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160 Cards in this Set

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What are the integral parts of the term 'animal behaviour'?

anatomy/ physiology/ endocrinology/ neurobiology (processes in an animal's body)

evolution/ development/ genetics (environment)

psychology/ learning and cognition/ social (how animals process information based on their biological processes and environment)

Define neuroendocrine

the link between nerves and hormones

What is the use of knowledge of animal behaviour?

human development/ deep human interest in animals

conservation biology/ evolution/ animal welfare/ animal utility

economics/ psychology/ social science

Define animal behaviour

all observable processes by which an animal responds to perceived changes in the internal state of its body or in the external world

Define ethologist

someone who studies behaviour in the natural or near natural world

Who was Tinbergen?

an ethologist who studied small brightly coloured fish and the adaptation of bird eggs

What are Tinbergen's Four Questions?





What is Tinbergen's causation question (and example)?

what stimulates the animal to respond with the behavior it displays, and what are the response mechanisms?

e.g. Flamingo nest building instincts are activated by synchronised courtship displays

What is Tinbergen's ontogeny question (and example)?

how does an organism develop as the individual matures?

e.g. Refinement of nest height in accordance with environmental variables(temperature, wind & flooding).

What is Tinbergen's adaptation question (and example)?

why is the behavior necessary for the animal's success and how does evolution act on that behaviour?

e.g. To protect the eggs & chicks

What is Tinbergen's phylogeny question (and example)?

how has a particular behavior evolved through time?

e.g. Nests of an incorrect size caused high chickmortality

What are the different levels of study?






Define ethogram

a definitive list of species-specific behaviour used to help catalogue and describe all observed actions

What do you need to consider when making an ethogram?

Whether or not thebehaviour is natural?

What appropriatecategories the behaviour falls into.

Clear definitions ofbehaviour that makes your method repeatable.

Why should we care about behavioural definitions?

Methods must be repeatable and valid.

Behaviour can be subjective. By having a standard descriptive we addobjectivity.

Animals can only do onething at a time, so it important that researchers categorise behaviourcorrectly.

What three responses does the body give to stimuli?

neuroendocrine response (nervous system and endocrine system)

learned response

cognitive response

What are some internal factors that cause behaviour?

biological rhythms (daily time schedules reset by zeitgebers/ annual movements are normally in tune with seasonal change)

motivations (either homeostatic or not homeostatic: Specificalterations to, or cues from, physiological state.)

homeostasis (very important regulatory role over behaviour e.g.hunger and thirst/ temperature regulation.)

What are some external factors that cause behaviour?

biotic factors (population density/ sex ratio)

abiotic factors (light/ temperature/ tide/ features in habitat)

What are some context dependent factors that cause behaviour?

alteration of a reaction to stimuli with time

animal is able to differentiate between stimuli to produce the most appropriate response, save energy and increase survival

What are some errors that cause behaviour?

misconception or misidentification of a stimuli (e.g. hatchling turtles)

Why would learning develop?

learning from others permits spread of behaviour faster than inheritance

learning from others permits horizontal, as well as vertical transmission of behaviour

may be essentially useful for common behaviour in a changing environment

development and change of behaviour occurs due to copying errors

Name six types of learning

innate behaviour



self learning

learning from others

insight learning

What is innate behaviour? (types of learning)

Fixed action patterns

Innate behaviour can be complex, with a stronggenetic basis, and is little influenced by environment.

May be especially useful for important but rareevents (predator responses) that facilitate immediate survival.

May be essential if there is no opportunity tolearn.

Development and change occurs via evolution.

What are fixed action patterns?

Fixed action patterns (animal is responding toa supernormal stimuli)- behaviour continues when stimuli is removed (e.g. Geeserolling egg)

What is maturation? (types of learning)

Behaviours change or start to be expressed atpredictable stages as the individual ages

Facilitated learning hypothesis

Environmental factors may affect maturation ( supply)

What is chance? (types of learning)

Behaviour is determined by a single (or few)specific environmental event experienced at a crucial stage in life

Events early in life can have long-termconsequences if they affect development of behavioural mechanisms.

