Behaviour and Evolution Flashcards Preview

Animal Behaviour > Behaviour and Evolution > Flashcards

Flashcards in Behaviour and Evolution Deck (16):

What are Tinbergen's 4 Questions?

1. Mechanism - why does the behaviour occur
2. Development - how did the behaviour develop
3. Survival Value - how does it benefit in terms of fitness
4. Phylogenetic - why did the behaviour evolve

Mechanism and Development are proximate
Survival Value and Phylogenetic are ultimate


What are natural selection, individual learning and cultural transmission?

Natural Selection - process where traits that give the highest reproductive success that are heritable increase in frequency over generations

Individual Learning - alters the frequency of behaviours

Cultural Transmission - animals learn by copying the behaviour of others through social learning. behaviour is then passed down through generations quickly


Give 2 examples of natural selection

1. crickets. crickets that sing to attract mates are infected by parasites. crickets modified their wings so they can no longer sing. instead go by singing crickets and mate with females as they approach

2. mole rats. xenophobic to strangers. are more aggressive when there are less resources in dry environments. are less aggressive when stranger is of the opposite sex - allows them to mate


Give an example of individual learning

Grasshopper. grasshoppers learnt to pair their diet with colour and odour cues. fed more from the balanced diet and gained weight quicker than the grasshoppers not given cues. heavier crickets would have greater reproductive success and process more and larger eggs


Give an example of cultural transmission

rats. used olfactory cues to see what food other rats had been eating and ate the same food. information was transferred from one rat to another


What is the conceptual approach of ethology

integrating formerly unconnected ideas with new ways to make advances. e.g Hamiltons kin selection


What is kin selection

evolutionary strategy that favours the reproductive success of an organism's relatives, even at a cost to the organism's own survival and reproduction.


What is the theoretical approach of ethology

generation of a mathematical model of the world e.g optimality theory - searches for the best solution to a problem given the constraints that exist


What is the empirical approach to ethology

gathering data and drawing conclusions to get testable predictions. e.g experiments and observations.


What are 4 approaches to studying animal behaviour

1. Natural history
2. Behaviourism
3. Ethology
4. Behaviour ecology


What is the natural history approach to studying animal behaviour

Focuses on animals in their environment
Does not generate tests or hypotheses


What is the behaviourist approach to studying animal behaviour

Behaviour is a response to a stimulus
Classical conditioning - association of 2 stimuli
Operant conditioning - based on consequence of actions


What is the ethological approach to studying animal behaviour

Study animals in their natural environment
E.g Lorenz


What is the behavioural ecological approach to studying animal behaviour

Interested in variation in behaviour and fitness effects due to variation


What are 3 problems with the behavioural ecology approach to studying animal behaviour

1. Can’t be sure variation in fitness is due to specific behaviour

2. Hard to measure all offspring into adulthood

3. Do not know the genetic basis of all behaviours as they are polygenic


What is phenotypic gambit

Make assumptions to help tackle questions

Complex behaviours as modelled as if controlled by single alleles