OCR F215 Animal Behaviour

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Module 4: Responding to the Environment
ee5.4.3 Animal Behaviour
(a) explain the advantages to organisms of innate behaviour
Behaviour ­ the responses of an organism to its environment, which increase its chances of survival. An organism
must be able to detect changes in the environment, which form stimuli, then carry out an appropriate response
through the operation of effectors.
Innate Behaviour ­ animal responses, which does not involve learning. It is an inherited response, similar in all
members of the same species and is always performed in the same way in response to the same stimulus.
Advantages of Innate Behaviour:
Advantages Disadvantages
Quicker response time. Predators may be able to catch onto their
Less need for parental care. behaviour and adapt, so that they can catch their
Response is reliable in increasing their chance of prey more easily.
survival. Not adapted in response to changing
environments .
(b) describe escape reflexes, taxes and kineses as examples of geneticallydetermined innate behaviours
Reflexes Often ` escape ' behaviours ­ avoid predators .
They are involuntary responses with identical responses to a given stimulus.
e.g. woodlice will curl into a ball so that only the hard shell is exposed and can roll away if in
e.g. earthworms withdraw underground in response to vibrations on the ground.
Taxes A taxis is a ` directiona l' orientation response, where the organism either moves towards or
away from the stimulus.
e.g. maggots are negatively phototaxic ­ move away from light.
e.g. flies are positively chemotaxic ­ move towards chemicals (food).
Kineses A kinesis is an orientation behaviour where the rate of movement (not direction) increases
when the organism is in unfavourable conditions.
e.g. woodlice avoid predation and drying out by living in damp, dark areas. If placed in
dry/bright conditions, woodlice will move around rapidly and randomly until they move to
more favourable conditions, when they will move more slowly or even stop moving.
Complex The linking together of a series of innate behaviours gives some complex behaviour
Innate patterns.
Behaviour e.g. the waggle dance used by honey bees to
communicate the direction and distance of a food source
to other worker bees. The angle between the waggle part
of the dance and the vertical represents the angle
between the sun and hence the direction of the flower
field horizontally. The duration of the waggle part of the
dance signifies the distance (1 second = 1km).

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Module 4: Responding to the Environment
Fixed Action A stimulus is required to initiate an instinctive behavioural response. Stimuli lead to
Patterns (FAP) releaser mechanisms within the brain, which in turn produce the response (FAP).
e.g. in the courtship and mating of sticklebacks (fish), females will follow almost any small
red object to the nest (in this case the male stickleback performing the zig zag dance), and
once within the nest, neither the male nor any other red object need to be present.…read more

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Module 4: Responding to the Environment
on hearing the bell, even if they could not see the food. The ringing is known as a conditioned
stimulus , which leads to a new reflex action called a conditioned response .
Operant Animals learn to associate action (the operant ) with a reward (the reinforcer ). This type of
Conditioning learning is active and to an extent voluntary . It is often referred to as trial and error learning .
For example, B. F.…read more

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Module 4: Responding to the Environment
(f) discuss how the links between a range of human behaviours and the dopamine receptor DRD4 may
contribute to the understanding of human behaviour
Dopamine ­ acts as a neurotransmitter and a hormone . It is produced all
over the body and controls the ` pleasure and reward ' centre of our brain. It
is a precursor molecule in the production of adrenaline and noradrenaline .…read more


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