Chance events can prevent the expression ofbehaviours as well as prompt them

What is self learning? (types of learning)

Behaviours change as the individual repeats them,modifying their actions in response to experienced outcomes

e.g. imprinting/ conditioning/ habituation/ discriminative learning/ associative learning

Development and change in such behaviour depends onexperience acting on a genetic base

What is discriminative learning?

Learning to make different responses to differentstimuli

What is associative learning?

classical conditioning

What is learning from others? (types of learning)

Observing and imitating behaviour

May be especially useful for common behaviours in achanging environment

Development and change behaviour occurs due tocopying errors

What is insight learning? (types of learning)

A flash of inspiration or ‘Eureka!’ moment andgenerally considered the highest form of learning

Evidence for insight is currently weak and one mustexclude experience/trial and error first

Development and change could be rapid, once generalconcepts acquired

How does natural selection work in practice?

huge numbers of individuals are produced

insufficient resources for all, so many die before reproducing

individuals vary in attributes

individuals with attributes better suited to environment are less likely to die

these individuals will be represented over the next generation

What things effect differences in animals' reproductive output?

fecundity (the number of offering they can create)

their attractiveness

the numberof mates they can obtain

sum of their offspring.

What behaviours maximise survival?

hiding from predators

escaping from predators

increasing amount of food eaten

reducing energetic costs

evolutionarily stable strategy

What is an evolutionarily stable strategy?

astrategy, which, if adopted by a population in a given environment,cannot be invaded by any alternative strategy that is initially rare(e.g. the relationship between red breasted geese and owls).

What behaviours have a survival function?

being in obscure places

being aggressive

allowing other members to be eaten

making themselves bigger

What are some behaviours that aid reproductiveness?

increasing attractiveness

increasing access to mates

increasing futility

increasing survival of young

What are some behaviours that improve reproductive success?

increase chances of being attractive to females

increase access to mates

reducing cost to self

increase the survival rate of young

What behaviours reduce the cost to 'self'?

having a partner to help

making one partner do all the work

making your family do some of the work

making someone completely different do all the work

What is the adaptive landscape?

used to visualize therelationship between genotypes and reproductivesuccess- genotypes affect phenotypes

What is epistasis?

a phenomenon whereby the expression of one gene depends upon thepresence of the others around it. A gene can be expressed or repressed by theother genes around it.

What is divergent evolution?

evolution of different features from a common ancestor; resulting in differences between speices

adaptive radiation: Darwin's finches

What is convergent evolution?

evolution of similar features in unrelated species due to similar environmental pressures

Define parsimonious

Theprocess that requires the least number of changes

What do behaviours arise?

pre-existing behaviour

pre-existing bias

adaptive co-evolution

What is pre-existing behaviour? (why do behaviours arise)

Ritualisation or co-option (“Integrationof pre-existing behavioural elements into novel contexts.”)

This can occur within aspecies (e.g. reproductive / courtship displays) or across aspecies (e.g. aggression calls in different species of bowerbird)

What is pre-existing bias? (why do behaviours arise)

Sensoryexploitation (“Stimulatingphysiological, neurological and psychological biases previously evolved in adifferent context.”)- Something that exists already that animals can use to geta new behaviour

The function of behaviour can either besuggested or completely unclear.

What is adaptive co-evolution?

“Coordinated change between two (ormore) elements of ecology/morphology/behaviour.”

What are complicating factors in the evolutionary function of behaviour?

missing species (incomplete fossil records)

changed environment

changed selection pressures

What are the two groups animals fall into in terms of what food they eat?

generalists(e.g. urban foxes who have evolved to live among people and eat from bins) and specialists (e.g. pandas only eatbamboo)

What are the two groups animals fall into in terms of how much food they eat?

Selectors(e.g. giraffes only take from specific bits of trees) vs. bulk feeders (e.g. elephants eat entire tree).

