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Chapter Seven Summary Understanding Humans

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Anthropology 1026F/G
Andrew Nelson

Chapter SevenPrimate Behaviour Major theoretical models for the evolution of behaviour on primates and there is genetic support for these The subject of the evolution of behaviour is extremely complex because it requires research into the interactions of dozens if not hundreds or ecological and physiological variablesThe fundamental principle of behavioural evolution is that aspects of behaviour are influenced by genetic factors Because some behavioural elements are therefore inherited natural selection can act on them in the same way it acts on physical and anatomical characteristics In mammals and birds the proportion of behaviour thats due to learning is much greater than it is in insects and most other invertebrates in which a high proportion of behaviour is directly influenced by genes Behavioural ecology is the discipline that examines behaviour from the perspective of complex ecological relationships and the role of natural selection as it favours behaviours that increase reproductive fitnessThis approach generates many models of behavioural evolution that can be applied to all species including humans Members of each species inherit a genome that is speciesspecific and some part of that genome influences behaviours but in more complex animals the genome allows for greater degrees of behavioural flexibility and learning
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