Chapter 25 Animal Behavior

Animal Behavior
Chapter 25
Describes any observable activity of a
living animal
There are two forms of behavior
– Innate behavior
– Learned behavior
Innate Behaviors
• Can be performed without prior experience
• Are performed in reasonably complete form the
first time
– Appear even if the animal is deprived of opportunity
to learn it
– Example: Red squirrel nut-burying activities
• Can occur immediately after birth
– Example: Egg eviction behavior in cuckoo chicks
Learned Behaviors
• Behaviors modified by experience
– This process is called learning
• One form of learning is called habituation
– A decline in response to a repeated stimulus
– Prevents wasting energy and attention on
irrelevant stimuli
– Example: Repeated physical stimulation of
sea anemones
Learned Behaviors
• A more complex form of learning is called
trial-and-error learning
– New and appropriate responses to stimuli are
acquired through experience
– Response to naturally occurring stimuli based
on rewards and punishments
– Often occurs during play or exploratory
Learned Behaviors
• Trial-and-error learning example
– Toad capture of stinging insects
Learned Behaviors
• Operant conditioning allows animals to
learn behaviors to receive a reward or
avoid punishment
– Used to train animals
• Insight learning is problem solving
without trial and error
– Sudden problem solving without prior
– May involve mentally manipulating concepts
to arrive at a solution
No Sharp Distinctions
• Seemingly innate behavior can be
modified by experience
– Example: Herring gull chicks come to
recognize own parents as they mature
• Seemingly innate behavior can be
modified by habituation
– Example: Young birds learn to discriminate
silhouettes of predatory birds as they age
No Sharp Distinctions
• Learning may be governed by innate
• Examples
– Robins learn only songs of adult robins
– Birds imprint only on their “parent” during the
sensitive period in their development
No Sharp Distinctions
• All behavior arises out of interaction
between genes and environment
– The nature of this link is not well understood
– Example: Bird migration, as illustrated in
Blackcap warbler hybridization experiments