A klinotaxis involves side-to-side motions of the head or body with successive comparison of stimulus intensity as the animal moves forward. Behaviors that lower the fitness of the individual but increase the fitness of another individual are termed altruistic. This behavior is observed in several bird species including the sage grouse and the prairie chicken. After a certain amount of time, the roles are reversed and the first monkey now grooms the second monkey. They are “hard wired” into the system. The purpose of pheromones is to elicit a specific behavior from the receiving individual. Animals that exhibit facultative migration can choose to migrate or not. Presumably, these displays communicate not only the willingness of the animal to fight, but also its fighting ability. (credit a: modification of work by Brian Gratwicke; credit b: modification of work by Stephen Childs). 5. Most insects have simple “startle” reflexes triggered by small disturbances as well as more comprehensive “escape” reflexes triggered by larger disturbances. One explanation for altruistic-type behaviors is found in the genetics of natural selection. The lowering of individual fitness to enhance the reproductive fitness of a relative and thus one’s inclusive fitness evolves through kin selection. It may also help explain the origin of some very unusual behavior. Over time, natural selection can lead to surprisingly intricate and sophisticated behavior such as the dance language of honey bees or the courtship rituals of dance flies. This type of selection often leads to traits in the chosen sex that do not enhance survival, but are those traits most attractive to the opposite sex (often at the expense of survival). Even humans, with our great capacity to learn, still exhibit a variety of innate behaviors. This stork’s courtship display is designed to attract potential mates. Innate or instinctual behaviors rely on response to stimuli. It is an evolved, adapted response to variation in resource availability, and it is a common phenomenon found in all major groups of animals. For example, owls that live in the tundra may migrate in years when their food source, small rodents, is relatively scarce, but not migrate during the years when rodents are plentiful. Finally, tactile cues from the prey release stinging and egg laying behavior. Although there is overlap between these disciplines, scientists in these behavioral fields take different approaches. They are designed to attract a predator away from the nest that contains their young. Orientation behaviors can be viewed as elements in a neural hierarchy. The painted stork, for example, uses its long beak to search the bottom of a freshwater marshland for crabs and other food (Figure 3). This phenomenon can explain many superficially altruistic behaviors seen in animals. Over time, natural selection can lead to surprisingly intricate and sophisticated behavior such as the dance language of honey bees or the courtship rituals of dance flies. Emperor penguins migrate miles in harsh conditions to bring food back for their young. A tropotaxis requires bilateral input from paired sensory receptors such that the signal is equalized in both receptors. These chemicals influence human perception of other people, and in one study were responsible for a group of women synchronizing their menstrual cycles. Selfish gene theory has been controversial over the years and is still discussed among scientists in related fields.
Apple growers, for example, hang large red spheres coated with stick-um in their orchards to catch adults of the apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella). This is a neural pathway that may involve as few as two neurons: a sensory neuron detects a stimulus and is linked with a motor neuron that sets off a response in an effector cell (such as a muscle or a gland cell). Wildebeests (Figure 2) migrate over 1800 miles each year in search of new grasslands. There has been much discussion over why altruistic behaviors exist. The dorsal light reaction also explains why moths tend to circle a street lamp at night. The stimulation of the nerves there leads to the reflex of extending the leg at the knee. Taxis is a movement directly toward (positive) or away from (negative) a stimulus. Just another example of “selfish genes” at work! Comparative psychology is an extension of work done in human and behavioral psychology. The male sticklebacks responded aggressively to the objects just as if they were real male sticklebacks. It is the innate behavior that is responsible for humans fighting themselves over a particular position or office. Instead, the sign stimulus is usually a highly specific signal that is consistently encountered at an appropriate time. An example of this observed in many monkey species where a monkey will present its back to an unrelated monkey to have that individual pick the parasites from its fur. Mammal parents make this sacrifice to take care of their offspring. 4 Survival The survival instinct seems to be one always exists in every human; they want to survive in every situation that they find themselves in. All of these behaviors involve some sort of communication between population members. Many of these rituals use up considerable energy but result in the selection of the healthiest, strongest, and/or most dominant individuals for mating.
Reciprocal altruism requires that individuals repeatedly encounter each other, often the result of living in the same social group, and that cheaters (those that never “give back”) are punished. Polygynous mating refers to one male mating with multiple females. Foraging is the act of searching for and exploiting food resources.
Migration is the long-range seasonal movement of animals. Monogamy is observed in many bird populations where, in addition to the parental care from the female, the male is also a major provider of parental care for the chicks. The simplest example of this is a reflex action, an involuntary and rapid response to stimulus. Niko Tinbergen, one of the “fathers” of modern ethology, demonstrated that hunting behavior in a predatory wasp proceeds through a stepwise series of three FAPs. 4. One example of a human reflex action is the knee-jerk reflex. Other signals are chemical (pheromones), aural (sound), visual (courtship and aggressive displays), or tactile (touch).
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