• Submitted By: ymyznd
  • Date Submitted: 06/04/2013 5:20 AM
  • Category: Science
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Ethology is the study of behaviour in its natural habitat. It is mostly a descriptive science.

Behaviour - What an animal does and how it does it.
To some extent ALL behaviour has a Genetic Basis
In general, behaviour is a response to some environmental stimulus

Innate Behaviours - inherited, instinctive:
A. programmed by genes;
B. highly stereotyped (similar each time in many individuals)
C. Four Categories
1. Kinesis: "change the speed of random movement in response to environmental stimulus"
2. Taxis: "a directed movement toward or away from a stimulus; positive and negative taxes
3. Reflex: "movement of a body part in response to stimulus".
4. Fixed Action Pattern (FAP): "stereotyped and often complex series of movements., responses to a specific stimulus - Releaser"
D. Characteristics of Innate Behaviours - especially FAPs:
1. The behaviour is performed without prior experience
2. There is a stereotypic releaser stimulus
3. breeding crosses produce hybrid behaviours
4. the behaviour is adaptive - signs that natural selection is at work

Learned Behaviour: Five Categories:
A. Imprinting
B. Habituation
C. Conditioning - laboratory setting
1. classical conditioning
2. operant conditioning
D. Trial and Error Learning - nature
E. Insight, reasoning

For centuries, humans have made effort to understand their/our essence.

What we think of as ourselves is not kidney, intestine or foot... or nerve cell.
To study behaviour, to study the nervous system...
this is a quest to understand our essence.

The study of behaviour has a long history, linked closely with our "evolving" view of what we are in relationship to the universe - often closely intertwined with our view of God and religion. But biology and church began to split in the mid -1800s, as interests shifted from cataloguing biological diversity for the clarification of God's plan to the questioning of how biological...

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