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Review Questions —BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY

SHORT ANSWER

1. Choose the most appropriate answer for each term.

a. Animals process and integrate information gained from experiences, then use it to vary or
change responses to stimuli.
b. Well-defined environmental cues that trigger suitable responses.
c. Term applied to genetically based behavioral reactions of hybrid offspring.
d. Time-dependent form of learning; triggered by exposure to sign stimuli and usually
occurring during sensitive periods of young animals.
e. A behavior performed without having been learned by actual environmental experience.
f. A piece of information about the external or internal environment that has been detected by a
receptor.
g. A program of coordinated muscle activity that runs to completion independently of feedback
from the environment.
h. Observable, coordinated responses to stimuli.

1. ___c___ intermediate response


2. ___f___ stimulus
3. ___e___ instinctive behavior
4. ___b___sign stimuli
5. ___g___ fixed action pattern
6. ___a___ learned behavior
7. ___d___imprinting
8. ___h___animal behavior

2. Choose the most appropriate statement for each of the following terms.

a. Any behavior that helps perpetuate an individual's genes


b. Behavior expressed as interactions among individuals of the same species
c. Reproduction in which at least some of the offspring survive
d. A behavior that improves an individual's chance to reproduce regardless of the
impact on the population
e. Self-sacrificing behavior

1. ____a__ adaptive behavior


2. ____c__ reproductive success
3. __b____social behavior
4. ___d___selfish behavior
5. ___e___ altruistic behavior

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3. Match each of the following terms to the appropriate statement.

a. The signaler touches the receiver in a ritualized manner.


b. Unambiguous cues sent and received by members of a species.
c. A combination of signals that are used to relay the intensity of the message.
d. A pattern of behavior that is a social signal.
e. Announces that the signaler is about to attack the receiver.
f. Induce the receiver to respond quickly.
g. Cause physiological responses.
h. These rituals must be performed prior to forming a mating pair.

1. __b____communication signals
2. ___c___ composite signal
3. ___d___communication display
4. ___f___ signaling pheromones
5. ___g___ priming pheromones
6. ___e___ threat display
7. ___h___courtship display
8. ___a___ tactile display

4. Complete the following table to supply the common names of the animals that fit the text examples of
sexual selection.

ANS:

a. grizzly bears
b. hangingflies
c. bison, lions, elephant seals, elk
d. sage grouse

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5. Choose the most appropriate statement for each of the following items.

a. Competition for resources, rapid depletion of food resources, cannibalism, and greater
vulnerability to disease.
b. A simple society brought together by reproductive self-interest; in bluegill sunfish, the
larger, more powerful males tend to claim the central nesting locations.
c. The alarm calls of some mammals, and the writhing, regurgitating reaction of Australian
sawfly caterpillars to a disturbance.
d. Some individuals of a baboon troop adopt a subordinate status with respect to the other
members.
e. Social groups of predatory animals.

1. ____a__ disadvantages of sociality


2. ____d__dominance hierarchy
3. ___c___ cooperative predator avoidance
4. ___b___the selfish herd
5. ___e___ cooperative hunting

6. A sexually reproducing, (1)__ diploid __________________ parent caring for offspring is not helping
exact (2)_____ genetic ____ ___________ copies of itself. Each of its gametes, and each of its
offspring, inherits (3)____ one-half ________________ of its genes. Other individuals of the social
group that have the same (4)___ ancestors _________________ also share genes with their parents.
Two siblings are as (5)_____ genetically _______________ similar as a parent and its (6)_____
offspring _______________. Nephews and nieces share about (7)_____ one-fourth
_______________ of their uncle's genes.

(8)_____Sterile _______________ workers may be indirectly promoting genes for (9)____ self-
sacrifice __ through altruistic behavior that will benefit their close (10)____ relatives
________________. All of the individuals in honeybee, termite, and ant colonies are members of a
great extended (11)____ family ________________. Nonbreeding family members support siblings,
a few of which are future kings and (12)____ queens ________________. Although a guard bee
dies after driving her stinger into a bear, siblings in the hive will perpetuate some of her (13)___
genes _________________.

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7. ___ The observable, coordinated responses that animals make to stimuli are what we call animal
______.
a. imprinting
b. instincts
c. behavior
d. learning

8. ___ In ______, a particular behavior is performed without having been learned by actual experience
in the environment.
a. natural selection
b. altruistic behavior
c. sexual selection
d. instinctive behavior

9. ___ Newly hatched goslings follow any large moving objects to which they are exposed shortly after
hatching; this is an example of ______.
a. homing behavior
b. imprinting
c. piloting
d. migration

10. ___ A young toad flips its sticky-tipped tongue and captures a bumblebee that stings its tongue; in the
future, the toad leaves bumblebees alone. This is ______.
a. instinctive behavior
b. a fixed reaction pattern
c. altruistic
d. learned behavior

