Innate Behaviour

ocr A2 biology innate behaviour revision

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  • Created on: 06-05-11 18:00
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Innate Behaviour
Behaviour is described as the responses of an organism to its environment which increases
its chances of survival.
Innate behaviours are those that are inherited in the genome of an organism. They are:
Genetically determined so the environment has no impact on behavioural response.
Rigid and inflexible.
Patterns of behaviour are the same (stereotypical) in all members of a species.
Unintelligent in the sense that the organism probably has no sense of the purpose of
the behaviour.
Examples of innate behaviour
Invertebrates rely for their survival on 3 types of innate behaviour. These behaviours allow
them to escape predators, locate and stay in a suitable habitat, and locate food.
Invertebrates have short life spans, live solitary lives and do not take care of offspring, this
means that innate behaviours are more suitable as survival mechanisms than learned
behaviours.
Reflexes
Invertebrate have an escape reflex, to avoid predators. Escape reflexes are involuntary
responses which follow a specific pattern in response to a given stimulus.
Kineses
A kinesis is orientation behaviour where the rate of movement increases when the organism
is in unfavourable conditions. The behaviour is non-directional, meaning that the response is
to change the rate of movement overall.
E.g. woodlice live in damp, dark areas to avoid predation, so when placed in dry/bright
conditions they will move around rapidly and randomly until they are in more suitable
conditions where they will either slow down or stop moving altogether.
Taxes
A taxis is a `directional' orientation response.
Positive phototaxis is towards and negative phototaxis is away from, light stimulus.
Positive chemotaxis is towards and negative chemotaxis is away, from a chemical.
Complex innate behaviours
The linking together of a series of innate behaviours give some complex behaviour patterns in
some invertebrates. An example is the waggle dance used by worker bees to communicate
the direction and distance of a food source to other worker bees.
Fixed Action Patterns (FAP)
A stimulus is required to initiate an instinctive behavioural response. Stimuli lead to releaser
mechanisms within the brain which in turn, produce the response (FAP).

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