New PDF release: Animal Behavior (Natural History Library)

By John Paul Scott

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Additional info for Animal Behavior (Natural History Library)

Sample text

Emlen) One of the basic theories that arises out of observaand experiments on behavior is that behavior is tion aftectedby multiple factors. This is particularly evident in experiments with heredity and environment. We therefore raised litters from several different kinds of dogs, giving them the same kind of room in which to live and the same kind of care and nutrition. The next step was to devise a test of their reactions to people. The simplest thing was to have the experimenter do the same sorts of things which people ordinarily do to puppies: walking toward them, patting them, stooping down to them, and calling them.

2A ANIMAL BETIAVIOR This behaviar consistsessentiallyof calling for care and attcniion. Agaiil we have the difficulty that thers is no sirnple English word which describes this kind of behavior. It might be called "infantile behavior," except that in other species it is frequently found in animals which are completely adult. It seems to arise in situations in which an animal is incapable of adjusting or adapting by itself and substitutes for adaptation a call or signal which may result in care and attention from another animal.

What the buffalo were doing becames clearer when we compare it with the behavior of another species, such as the red-winged blackbirds we have already seen wheeling over the autumn fields. When we compare the activities of a wider variety of species,we begin to see that certain kinds of behavior occur over and over again, and that these fall into a few general kinds of behavioral adaptations which are widely found in the animal kingdom. In doing this we must meet a problem of language as well as that of careful description.

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