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Animal Behavior
Animal Behavior

Test Your Knowledge

Sensing and Responding to the Environment

1. What is the name for a fixed behavior, that does not vary based on experience?

2. Pavlov’s dog salivated in anticipation of food every time he rang a bell. Which type of conditioning is this?

3. What is the name for the process of ducks learning to recognize their parents?

4. If your little sister keeps blasting One Direction music while you are trying to study and eventually you just tune it out, which type of learning behavior are you demonstrating?

5. Animals that warn predators of their toxicity using bright colors are relying on which form of learning to keep predators from eating them?

Movement and Migration

1. What is the name for a regular long-distance change in location?

2. What is the name for a non-directional change in movement in response to a stimulus?

3. Which of Earth’s physical features is used to guide migrating animals?

4. Which of these is not sessile as an adult?
  
a. Coral
b. Barnacles
c. Scale insect
d. All of the above are sessile as adults
e. None of the above are sessile as adults

5. Birds migrate because:
  
a. They hate winter.
b. Food is scarce in winter.
c. Their magnetic fields tell them to.
d. It is harder to hide from predators in the winter.
e. Their breeding grounds are in the tropics.

Finding Food

1. What is maximized under Optimal Foraging Theory?

2. What is minimized under Optimal Foraging Theory?

3. What type of hunting behavior do polar bears and mountain lions exhibit?

4. True or false: only prey animals can have camouflage.

5. True or false: handling time is taken into account by animals searching for food.

Defense

1. Which type of defense is most risky for the animal involved?

2. Which two defenses are most likely to be found in animals that live in large groups?

3. Which defense would work best for animals that are too slow to outrun their predators?

4. What has to be true about location for mimicry to work?

5. Harp seals live in the Arctic and are gray as adults, but their babies are white and so cute. Why might their babies be white?

Communication

1. Name two methods of communication.

2. What determines which type of dance a honeybee does to tell other bees where food is?

3. Why do male manakins moonwalk?

4. What is it called when prey species jump up on all four legs in front of a predator?

5. Which type of communication uses pheromones?

Social Systems and Altruism

1. Would siblings be more or less likely to exhibit altruism than cousins?

2. If an animal sacrifices its chance at having two offspring for its sister, how many extra offspring does the sister have to produce for altruism to be favored, according to Hamilton’s rule?

3. If an animal sacrifices its chance at having one offspring for its cousin, how many extra offspring does the cousin have to produce for altruism to be favored, according to Hamilton’s rule?

4. Which sex are worker ants?

5. What is the term for animals that live in groups, have division of labor and are divided into reproductive and non-reproductive groups?

Mating Behavior

1. Which is more common: male parental care or female parental care?

2. Which type of mating system is most common in the animal world?

3. True or false: most animals mate for life.

4. Which type of fertilization is more likely to result in male parental care?

5. How do males decide who gets to mate in a polygynous system?

Finding a Mate

1. What is the term for fighting over access to mates?

2. Why do females choose traits that increase males’ risk of predation?

3. Why are male birds usually the brightly colored of the two sexes?

4. What might a female evaluate when choosing a mate, other than male dominance?

5. What is the difference between inter- and intrasexual selection?

Raising Offspring

1. True or false: Parental care decreases offspring mortality.

2. What is the name for the lifestyle that produces lots of offspring with high mortality?

3. What kind of reproductive strategy do humans and elephants have?

4. Based on what you know about parental investment in producing offspring, which sex do you think usually gives parental care?

5. Which strategy is more common in unstable environments?

Possible Answers

Sensing and Responding to the Environment

1. What is the name for a fixed behavior, that does not vary based on experience?

Innate behavior.

2. Pavlov’s dog salivated in anticipation of food every time he rang a bell. Which type of conditioning is this?

Classical conditioning.

3. What is the name for the process of ducks learning to recognize their parents?

Imprinting.

4. If your little sister keeps blasting One Direction music while you are trying to study and eventually you just tune it out, which type of learning behavior are you demonstrating?

Habituation.

5. Animals that warn predators of their toxicity using bright colors are relying on which form of learning to keep predators from eating them?

Operant conditioning (or associative learning).

Movement and Migration

1. What is the name for a regular long-distance change in location?

Migration.

2. What is the name for a non-directional change in movement in response to a stimulus?

Kinesis.

3. Which of Earth’s physical features is used to guide migrating animals?

The magnetic field.

4. Which of these is not sessile as an adult?
  
a. Coral
b. Barnacles
c. Scale insect
d. All of the above are sessile as adults

Though sessile as adults, their juvenile stages can move.

5. Birds migrate because:
  
b. Food is scarce in winter. 

Birds that breed in high latitudes migrate because food is scarce; they use the Earth’s magnetic field to get there.

Finding Food

1. What is maximized under Optimal Foraging Theory?

Rewards (food).

2. What is minimized under Optimal Foraging Theory?

Risks.

3. What type of hunting behavior do polar bears and mountain lions exhibit?

Stalking.

4. True or false: only prey animals can have camouflage.

False. Predators and prey can be camouflaged.

