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PSYCH 2TT3 (15)
Chapter 1

Lecture 2 (Chapter 1 - Jan14) - PSYCH 2TT3

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 2TT3
Professor
Brett Beston

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PSYCH 2TT3 2013 Lecture 2 – January 13, 2013 Chapter 1 – Principles of Animal Behaviour  Animal behaviour – self generated movement of either a body part or the whole body in animals  There are millions of different animal species, but most sow similar general classes of behaviour  Behaviours that animals share o Feeding/foraging o Mating behaviours (sex) o Fight/Flight o Parenting o Sleep o Communication o Nesting o Travel  Major Components of Behaviour (4 F’s + others) 1. Feeding 2. Fleeting Predators 3. Fighting 4. Sex 5. Sleep (sometimes) 6. Social Interactions (Communication) (sometimes)  “Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati“ – “when all else fails, play dead” o Red Green Show – Possum mascot; when possums feel threatened, they play dead  Hognose Snake – death dance, odor of rotting flesh, predator retreats in disgust  Social Behaviours – most animals live with social order and structure o Eg/ female elephants spend entire lives together in tightly knit groups  Sex plays an important role o Eg/ jumping spider; elaborate dance  Innate response to predators; adrenaline response due to years of adaptation; hypothalamus is stimulated – can hit harder, run faster, senses are heightened, think clearer  Which is scarier? o Snake or SUV?  Answer it typically snake (innate fear?) o Traffic related deaths in Canada, 2004  Fatalities 2,730  Serious Injuries: 17533  Total Injuries: 212,347 o Death from snakebites in Canada, 2004  0 o Which is more relevant to be scared of?  Both! But keep in mind that cars pose a relevant risk; don’t have a predisposed nature to being scared of cars; perhaps we have not adapted yet to being innately scared of cars Fighting  Politically motivated death in the 20 century  167,000,000 to 175,000,000  Including o War Dear: 87,500,000  Military War Dead: 33,500,000  Civilian War Dead: 54,000,000 o Not War Dead: 80,000,000  Communist Oppression: 60,000,000 The Two Mechanisms That Can Change Behaviour Over Time 1. Evolution (across generations) 2. Learning and Social Learning (within lifetime)  Animals exhibit a wide variety of behaviours, all have originated through either evolution or learning Evolution  Evolution – a process of change in the proportion of heritable traits within a population spread over many generations  Darwin – Evolution was already a concept; but he proposed a mechanism for evolution  natural selection  Darwin’s Journey – at age 21, was aimless; went on a voyage to map the west coast of South America o Wanted a gentleman to meet indigenous people – chose Darwin o Darwin had a keen eye for differences between species o First thing he noticed – giant tortoises (14 different species) – as they got further from mainland, the differences started appearing more (different geographic location was the greatest factor that determined appearance)  “At least gleams of light have come, and I am almost convinced (quite to the contrary to the opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutab(unchangeab”e)  “If there is the slightest foundation for evolution, the zoology of the Galapagos will be well worth examining”  Darwin proposed a mechanism for how things would have changed 1 PSYCH 2TT3 2013  Natural Selection – the process whereby traits that confer the highest relative reproductive success can be passed down across generations and increase in frequency over many generations  Natural selection required 3 principles o Variation – has to be differences in traits in individuals; there has to be an advantage in certain traits o Fitness consequences – ability to mate more or live longer; reproductive success o Heritability – trait has to be able to be passed down to offspring  Galapagos Finches o Studied in the field extensively for 30 years – too complex for Darwin to study; 1970s Grants returned to Galapagos Islands to study finches o Evolution of larger beak size  Heritable variation in beak size  Higher survival of individuals with large beaks during drought o Medium Ground Finch (G. fortis) – Caltrop fruit (tough) o Individual variation in beak size and feeding  Individuals with large beaks are more efficient at cracking open and feeding on large, tough seeds  Individuals will small beaks are more efficient at feeding on small seeds o Heritability in beak size – correlation between parent beak size and offspring beak size o Variation in weather and seeds between-years  In dry years, there are few small seeds  In wet years, small seeds are common  A drought in 1977-1978 killed 80% of the finches  Individuals with large beaks (who could crack large seeds) were more likely to survive o Evolution of beak size  Mean beak depth (orange line)  During drought (1977-1978) shifted average beak depth – only individuals with larger beaks survived  If something affects survival fitness; heritability is changed 
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