What are the two groups animals fall into in terms of how often they eat?

High metabolic rate (e.g. hummingbirds have to feed every 20 minutes) vs. low metabolic rate (e.g. crocodiles who only eat once a year)

What are the two groups animals fall into in terms of how they react to environmental changes?

Conformers:Some species have to conform to prevailingenvironmental conditions (e.g. frogs that have to regulate temperature toenvironment)

Regulators: Somespecies are regulators and have precise control over internal physiology (e.g.bears can control temperature)

What is the medicinal value of food?

Animals can choose parts of their diet depending on how they are feeling(e.g. elephants ear soil)

Will animals always avoid food that induces sickness?

Generaliststhat may encounter many different food types pay attention to sickness inducingcues (e.g. dogs)

Specialists that only ever each one type of foodhave no facultative response (e.g. cats)

What is the optimal foraging theory?

larger items have more energy but also cost more in time and energy to find

Look for trade off when: optimum = maximum energyintake/cost.

What is the marginal value theorem?

The animalmust ask the question “at what point do I leave my current feeding patch to goand find a new one?”

They debate:

Potentialenergy available at current patch.

Energyexpenditure when travelling to new feeding site.

Energyexpended searching for food in a (increasingly) diminished feeding site

Energy available in new foraging areas

What is a primary defence?

reducing the probability of an attack (e.g. antelopefollow lions)

What are some examples of primary defences?

remaining hidden

pretending to be dangerous (Mullerian mimicry: honest signal/ Batesian mimicry: dishonest signal)

reducing odds of being selected

What is a secondary defence?

reducing likelihood of successful attack

What are some examples of secondary defences?



alarm calls

"showing off"

What are the benefits of being in a group?

Dilution(e.g. penguins are eaten by leopard seals- they push each other into water sothey are more likely to be eaten)

Confusion(e.g. countershading- penguins have white bellies and black backs)

Selfishherding (e.g. zebras herd so they are harder to distinguish between)


What is Linnaean Classification?

all species have a name conforming to a binomial or trinomial system (genus/ species/ subspecies)

What is the Biological Species Concept?

"Species are groups of interbreedingnatural populations that are reproductively isolated from other suchgroups."

A reproductively isolated population (it can onlybreed with other animals that look like it does)

If all animals are breeding within species, thenthere shouldn’t be any variation within species

What is the Phenotypic Species Concept?

“A species is a set oforganisms that are sufficiently similar to one another and sufficientlydifferent from members of other species.”

The problem with this isthat in many species males and females look differently from each other, yetthey still know to breed with each other- this is why the BSC is better

What evidence is there for evolution?

Observations of change on a small scale.

Inferential evidence of change on a larger scale.

Homologies between species are important.

Fossil record…

The existence ofadaptation?

What is an extant species?

something that is around today

What are the three theories for the history of life?

Things evolve gradually over time

There is transformation that occurs very quickly with no breaks

Things are created independently

Name an example that shows the manipulation of evolution

peppered moths

What are ring species?

the extreme forms do not breed together in theregion of overlap

the problem with hybrids innature is they cannot breed etc. so species do not want to create hybrids

The middle intermediate forms when they overlap ina hybrid zone will breed together but the extreme forms that are completelydifferent when they overlap they don’t recognise each other as species andtherefore don’t breed

How are ring species evidence for evolution?

Theseexamples show that intraspecific differences can be large enough to produceinterspecific differences.

What is the benefit of creating new reproductively distinctspecies experimentally?

