Key TermsChapter 53: Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology
53.1-What questions do biologists ask about behaviour?
ethology: the study of animal behaviour from an evolutionary perspective
most behaviours result from complex interactions between inherited anatomical and
physiological mechanisms and the ability to modify behaviour as a result of
53.2-How do genes and environment interact to shape behaviour?
Genes do not encode behaviours.
Gene products such as enzymes can affect behaviour by setting in motion a series of
gene-environment interactions that underlie the development of proximate
mechanisms that enable individuals to make certain behavioural responses.
Two experiments in evaluating how genes and experience interact to shape
oDeprivation experimentinvestigators rear a young animal so that it is
deprived of all experience relevant to the behaviour under study. If it still
exhibits the behaviour, we may assume that the behaviour can develop
without opportunities to learn it
oGenetic experimentinvestigators alter the genomes of organisms by
interbreeding closely related species, or by knocking out or inserting specific
genes to determine how these manipulations affect their behaviour (known as
Selective breeding: means of genetic manipulationhas been used extensively to
select for both anatomical traits and behaviour.
Releaser: an object, event, or condition required to elicit a behaviour
oThe response of the animal to a releaser may be mechanical or chemical
oDepends on the motivational state of the animal
Genetic control of behaviour is adaptive under many conditions
Critical period: a specific time in which the some types of learning take place only
at a specific time in the animal’s development.