Inherited and Learned Behaviors

Inherited and Learned
Traits (Behavior)
• Traits are something an organism does.
• Examples:
A bear hibernating
Plant stems growing up and roots growing
Instinctive Behavior
• An instinctive behavior is a behavior that
an animal inherits from its parents.
• The animal is born with the behavior.
Inherited Traits
• Characteristics passed down to an
offspring by his or her parents.
• These traits (behaviors) are controlled by
genes made up of DNA.
Examples of Inherited Traits
• Hibernation-a deep sleeplike state when
an animal’s body processes slow down.
• Migration-seasonal movement of animals
from one place to another
• Protecting Young
• Walking-a baby colt can walk
after it is born.
• Eating
• Breathing
Examples of Inherited Traits
Fish swim
Spider spins web
Bird builds nest
Touch hot objects=pain
Examples of Inherited Traits
Fur color
Body markings
Shape of eyes,
ears, nose, body
Learned Behavior
• A learned behavior is a behavior that an
animal develops by observing other
animals or by being taught.
Examples of Learned Behaviors
• Sea animals doing tricks
• Birds avoiding viceroy butterflies
Examples of Learned Behaviors
Dog shakes paw with you
Fish swims to top of fish bowl
Dog hears bell and comes for food
Colt wears saddle to allow rider
Bird builds nest in safe place
Learned and Inherited
• Some behaviors animals have are a
combination of learned and inherited traits.
• Examples:
Young cheetahs have the instinct to hunt,
but at first do not know how to sneak up
on their prey. They learn how to do that
by watching their mother when she hunts.
Wolves have the instinct to hunt but learn to
hunt in groups.
Hunting in Packs
Plant’s Behavior
• All plant behavior
is inherited (they
can’t learn can
• However, plants
will respond to
Plants responding to their
• A plant’s response to
a stimulus is called
• If you put a plant
near a window it will
turn it’s leaves
toward the sunlight.
• Plants roots grow
downward toward