•Ethology is the study of animal behavior from an evolutionary perspective
•Proximate mechanisms were used to answer how behavior patterns were performed
•Ultimate causes of behavior were used to answer why behavior patterns were
•Experiments were conducted to distinguish between genetic and environmental
influences on behavior
•In a deprivation experiment they teased apart what behavior is genetically coded for
versus what behavior is learned from the environment. If the animal is deprived of
environmental influences and still exhibits the behavior then it’s genetically coded.
•Selective breeding is a means of genetic manipulation and is used to select for
anatomical traits and behavior. It provides insights about the effect genetic
constitution has on behavior
•Interbreeding demonstrated that the stereotypic motor patterns of the courtship
displays are inherited.
•Gene knockout experiments determined that through knockout normal stereotypical
behaviors vanish. Mice with fosB gene took care of her pups. Mouse with that gene
knocked out did not care for her pups.
•A releaser is an object, event, or condition required to elicit a behavior (nut for a
•Behavior is under genetic control when the behavior does not rely on external factors
and is not as flexible
•Behavior is learned from the environment because mistakes can be costly mating
with the wrong species
•Response to a releaser can depend on the motivational state of the animal. For
example male robins do not respond to red feathers on a male’s chest when they are
not on their territory and in breeding condition.
•Some types of learning only take place at a specific time in the animals development
called a critical period
•Imprinting is when an animal learns a set of stimuli during a limited critical period