By Mark Ridley
This vintage textbook is a concise introductory consultant to the topic of animal habit. The publication is prepared via first construction the four-cornered foundations of the topic, then relocating greater. In a very well-organized development, the scholar is result in an figuring out of the fundamental subject matters, defined in logical self-contained devices. every one bankruptcy ends with feedback for additional examining. during this moment variation, the insurance of mechanisms of habit is way accelerated, as is the cloth on evolution and usual choice. The bankruptcy on improvement contains a lot of the recent paintings on studying and reminiscence, specifically song-learning in birds. certainly in the course of the booklet, examples are drawn from contemporary ground-breaking examine.
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Extra info for Animal Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Mechanisms, Development, and Ecology
In this case, the average size of the species would stay constant even though bigger animals were surviving better. Only if the size of an individual became an inherited property could evolutionary change toward larger size take place. If any trait is to evolve under natural selection, differences in the trait must be inherited. ) Natural selection is the reason why species evolve, but its importance for the student of animal behavior lies less in its explanation of evolution than of adaptation.
Camouflage is a particularly clear example of adaptation. Peppered moths are less likely to be eaten by birds if they are camouflaged against the forest background in which they live; their color pattern is adaptive. The moth's behavior must also be appropriately adaptive if the camouflage is to work. The moth has to recognize the correct setting to settle on and adjust its movements and orientation to the background. ) The behavior of animals is adapted just as much as their anatomy and physiology.
Tinbergen also made a film about gull behavior; it is called Signals for Survival and is relevant to this chapter although its main theme is signaling (the topic of Chapter 7). 39 CHAPTER 3 The Machinery of Behavior In this chapter we shall be treating animals as machines, and seeking to understand how they work. The nervous system is the main means of controlling behavior, and we begin by looking at how information is transmitted among the nerve cells. Information about the outside world enters the animal's nervous system through its sense organs.