11. ___ Self-sacrificing behavior is called ______.


a. altruism
b. instinctive
c. selfish
d. social

12. ___ The claiming of the more protected central locations of a colony by the largest, most powerful
males suggests ______.
a. cooperative predator avoidance
b. the selfish herd
c. dominance hierarchies
d. self-sacrificing behavior

13. ___ A chemical odor in the urine of male mice triggers and enhances estrus in female mice. This
chemical would be an example of a ______.
a. generic mouse pheromone
b. signaling pheromone
c. priming pheromone
d. threat display

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14. ___ When musk oxen form a "ring of horns" against predators, it is _____.
a. a selfish herd
b. cooperative predator avoidance
c. self-sacrificing behavior
d. dominance hierarchy

15. ___ Competition among members of one sex for access to mates is called ______.
a. altruism
b. social behavior
c. inclusive fitness
d. sexual selection

16. ___ A lek is a ______.


a. form of threat display
b. type of pheromone
c. communication signal
d. communal display ground

17. Define the term animal behavior.


Observable, coordinated responses to stimuli.

18. What explains the fact that coastal and inland garter snakes of the same species have different food
preferences?
Genes interacting with the environment produce the distinctive food
preferences.

19. Describe the intermediate response obtained in Arnold's experiment with coastal and inland garter
snakes.
The hybrids demonstrated about a 50% preference for slugs;
intermediate response.

20. Explain instinctive behavior and give an example.


A behavior performed without having been learned by actual

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environmental experience. Examples: knee-jerk in humans; spider web
construction.

21. Define the term sign stimuli.


Well-defined environmental cues that trigger suitable responses.

22. Describe and cite an example of a fixed action pattern.


A program of coordinated muscle activity that runs to completion
independently of feedback from the environment. Spider’s predatory
response to any vibrations made on its web is an example.

23. Distinguish learned behavior from instinctive behavior.


Learned behavior is when animals process and integrate information
gained from experiences, then use it to vary or change responses to
stimuli. Instinctive behavior is when a program of coordinated muscle
activity runs to completion independently of feedback from the
environment. These are genetically based.

24. Explain imprinting.


Imprinting is a time-dependent form of learning; triggered by exposure
to sign stimuli and usually occurring during sensitive periods of young
animals (birds particularly).

25. Explain how adaptive behavior, social behavior, selfish behavior, and altruism can all promote an
individual's reproductive success.

All of these forms of learning can be adaptive, that is, increase the odds
of getting one’s genes into the next generation. Adaptive behavior
(operant learning) allows an individual to modify behavior based on
experience. Social behavior can increase survival by the increased

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ability of the group to ward off predators.; selfish behavior can gather
in more assets which can increase reproductive success; and altruism
can enhance social groups and indirectly select for close relatives
(promotes some fraction of your genes to get into the next generation).

26. Understand the various forms of communication signals and displays used by animals.
Communication signal: Information-laden cue directed by one
member of a species to another. May be chemical, visual, acoustic, or
tactile.
Displays: courtship (These rituals must be performed prior to forming a mating pair.);
threat (Announces that the signaler is about to attack the receiver); tactile display (The
signaler touches the receiver in a ritualized manner.); communication display (A pattern
of behavior that is a social signal.)

27. Distinguish between signaling and priming pheromones, and cite and example of each.
Signaling pheromones: Induce the receiver to respond quickly. Ant’s alarm signal.
Priming pheromones: Cause physiological responses. Queen mole rat suppresses
ovulation in females in the colony.

28. Explain the benefit of sexual selection.


Mode of natural selection; favors a trait that gives the individual a
competitive edge in attracting or keeping a mate, hence in
reproductive success. Females select best genes from potential
partners.

29. Define a lek.


A communal display ground for grouse.

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30. List the types of costs and benefits of social organisms.
Costs: Competition for resources, rapid depletion of food resources, cannibalism, and greater
vulnerability to disease.
Benefits: Improved detection of predators; many eyes
Improved repulsion of predators; group can exploit resources

31. What is the theory of inclusive fitness?


“Inclusive fitness encompasses conventional Darwinian fitness with the addition of
behaviors that contribute to an organism’s individual fitness through altruism. An
organism’s success, from the gene's point of view, ultimately depends on leaving behind
the maximum number of replicas of its genes present within a population.”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusive_fitness

32. Think about communication signals that humans use, and list them. Do you believe a dominance
hierarchy exists in human society? Think of examples.
Answers may vary.

33. Apply the concept of self-sacrifice to parenting. Based on the information in this chapter, what are the
benefits of a parent protecting its child?
The child represents the opportunity to get the parent’s genes into the next generation. By
promoting the child’s well being at the sacrifice of direct benefits to the parent, the probability of
the parent’s genes flowing into the future is increased.