You can see how long it takes evolution to createsomething new

Define uniformitarianism

what we have seen before, tells us what we know now

What are homologous similarities?

structures that occur due to a common ancestor

What are vestigial structures?

something that used to be bigger and better, that is not used but exists

can date when structures were lost

What is cultural evolution?

non-genetic evolution (things change but through experience and learning)

e.g. monkeys observe husks of plants being removed by humans to make them more palatable

What is natural selection the only mechanism known to cause?

the evolution of adaptions that make individuals "fitter"

What is the cost-benefit model of adaptations?

an economic term that allows analysis of phenotypes in terms of fitness benefits and fitness costs

What is mobbing behaviour?

an adaptive strategy to reduce predation risk onthe young and eggs

it distracts the attention of predators, decreasingoffspring and egg mortality and increasing reproductive success (fitness)

What is the dilution effect?

seen in animals, birds and insects

join a larger group so they reduce chance of being chosen by predator

What is sexual selection?

a form of Natural Selection but only for breedingbehaviour

an evolutionary process whereby some individualsgain an advantage over others in relation to reproduction

Name the theories of sexual selection

intrasexual selection (male-male competition)

intersexual selection (female choice)

What tells us why animals work so hard to preserve traits in populations?

measuring each stage of the life cycle from zygote to the zygote they produce

What does speciation do?

form the bridge between the evolution of populations and the evolution of taxonomic diversity

What does speciation mean?

that different types of animal undergo independentdivergence maintaining separate identities, evolutionary tendencies and fates

What is the problem with speciation?

often too fast to be documentedin the fossil record but too slow for us to study as it occurs (e.g. thepeppered moth evolution happened within a couple of decades)

Why do we define species?

Enables usto classify organisms systematically

Correspondsto discrete groups of similar organisms (problems arise when coincidences occurin different species looking similar when they are unrelated)

Helps usto understand how discrete clusters of organisms arise in nature

Representsproducts of evolutionary history

Applies tothe largest possible variety of organisms

Why do we need definitions of species?

There isvariation within the same population (e.g. species that have variation such ascolour (snow goose) will still breed with each other but that doesn’t createnew species)

There isvariation between populations of a species (e.g. humans all look different butthey know they are the same species).

There aresibling species to further cause confusion (similar species are separated byregion)

What does effective population size tell you?

how much variation in genetic material is passed onto the next generation

Define cline

A gradual change in character(or in allele frequencies over geographic distance).

e.g. bigger animals are bigger because they areliving in colder places (e.g. sizes of bear)

What do pre-zygotic barriers do?

prevent (or reduce the likelihood of) transfer ofgametes to members of another species.

Name three examples of pre-zygotic barriers

ecological isolation (e.g. cheetahs have totally separate genus to leopards)

behavioural isolation

post-mating pre-zygotic barriers

What are post zygotic barriers?

consist ofreduced survival or reproductive rates of hybrid zygotes.

What are some examples of post-zygotic barriers?

Hybrid unviability

Hybrid sterility

What is gamete isolation?

Gametes of different speciesfail to unite.

Why don't hybrids always work?

unviable hybrids

sterile hybrids

What are unviable hybrids?

Hybrids often have lowersurvival rates than “full species”.

Mortality is often intrinsicduring embryogenesis due to developmental problems.

What are sterile hybrids?

Survival to maturity but unableto produce viable gametes and are hence infertile.

What are the four types of how species form?





What is allopatric speciation?

Speciationthat occurs when biological populations of the same species become vicariant,or isolated from each other to an extent that prevents or interferes withgenetic interchange (e.g. birds of paradise)

Linked to the idea of adaptive radiation

What is adaptive radiation?

a process in which organisms diversify rapidly intoa multitude of new forms, particularly when a change in the environment makesnew resources available, creates new challenges, or opens new environmentalniches

What is peripatric speciation?

New species are formed in isolated peripheralpopulations

Very similar toallopatric speciation BUT one population is much smaller than the other (e.g. bears)

What is parametric speciation?

occurs when populations are separated not by ageographical barrier, such as a body of water, but by an extreme change inhabitat. While populations in these areas may interbreed, they often developdistinct characteristics and lifestyles. (e.g. group of lizards who all have flap of skin)

What is sympatric speciation?