5. True or false: handling time is taken into account by animals searching for food.

True. Observations of crows eating clams show that crows do not waste time on small clams because the handling time is too great for the small amount of food.

Defense

1. Which type of defense is most risky for the animal involved?

Fighting is very risky, because of the possibility of being injured or dying. Most animals spend a lot of time trying to intimidate their opponent before actually touching each other. Ideally, the other guy will run away before blood is shed.

2. Which two defenses are most likely to be found in animals that live in large groups?

Alarm calling and schooling (in fish) or herding (in land animals) are most likely to be used in large groups. Alarm calls are good for alerting others about a predator, but carry the risk of telling the predator of your location. Animals that use alarm calls must have a lot of others depending on them. Schooling and herding work best in large groups. It would not be hard for a large fish to eat a school of three in one gulp.

3. Which defense would work best for animals that are too slow to outrun their predators?

Animals that can’t run away try to deter predators by hurting them with spines or poison.

4. What has to be true about location for mimicry to work?

The mimics have to co-occur with the animal they are mimicking, and have the same predators.

5. Harp seals live in the Arctic and are gray as adults, but their babies are white and so cute. Why might their babies be white?

Being white lets the baby seals blend into the snow and ice in the Arctic. White coloration against a white background is a form of crypsis.

Communication

1. Name two methods of communication.

Visual, auditory, tactile and/or chemical.

2. What determines which type of dance a honeybee does to tell other bees where food is?

The distance the food is from the hive determines if the bee does a round dance or a waggle dance.

3. Why do male manakins moonwalk?

Males moonwalk to impress the female manakins. To be honest, we are impressed too. Birds have strange mating rituals, and this is one of them.

4. What is it called when prey species jump up on all four legs in front of a predator?

Stotting. Stotting is thought to advertise the prey’s fitness and discourage the predator from pursing that particular individual.

5. Which type of communication uses pheromones?

Chemical.

Social Systems and Altruism

1. Would siblings be more or less likely to exhibit altruism than cousins?

Siblings would be more likely to help each other than cousins. The siblings share more genes than the cousins do, so their genes benefit from each other’s survival more than from their cousins’ survival.

2. If an animal sacrifices its chance at having two offspring for its sister, how many extra offspring does the sister have to produce for altruism to be favored, according to Hamilton’s rule?

The cost, C, is 2 and r is 0.5. So if 0.5 x B > 2, B has to be more than 4. The sister would need to have 5 extra babies for evolution to favor altruism.

3. If an animal sacrifices its chance at having one offspring for its cousin, how many extra offspring does the cousin have to produce for altruism to be favored, according to Hamilton’s rule?

The cost, C is 1 and r is 0.125. So 0.125 x B > 1, so B has to be more than 8. The cousin would need to have 9 extra babies.

4. Which sex are worker ants?

They are all female.

5. What is the term for animals that live in groups, have division of labor and are divided into reproductive and non-reproductive groups?

Eusocial.

Mating Behavior

1. Which is more common: male parental care or female parental care?

Female parental care is much more common than male parental care.

2. Which type of mating system is most common in the animal world?

Polygyny, where one male mates with multiple females.

3. True or false: most animals mate for life.

False. Most animals are not monogamous, but even those that are monogamous usually just mate for one season. Swans are an exception to this—they do usually mate for life.

4. Which type of fertilization is more likely to result in male parental care?

External fertilization—the male knows he is fertilizing the eggs.

5. How do males decide who gets to mate in a polygynous system?

Males fight over the females, and whoever is most dominant (and usually biggest and strongest) wins.

Finding a Mate

1. What is the term for fighting over access to mates?

Agonistic behavior. This term also applies to fighting over other resources.

2. Why do females choose traits that increase males’ risk of predation?

Females want males with good genes, and if males can escape predators even with a handicap like an extremely long tail or being brightly colored, it is an indication that the males have good genes.

3. Why are male birds usually the brightly colored of the two sexes?

Females get to be the choosy sex because they invest more in reproduction, which means they pick which male they want to mate with. The males have to compete for females, so having bright feathers is a good way to attract female attention.

4. What might a female evaluate when choosing a mate, other than male dominance?

Territories are important in mating decisions. Females want to be fed and be able to feed their offspring, so they try to pick a guy with a nice territory.

5. What is the difference between inter- and intrasexual selection?

Intersexual selection is when the females do the choosing—it is selection between the sexes. Intrasexual selection is when the males fight over access to the females, and one male wins out over the others.

Raising Offspring

1. True or false: Parental care decreases offspring mortality.

True. Animals with parental care are less likely to die, even if sometimes your parents make you want to die of embarrassment.

2. What is the name for the lifestyle that produces lots of offspring with high mortality?

r-selected

3. What kind of reproductive strategy do humans and elephants have?

K-selected

4. Based on what you know about parental investment in producing offspring, which sex do you think usually gives parental care?

Females are usually the ones to take care of offspring; they know the babies are theirs. The father maximizes his reproductive success by spending his time mating with as many females as possible.

5. Which strategy is more common in unstable environments?

r-selection. In an unstable environment, it is important to reproduce quickly so that offspring can disperse or adapt to changing conditions.
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