Group Behaviors

Reproductive strategy
Extremes :
many young & little care
few young & much care
Survivorship curve – graph that shows %
survivorship of different ages in a population
% of Population
Different reproductive strategies show different
survivorship curves.
Type I
Type II
Type III
Population Density
• Number of organisms in a unit of area
• Affected by resources and behavior
Population Range
• Area inhabited by an organism
or species
• Determined by biotic and
abiotic factors
– Temp, precip, sunlight, predators,
parasites, competitors
Population Distribution
Pattern of spacing – often resource based
• Defensive/cooperative
• Most common
• Not as common
• Negative
Song birds
White-tailed deer
Black bears
Penguin nests
The role an organism or species plays in the ecosystem
and community
(Its “job”)
Indicator species
– Sensitive to environmental changes
Keystone Species
– plays a critical role in the functioning of an
Sea otters
Bison (buffalo)
Animal Behavior
Why do animals do the things that they do?
Which of these is true for you?
a) Most of the things I do are because of past
experiences I have had.
b) Most of the things I do are because of the
personality I have.
c) Most of the things that I do are because of the
people around me and what they do.
d) Most of the things that I do are things that I
naturally do without thinking about it.
Which of these is true for a wild animal?
Basic Animal Behavior
Stimulus – Change in internal or external environment
Behavior - Response to a stimulus
Types of behaviors:
• Innate – Done by instinct, predictable, unchanging
– Baby birds chirping, similar mammals walk at same age
• Learned – is developed or modified by experiences
– Habituation – decreased response to neutral stimulus
– Conditioning – association made between two “events”
– Imprinting – permanent learning done during a specific time
– Cognitive – problem solving, decision making, planning
Types of Behaviors
Focus on the cause, advantages, & disadvantages
• Competitive – food, space, mates, etc
– Agnostic
– Dominance hierarchy (social ranking)
– Territorial behavior
• Foraging – find food without overusing energy
• Biological rhythms – Cyclic behaviors done daily or seasonally
• Migratory - movement to increase chance of survival
• Hibernation & torpor – Slow metabolism & body functions
• Communication – help with survival and reproduction
– Verbal
– Non-verbal
– Chemical
• Courtship – attracting a mate
• Nurturing - food, protection, skills for survival during early stages of life
– “Shotgun approach” & focused approach
• Cooperative
– Altruistic
– Social living in herds, flocks, schools, packs, etc.