Newspecies evolve from a single ancestral species while inhabiting the samegeographic region. that have different ways of collecting food

What is the comparative approach?

seeksto understand this process of adaptation (natural selection) though comparing adaptations betweenspecies or populations. (e.g. polar bears, arctic hare, snowy owl all have black skin and clear fur)

What are potential problems with the comparative approach?

Our definitions may bevague (patchy food resources in weaver birds, or differences in predation inungulates) for example.

We need rigorous testsof the ecological factors concerned

What is parthenogenesis?

virgin birth

Can animals change how they reproduce? If so, name an example

yes, aphids can reproduce sexually (when there is lots of foodaround) and asexually (in times of the year when there is not much food)

Why doessexual reproduction occur?

Geneticvariation; increased heterozygosity.

Whichallows for coping with future environmental changes

Potential to outcome evolving parasites

What is the "red queen" hypothesis?

you have to keep moving to stay in the same place

What are the differences between sexes?

Malegametes:Producedin large numbers, cheap, mobile & easily replenished.

Femalegametes:Producedin restricted numbers, finite supply & immobile.

What are the basics of sexual selection?

Gene flowis important as it moves genetic material between populations (don’t wantanimals to become inbred)

Themovement of genetic variation between populations and individuals in thatpopulation

Allowsanimals to have the option to choose who they breed with

What is Fisher's process?

phase 1: female preferences initially evolve because the preferred trait is favoured by natural selection and hence the offspring are more likely to carry the beneficial trait

phase 2: 'run away selection' (trait choice is established, males with trait are fitter, increase in sexual selection for this trait, increase in selective forces and development of more extreme traits

What is the Fixed Relative performance model

Kirkpatrick (1982)

relationship between change in trait and matingfrequency / success.

What are some factors that affect mating (honest signals)?


position of male in relation to female

aerobic capacity

How can females increase reproductive success?

by persuading males to invest more in offspring which means they can divert resources to other progeny

What is the problem with females increasing reproductive success by persuading males to invest more in offspring?

the malewants to reduce investment in parental care therefore an evolutionary conflict of interestsexists between the sexes

What is assortative mating?

Sexually reproducing organisms tend to mate withindividuals that are like themselves in some respect

What will influence mating systems?

social and economical resources

Name six mating systems





promiscuous strategies

mate choice in homo sapiens

Describe monogamy mating and give an example

One male/one female

Usually when both parents are required for parentalcare

Generally seen in species when the species look thesame

Monogamous species have fewer offspring but of veryhigh quality as they can look after them better

E.g. swans/ geese

Describe polygyny mating and give an example

One male/ multi female

Females can carry out parental care alone

Males are usually sexually dimorphic (looksdifferent)

E.g. gorillas (only role of male gorilla is to protectthe area that they live in- resource defence)

Lek systems

What are lek systems?

An area of ground divided into territories thatare vigorously defended by males for purposes of sexual display and matingduring the breeding season

Describe polyandry mating and give an example

One female/multi male; very uncommon.

Areas where females need more eggs

E.g. Eclectus parrots (females are trying tospread as many eggs as possible, not the males as there are not many females inthe population overall)

Describe polygynandrous mating and give an example

Polygynandrous species can be stable pairs thathave “extra-marital affairs”.

Maximises genetic variation

Describe promiscuousstrategies mating and give an example

Males and females meet briefly to mate; no pairbond is formed

Resource or display site defence

E.g. birds of paradise

Describe mate choice in homo sapiens and give an example

Positive correlation between salivary cortisol& odour preference in women

The importance of facial symmetry

How do parents invest in their young?

investmentin numbers.

investmentin egg production

investmentin care of eggs.

investmentin care of young.

investmentin post-independent young



What can the processes of mutation and recombination give rise to?

genetic differences in characteristics amongmembers of a population (foundation for evolution)

What non-genetic factors can result in variation?

what animals are exposed to (e.g. When a carp is exposedto a predator that will eat fish, it gets bigger)

How many gene pairs is all life on earth based on?


