Chapter 53 Behavioural Ecology

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Biological Sciences
Kamini Persaud

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 combinationinteraction from both o Nature 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 o Demonstrated how you can do experiments instead of observing it o Brought all the scientist together to talk about behaviours of animals o Why does an animal behave was the ultimate question How does it behave is a proximate question (physiology) Two types of questions biologist ask o Ultimate questions (why) o 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 o Deprive them of outside influences www.notesolution.comSanchika 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 o Selective 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 o Interbreeding Certain behaviour in one animal and another behaviour in another animal and see which behaviour the offspring will get o You are selecting yourself (manipulating) the genetic componentinput in an offspring and seeing If you can control it o Gene 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 o Advantage Does not rely on external factor
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