species or between closely related species
Niko Tinbergen (1963) gave four question to summarize different types of
research for animal behaviour:
1. What is the mechanism that causes the behavior?
2. How does the behavior develop?
3. What is the function of the behavior?
4. How did the behavior evolve?
Answers for 1 and 2 are called proximate explanations, focus on understanding
immediate causes of behavior
Explanation incorporate studies of genetics, sensory systems, neurons, hormones,
and learning
Answers to 3 and 4 are ultimate explanations, require evolutionary reason and
analysis
3.2 Researches use observation, experiment and comparative methods to study
behaviour
Usually use more than one method in research
Observational method- observe and record behavior of an organism without
manipulation environment of animal
Used to describe behavior patterns and test hypotheses
Constructs ethograms
In zoological parks use this method to test wellness and stress level, changes in
behavior can indicated changes in reproductive condition or health
The observation method and reproductive energetics of chimpanzees
Muray's research team investigated reproductive energetics of free living female
chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania
Medium sized primates like in equatorial Africa, prefer to feed on calorie rich,
ripe fruit but will eat variety of foods
All female mammals have increased energetic demands during pregnancy and
feeding young through lactation
Diet altered to increase calorie intake, Murray's team didn’t have this info so
question asked:
Do pregnant and lactating chimps alter their feeding behavior to meet increased
energy requirements of reproduction?
Looked at three types of females: pregnant, lactating and non pregnant/non
lactating
Alternate H: pregnant and lactating females will consume a diet that provides
higher caloric intake than that consumed by nonpregant, nonlactating females
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Null H: Pregnant and lactating females will not consume a diet that provides
higher caloric intake than that consumed by nonpregnant, nonlactating
Prediction: Pregnant and lactating will have higher percentage of fruit in their diet
than non pregnant/lactating
30 years, sizes form 38-54 individuals for groups
Full day focal: tracked and recorded all activities of one focal individual for an
entire day
oDid this for all individual, collected a large database,
oFollowed eating habits and social interactions
Found that diets of pregnant and lactating females included more fruit than non
pregnant/lactating
oNo manipulation only observation
Experimental method- manipulate or change a variable to examine how it affects
the behavior of animal
oIndependent variable: variable changed, can measure, control or
manipulate'
Can be abiot or biotic
oDependant variable: measured change that occur in response to changes in
independent variable
oControl group: doesn’t experience manipulation but is treated similarly so
that we can see whether manipulation influencing dependant variable or not
Represents null hypothesis
oExperimental group represents alternate hypothesis
The experimental method and jumping tadpoles
Veronica de Sousa, study an unusual behavior of an undescribed species of
tropical tadpole
Pseudopaludicola sp. Is a small frog found in south America
Rainy season- females lay eggs in small puddles which develop into tadpoles that
go through metamorphosis in these puddles
Juvenile dragonflies (naiads) also found here that are predators of tadpoles
Seen that tadpole can jump out of puddle to another one due to safety
Two questions researched
1. Is tadpole jumping behavior a response to presence of predator?
2. Does the jumping behavior increase survival?
Collected tadpoles and naiads and created small experimental arenas to look like
puddles
Q1, Three treatments, different in presence or absence of naiad predator and
measured freq of tadpole jumping
Result: tadpole jumping sig higher in predator present treatment and most
occurred due to naiad movement
Q2, used two treatments differed in whether tadpoles could get away from
predator, measured number of tadpoles survived
Result: survival rate was much higher in treatment where tadpoles could escape
predator
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