What can the genetic control either be?

monogenetic or polygenetic

Define monogenetic determinism

A direct correspondence between one gene andone behaviour. This is difficult toestablish but has been demonstrated in a number of cases. (e.g. honey bees: If you change the genetic makeup of honeybees sothey stop being hygienic, you affect the whole health of that bee colony)

Define polygenetic determinism

Behaviour is often a decision making process.Individuals have to gather information, memorise and process it and finallymake a decision according to the information

It is unlikely that such a suite of capacities isunder the control of a single gene

Name four things that have an effect on development



maternal environment

paternal enviroment

Name an example of environmental effects on development

Reptile development: Sex of theoffspring in turtles and crocodiles determined by heat of environment

Name an example of seasonal effects on development

African satyric butterfly: Those whohatch in the rainy season (when food quality is better) look different to thosewho hatch in the dry season (when food is limited)

Name an example of maternal effects on development

The amount of testosterone deposited in the eggsvaries with breeding condition, which enables maternal effects to reflect thestate of the local environment

Name an example of paternal effects on development

Dung beetles: Males can be separated into twodiscrete morphs: large, ‘‘major’’ males have head horns (If males are reallygood at rolling dung), whereas ‘‘minor’’ males are hornless. If males are bad at rollingdung, they will produce a smaller ball of dung for the female to lay heroffspring in, which means the offspring will have smaller/ non-existent horns

Define founder effect

the original genetic material that affects what yousee in the future

What does understanding the process for evolution require?

an understanding of genetic variation and the wayin which it is transformed into evolutionary change

What is an example of a genetic difference in what theanimal looks like but is dependent on environmental context?


What is the Wallace line?

A faunal boundary

It provides evidence ofevolutionary relationships and ancestry between species.

It describes the reasons forthe biogeography (term that describes where animals come from and whatparticular habitats we see them in) of specific parts of the world.

What is linkage disequilibrium?

Non-random association of alleles at different loci

An association between alleles at different locithat is different from what would be expected if alleles were independently,randomly sampled

What is linkage disequilibrium influenced by?




genetic drift

particular mating system and population structure

Define wild type

when one allele is the most common

Define genotype frequency

the proportion of individuals that have thatspecific genotype

Define allele frequency

The proportion of gene copies in a population

What are the types of species-focused conservation strategies?

Insitu (looking at an animal in its natural habitat)

Ex situ (animal is put in controlled environment)

What is the difference between preservation and conservation?

Conservation aims tomaintain a species’ ability to adapt and change to future pressures.

If we preserve exactlywhat we have now, a species will not be able to survive into the future

What is holistic conservation?

preservingnot just the animal, but everything around it- their eco system also

What is animal welfare?

Thestate of an individual as it attempts to cope with its environment

Howcan animal behaviour science help with the definition of welfare?

state of individual (physiological measurements via behaviour)

attempts at coping (self-directed behaviours/ dysfunctional behaviour patterns)

effect of environment (stressors/ fight or flight response)

Define appetitivebehaviours

theaction of the behaviour is more important to the animal than what it gets inthe end

Define consummatorybehaviour

abehaviour with a defined end goal- an appetitive behaviour will lead to aconsummatory behaviour

Why does the stress response cause problems?


thereis disruptedhomeostasis / abnormal behaviour / suppressed growth, development, reproductionetc. etc.

Melfi (2009); evidence-based animal management

Evolutionary aspects of design lead to husbandry, captive provision, enclosure design which leads to positive welfare

Melfi & Hosey (2011); application of “behavioural husbandry”

Theuse of behavioural husbandry as a way of improving the lives of managedspecies

Are techniques ofbehavioural husbandry useful? Do they work to better the lives of managedindividuals?

Why do animals with friends live longer?

Hierarchy and socialposition very important.

Investmentin social behaviour alleviates stress

What is kin selection?

Evolutionarymechanism that helps explain why individuals help each other out, probablybecause they are related to each other

Individualshelp relatives because relatives share genes. By helping relatives to surviveand reproduce, individuals are helping perpetuate copies of their genes