Animal Behavior Quiz 1


Response of group or individual to actions, persons, environment, or stimulus


Something that causes something else to happen


Interaction between organisms and the biotic and abiotic environmnet





Behavioral Ecology

Study of behaviors of organisms with in an evolutionary framework (e.g. communication, finding food, protection from predators)

Proximate Causation

Immediate, underlying cause based on operation of internal mechanisms of an individual (the need to do something)
birds change color for mating season b/c they need to hide all of the other times; external stimuli = day length, temp; internal stimuli = ho

Ultimate Causation

Evolutionary, historical reason why something is the way it is (the reason why you need to do something)
birds migrate b/c those who didn't were less successful at breeding

Natural Behavior

Innate, hard-wired, instinctual, genetically determined

Nurtured Behavior

Learned, flexible, not genetically determined

Why can it be argued that, to a certain extent, all behavior has a genetic basis?


Innate Behaviors

Inherited/instinctive, programmed by genes, highly stereotyped (same/similar each time)
4 categories: Kinesis, Taxis, Reflex, & Fixed Action Pattern (FAP)


Movement or other activity of an organism in response to environmental stimulus. Stimulus is NON-DIRECTIONAL (no exact location). Random (no specific direction)

Taxis (plural: taxes)

Orientation and movement of whole animal toward or away from external stimulus that is coming from one side only. Positive (toward) or negative (away). Ex. move toward light = positive phototaxis
Specific stimulus, EXACT location


Movement of a body part in response to stimulus that is involuntary (mostly) and is almost always nearly instantaneous.

Fixed Action Pattern (FAP)

A kind of instinct. Innate behavior that is triggered by some sign stimulus and once started will run through to completion.


Study of how animals behave in their natural habitat

Karl von Frisch

Communication of bees

Niko Tinbergen

FAP discovery with birds. Digger wasps.

Konrad Lorenz

Geese imprinting