Chapter 53 Behavioural Ecology

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Published on 7 Apr 2011
School
UTSC
Department
Biological Sciences
Course
BIOA02H3
Sanchika Kanagalingam
04.04.2011
Biology II
Chapter 53: Behaviour & Behavioural
Ecology
What questions do Biologists ask about behaviour?
Ethology: study of animal behaviour from an evolutionary prospective
All behaviours are assumed to have a genetic component but also be influenced by what an
individual learns from the environment
A combination/interaction from both
oNature versus nurture
Behaviour or trait is it actually coded for in the genes or is it something you learn
It is a combination
The father of ethology Niko Timbergen
oDemonstrated how you can do experiments instead of observing it
oBrought all the scientist together to talk about behaviours of animals
oWhy does an animal behave was the ultimate question
How does it behave is a proximate question (physiology)
Two types of questions biologist ask
oUltimate questions (why)
oProximate (how)
How do genes and environment interact to shape behaviour?
Biologist use several methods to determine the relative influences of genes and environment on
behaviour
Deprivation Experiments
oDeprive them of outside influences
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Sanchika Kanagalingam
04.04.2011
Biology II
Does this bird sing because of the influences around him or because the animal
knows how to since birth
This deprives of environmental influences and only focuses on the
genetic part
Genetic Experiments
oSelective breeding
Determining which individual mates with which individuals
There is a trait you have of interest and mate animals with the same trait to see if
the offspring gets that trait
oInterbreeding
Certain behaviour in one animal and another behaviour in another animal and
see which behaviour the offspring will get
oYou are selecting yourself (manipulating) the genetic component/input in an offspring
and seeing If you can control it
oGene knockout
Isolating a particular gene and disabling it and seeing if it affects the individuals
behaviour.
Knocking out a single gene can influence a big change in behaviour
Eg. Female mice
fosB gene in mice controls the behaviour of providing care to their pup,
once removed the other would ignore her pup
What determines which behaviour is best under genetic control or environmental control?
Eg. Human walking which takes time and horse walking which they can once they are born
Behaviour of Genetic Control
oAdvantage
Does not rely on external factor
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Sanchika Kanagalingam
04.04.2011
Biology II
Advantage of being able to walk once born
Can escape from predators
oDisadvantage
Not as flexible
Eg. Language
oIf born with one language it is not advantage if you are born in
another country and the language you are born with is different
oContribute to essential survival and reproductive aspects
oKnowing who to mate with
oKnowing who is your species
Eg. Bird knowing how to chirp or fly
Eg. Salmon
When offspring hatch out of egg there is no one to teach them how to
swim, where to swim and what to eat
oIt is important for this to be genetic control so they know how to
do all of these tasks without the help of others
Learned from the environment
oAdvantage
Vulnerable to mistakes
oDisadvantage
Flexible
Just because behaviours are under genetic control, it does not mean they are not influenced by
behaviour
oEg. Robin
Males have to compete with one another for females,, they are born knowing they
must attack other males.
They dont attack all the time, only when they see the red breast (releaser)
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Document Summary

Ethology: study of animal behaviour from an evolutionary prospective: all behaviours are assumed to have a genetic component but also be influenced by what an individual learns from the environment, a combination/interaction from both, nature versus nurture.  behaviour or trait is it actually coded for in the genes or is it something you learn.  how does it behave is a proximate question (physiology: two types of questions biologist ask, ultimate questions (why, proximate (how) How do genes and environment interact to shape behaviour: biologist use several methods to determine the relative influences of genes and environment on behaviour, deprivation experiments, deprive them of outside influences www. notesolution. com.  does this bird sing because of the influences around him or because the animal knows how to since birth: this deprives of environmental influences and only focuses on the genetic part, genetic experiments, selective breeding.  determining which individual mates with which individuals.